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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Russia sends two satellites into space

Russia sends two satellites into space
Moscow (XNA) Apr 29, 2014 - A Russian carrier rocket brought two satellites into space successfully, federal space agency Roscosmos said Monday. The Proton-M rocket, carrying Russian satellite Luch-5V and Kazakh communication satellite KazSat-3, blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 8:25 a.m. Moscow time (0425 GMT), Roscosmos said on its website. At 08:34 a.m. Moscow time (0434 GMT), the o ... morehttp://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_sends_two_satellites_into_space_999.html

Russia Set to Boost Space Cooperation With India, China

Russia Set to Boost Space Cooperation With India, China
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 29, 2014 - Russia is set to develop its space cooperation with India and China, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Oleg Ostapenko said on Thursday. "Recently, we received an invitation from Japan to discuss an array of questions," he added. The announcement was made amid threats of Russia's western partners to freeze or cut cooperation with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine and Crim ... morehttp://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_Set_to_Boost_Space_Cooperation_With_India_China_999.html

Rouhani defends plan for nuclear deal with West

Rouhani defends plan for nuclear deal with West
Tehran (AFP) April 29, 2014 - President Hassan Rouhani defended a potential nuclear deal with the West on Tuesday, insisting that an agreement would benefit the majority of Iranians, while encountering resistance. In a primetime interview lasting 90 minutes, Rouhani, who is under growing pressure from hardliners and hard-pressed citizens, stood by the steps taken to ensure removal of sanctions imposed on Iran over its nu ... morehttp://www.spacewar.com/reports/Rouhani_defends_plan_for_nuclear_deal_with_West_999.html

"Pay More, Get Less: How American Socio-Economic Policy Is Falling Short."

Read "Pay More, Get Less: How American Socio-Economic Policy Is Falling Short."
Download the PDF directly here.http://newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/Freedman_PayMoreGetLess_FinalNAF2014.pdf

Recognize the Nakba




Recognize the Nakba

Israel must make the history of the Palestinians an integral part of every school curriculum.

A Palestinian refugee walking past a banner during a Nakba Day protest in Jordan. A Palestinian refugee walking past a banner during a Nakba Day protest in Jordan last month. / Photo by Reuters
Haaretz Editorial
Published 03:30 29.04.14
In a special announcement, made in public and in both Arabic and English, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the murder of Jews in the Holocaust was “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era,” and expressed sympathy for the victims and their families.
This statement, the first of its kind by a Palestinian president, received a chilly reception from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Abbas had made it “to placate international public opinion.” Netanyahu, who himself has turned the Holocaust into a political tool for harnessing public opinion against Iran and uses it to justify his policies in the West Bank, could not bring himself to welcome Abbas’ remarks, which could serve as an example for other Arab leaders. It seems as if the fear that Abbas will score some points http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.587925?v=08327BD4C68BB63B18EE7E977D6DE12B

Despite the Crisis Over Ukraine, America Will Likely Need Russia Soon



Ivan Eland  Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty, The Independent Institute

Despite the Crisis Over Ukraine, America Will Likely Need Russia Soon

Posted: 04/29/2014 6:12 pm EDT Updated: 04/29/2014 6:59 pm EDT
Despite all of the hand wringing in the United States about Russia's soft invasion and annexation of Crimea and its intimidation of eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama's tour of East Asia demonstrates why U.S.-Russian relations probably will avoid plummeting into a new Cold War. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ivan-eland/despite-the-crisis-over-u_b_5226435.html

SINOGRAPH Ukraine crisis forces Eurasian evolution

Asia Time Online - Daily News

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-300414.html
SINOGRAPH Ukraine crisis forces Eurasian evolution  (Apr 30, '14)
An historic investment-for-resources deal between Russia and China will neuter Europe's punitive efforts over Ukraine and redraw the world's energy map, but more importantly create a Eurasian dynamic that otherwise would take decades to evolve. In the 1970s, former US president Richard Nixon used the region's complexities to divide Cold War enemies. Now his doctrine is being used against America. - Francesco Sisci


BEIJING - It has not happened yet, but expectations are already enormous. A massive strategic and economic shift is expected to result from Russian President Vladimir Putin's to China in May.

After decades of fruitless talks, Moscow and Beijing are now likely ready to sign a sweeping deal which will see China invest billions of dollars in Russia, with vast resources being sold in the other direction. This correspondent first saw the agreement signed 20 years ago, when Boris Yeltsin and Jiang Zemin were the presidents, and not much occurred since. However, this time things seem to be real.

The Demonization of Hamas What ‘Destruction of Israel’?

  
April 29, 2014
The Demonization of Hamas
What ‘Destruction of Israel’?
by JOHN V. WHITBECK

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/29/what-destruction-of-israel/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-destruction-of-israel

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Warns U.S. Could Use Trampoline To Access ISS.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Warns U.S. Could Use Trampoline To Access ISS.

NBC Nightly News (4/29, story 6, 0:30, Williams) broadcast that with more U.S. sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine, Russia’s deputy prime minister said that the U.S. could “use a trampoline” if it wanted to get its astronauts to the ISS. According to the broadcast, this is a “dicey” situation because of the U.S. reliance on Russia for transport.
The Washington Post (4/29, Birnbaum) briefly noted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s comments in an article primarily about how the sanctions do not seem to be working as Russian as officials say the U.S. and Europe are causing more damage to themselves.
Reuters (4/29, Baczynska) reported that despite the statement, analysts believe that Russia will not halt launches because it is extremely reliant on the millions the U.S. spends per launch. Sergei Oznobishchev, director at the Institute for Strategic Assessments, believes that Russia will lose out in the end because Russia also needs the West’s high-tech electronic components and is not prepared at this time to produce them.
WDRB-TV Louisville, KY (4/29) reported that Rogozin’s statement comes about a month after astronaut Reid Wiseman and cosmonaut Max Suraev said at a press conference that the astronauts still had good relations. The pair, along with German astronaut Alexander Gerst, are scheduled to launch to the ISS next month “if all goes well.”
Deutsche Welle (DEU) (4/30), not mentioning Rogozin’s comments, detailed how reliant both the U.S. and Europe are on Russia for launches.
Also covering the story are the Bloomberg News (4/29, Silva) “Political Capital” blog, AFP (4/29), Voice of Russia (4/30), Moscow Times (4/29, Bodner), NBC News (4/29, Boyle) website, and other media sources.
Defense Authorization Markup Requires Development Of RD-180 Alternative Engine. The Hill (4/29, Wong) reported that in the markup of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee calls on the government to work on developing an alternate engine for U.S. rockets over the next five years so that there is no more reliance on Russia. According to the legislation, “any company certified to launch a national security payload” would be able to bid on the contract.
Space News (4/29, Gruss, Subscription Publication) noted that in the bill, the Department of Defense would need to coordinate with NASA to make sure both agencies can use the alternate to the RD-180 engine.

Bank of America Pleads “We’re Idiots, not Crooks!”

Bank of America Pleads “We’re Idiots, not Crooks!”


http://firedoglake.com/2014/04/29/bank-of-america-pleads-were-idiots-not-crooks/

Details of Apple's Fingerprint Recognition

Details of Apple's Fingerprint Recognitionhttps://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/04/details_of_appl.html

China’s Economy Surpassing U.S.? Well, Yes and No

China’s Economy Surpassing U.S.? Well, Yes and No


http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/30/chinas-economy-surpassing-u-s-well-yes-and-no/?mod=WSJBlog

Mirable Dictu! Americans Diss Obama’s Ukraine Adventurism, Want US to Play More Modest Global Role

Mirable Dictu! Americans Diss Obama’s Ukraine Adventurism, Want US to Play More Modest Global Role


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/04/mirable-dictu-americas-diss-obamas-ukraine-adventurism-want-us-play-modest-global-role.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

Despite Pentagon spending cap, projects such as Growler jet get another chance at funding

 
Despite Pentagon spending cap, projects such as Growler jet get another chance at funding

 

 

By ,

China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power

Financial Times
April 30, 2014

China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power

By Chris Giles, Economics Editor
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl#axzz30Gwg5BzF

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kerry Grovels over Israeli ‘Apartheid’


Kerry Grovels over Israeli ‘Apartheid’

Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry gets to say whatever half-truth or fiction comes into his head about Syria, Russia or other “designated villains,” but when he cites the inconvenient truth of Israeli “apartheid,” he must scramble as fast as he can to retract and apologize, Robert Parry reports.By Robert Parry

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/29/kerry-grovels-over-israeli-apartheid/

Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll

Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/29

Kerry “apartheid” controversy shows limits on debate over Israel

Kerry “apartheid” controversy shows limits on debate over Israel


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/04/29/kerry-apartheid-controversy-shows-limits-on-debate-over-israel/

Brzezinski's Rx for Keeping Ukraine Independent

By Gerald F. Seib

Brzezinski's Rx for Keeping Ukraine Independent

Former National Security Adviser Say West Needs to Arm Ukraine and Stand Up to Russia's Putin



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304163604579531940358081088?mg=reno64-wsj

John Kerry and Israeli Apartheid

John Kerry and Israeli Apartheid

The Anti-Defamation League declared itself “startled and disappointed” that Kerry would use the “offensive term ‘apartheid’ to warn what might become of Israel should an agreement not be reached with the Palestinians.” The neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel has meanwhile demanded that Kerry be sacked.http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/john-kerry-and-israeli-apartheid

Sorry Democrats, Obamacare is still electoral kryptonite

Sorry Democrats, Obamacare is still electoral kryptonite


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-sorry-democrats-obamacare-is-still-electoral-kryptonite/2014/04/28/41ca0af2-cede-11e3-a6b1-45c4dffb85a6_story.html

Israel approved record 14,000 settlements during "peace" talks with Palestine - report:


Israel approved record 14,000 settlements during "peace" talks with Palestine - report:
Israel approved "an unprecedented" number of 13,851 new settler homes during nine-months of peace talks with Palestine, an Israeli NGO revealed. Israel also declared a record amount of territories its state land, meaning more settlements may follow.

'Last Thing US Wants in the World is Democracy. It Wants Control' By Chris Hedges

'Last Thing US Wants in the World is Democracy. It Wants Control'

By Chris Hedges

Using fake evidence is usual Washington tactic.

Why is Putin in Washington's Crosshairs? By Mike Whitney


Why is Putin in Washington's Crosshairs?

By Mike Whitney

Washington wants a weak Russia that won't challenge US presence in Central Asia or its plan to control vital energy resources.

Economics of disintegration in Ukraine


Economics of disintegration in Ukraine
'Shock therapy' was imposed on the post-Soviet world by the West, with catastrophic results.
Now, we are planning on repeating that experiment in Ukraine.
by John Weeks

John Weeks is Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and author of Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy, Anthem Press, published earlier this year.
[Chart here http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/john-weeks/economics-of-disintegration-in-ukraine]

Ship Aimed at Breaking Gaza Blockade Rocked By Explosion

Published on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by Common Dreams

Ship Aimed at Breaking Gaza Blockade Rocked By Explosion

'You can sink a boat but you can't sink a movement'

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Obama, McCain, and the NATO/EU Gang: Better war than saying: “It’s our fault”?

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 07:10 AM PDT
Once again Americans are watching their government involve itself in an issue in which the United States has nothing at stake economically and no genuine national security interest at risk. Ukraine is a place that is worth neither a single American dollar nor more than a brief scan of the headlines by U.S. citizens. And [...]http://non-intervention.com/1189/obama-mccain-and-the-natoeu-gang-better-war-than-saying-%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s-our-fault%E2%80%9D/

How Will We Know When China is Number One?


Apr 29, 2014 02:00 am | Peter Harris
It has been conventional wisdom for well over a decade that China is a rising power. The statistics on China’s current size and projections about its future growth have become such clich├ęs that they scarcely warrant repeating. Suffice to say that most observers agree that China, already the world’s most populous country and one of its military and economic powerhouses, will replace the United States as the world’s largest economy at some point mid-century. The implied corollary is that, if unstopped either by external pressure or internal fissure, China inexorably is set to replace the United States as the world’s dominant military and geopolitical force in due course. Pax Sinica impends.
By most accounts, however, the American Era is far from over. As of 2014, the United States still boasts the largest economy in the world and a vastly superior GDP per capita to China, which, its leaders are keen to remind the world, still considers itself a developing nation. It is U.S. leadership that remains truly essential for global agreements to be concluded and implemented, and it is towards Washington that the world looks when global, regional and local crises emerge. The Pentagon’s budget continues to dwarf those of its rivals. And while the People’s Liberation Army might look menacing from the perspective of Tokyo, Taipei or Manila, China’s military hardly constitutes a direct threat to the United States. China, on the other hand, finds itself encircled by a string of formal and tacit U.S. alliances from the western Himalayas to the East China Sea.
read morehttp://nationalinterest.org/commentary/how-will-we-know-when-china-number-one-10357

Does America Have Ukraine's Back?


Apr 29, 2014 02:00 am | Nikolas K. Gvosdev
In March 1992, as war loomed on the horizon, the various factions met in Lisbon to try and craft a deal that would hold Bosnia together and avert the predictable tragedy. Reluctantly, the country's Muslims, Croats and Serbs grappled with the creation of a decentralized country in which each ethnic group would have predominance in different cantons, bound together in a loose federation. At the last minute, the agreement was torpedoed. Many asserted that the president of Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic, whose own authority (and that of the Muslim community over all of Bosnia) would have been diminished by the accord, had rejected it, having supposedly received assurances from the Americans (who did not like the overt partition of Bosnia on ethnic lines) that Washington would support the Bosnian government in the event of war. Three years later, after a brutal and devastating conflict in which the Bosnian government was dealt a series of devastating blows, a U.S.-sponsored peace agreement at Dayton ratified the division of Bosnia into distinct ethnic entities.
read morehttp://nationalinterest.org/commentary/does-america-have-ukraines-back-10358

How the U.S. Created the Afghan War -- and Then Lost It The Unreported Story of How the Haqqani Network Became America's Greatest Enemy By Anand Gopal


How the U.S. Created the Afghan War -- and Then Lost It 
The Unreported Story of How the Haqqani Network Became America's Greatest Enemy
By Anand Gopal
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175837/tomgram%3A_anand_gopal%2C_how_to_lose_a_war_that_wasn%27t_there/#more

Commentary Raising Up Compliant Children in the American Police State

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/raising_up_compliant_children_in_the_american_police_state

Yes, Corruption Is Bad for Development. No, Corruption Is Not a Western Obsession

Yes, Corruption Is Bad for Development. No, Corruption Is Not a Western Obsession


Recently there has been a spate of commentary in the blogosphere that revives a set of tired old canards about corruption and development — the related claims (1) that the focus on corruption and governance in the development discourse is misplaced, because there isn’t a lot of evidence that corruption matters much for development, poverty reduction, etc.; and (2) that anticorruption is a fixation of wealthy, mostly Western countries, because it enables people in those countries congratulate themselves about their moral virtue and to look down on habits and practices in the poor, benighted South. Recent examples include Chris Blattman’s posts on his blog (here, here, and here), Michael Dowdle’s contributions to the Law & Development blog (here and here), and Jason Hickel’s post on Al Jazeera English, though there are others as well.
Sigh. Do we really need to go through this again? OK, look: Yes, there are still lots of unanswered questions about corruption’s causes and consequences, and its significance for various aspects of economic development. And yes, some anticorruption zealots have sometimes over-hyped the role of corruption relative to other factors. But the overwhelming weight of the evidence supports the claim that corruption is a big problem with significant adverse consequences for a range of development outcomes. And the evidence is also quite clear that the focus on corruption as a significant obstacle to development comes as much or more from poor people in poor countries as it does from wealthy Western/Northern elites.

http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/04/29/yes-corruption-is-bad-for-development-no-corruption-is-not-a-western-obsession-2/

Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’

 
Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’
Last year, Russian President Putin and U.S. President Obama became a geopolitical odd couple as they worked to cool off hotspots such as Syria and Iran. But U.S. hawks succeeded in killing that collaboration via the crisis in Ukraine, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.
by , April 29, 2014

BOEING: Here's Why Lockheed's F-35 Is Flawed And Needs Our Help

BOEING: Here's Why Lockheed's F-35 Is Flawed And Needs Our Help


http://www.businessinsider.com/f-35-needs-electromagnetic-cover-from-growlers-2014-4?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1

More: Features F-35 Lightning II Military Defense Why The Pentagon Is Spending So Unbelievably Much On The F-35 Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/lockheed-martin-f-35-guide-2014-4?op=1#ixzz30JFRxBsc



Why The Pentagon Is Spending So Unbelievably Much On The F-35

http://www.businessinsider.com/lockheed-martin-f-35-guide-2014-4?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1

DRONES: Commercial Drones Are Becoming A Reality, With Huge Impacts For Many Industries

DRONES: Commercial Drones Are Becoming A Reality, With Huge Impacts For Many Industries


http://www.businessinsider.com/drones-navigating-toward-commercial-applications-2-2014-1?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1

The U.S. Opts for Ineffective Sanctions on Russia

The U.S. Opts for Ineffective Sanctions on Russia

By George Friedman

The United States announced new sanctions on seven Russian government officials April 28. A long-used tactic, sanctions can yield unpredictable effects or have no effect at all, depending upon how they are crafted. It is commonly assumed that sanctions are applied when a target country's actions are deemed unacceptable. The sanctioning nation presumably chooses sanctions to avoid war when war would be too costly or could result in defeat.

Sanctions' stated purpose is to induce behavioral changes in a target state by causing economic pain. To work, sanctions must therefore cause pain. But they must not be so severe that they convince the target state that war is more desirable than capitulating to the demands of the sanctioning nation. Read more »http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/us-opts-ineffective-sanctions-russia?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20140429&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_content=readmore

Obama Administration Argues in Favor of Right to Fire Public Employees Who Testify at Corruption Trials

Obama Administration Argues in Favor of Right to Fire Public Employees Who Testify at Corruption Trials


http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/04/28/obama-administration-argues-in-favor-of-right-to-fire-public-employees-who-testify-at-corruption-trials/

US infrastructure: Broken system

US infrastructure: Broken system

The looming crisis in the transport network is explored in the first of three articles

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/20c50478-ca16-11e3-ac05-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=crm/email/2014429/nbe/Analysis/product&siteedition=intl#axzz30Gwg5BzF

Obama Urged to Show Restraint on Ukraine

consortiumnews.com/2014/04/28/obama-urged-to-show-restraint-on-ukraine/

Obama Urged to Show Restraint on Ukraine

April 28, 2014

Across Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media, there is a rush to restart the Cold War with all its black-and-white propaganda, ignoring Russia’s understandable concerns and portraying the “U.S. side” as always right. But some U.S. intelligence veterans urge a more adult response.
MEMORANDUM TO: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S. National Interest
Dear Mr. President:
We the undersigned are veteran intelligence, military, and law enforcement officers. Taken together, our years of service to our country total nearly 200 years. Unlike many experts and advisers who base their arguments on abstract notions about the international scene, our insights are drawn from a depth of hands-on experience inside the U.S .government — here and abroad.
Given this background, we share a profound understanding of the great responsibility that accompanies great power. We feel an obligation to lay our views on Ukraine before you — the more so, inasmuch as the airwaves, TV, and newspapers are giving a great deal of space to the same pundits and academics who got Iraq so wrong just over a decade ago.
A number of us, in our government roles, were involved with policy relating to the then-Soviet Union and also with its successor state, the Russian Federation. We have observed the recent slide of Moscow toward a more authoritarian form of government and have also been concerned over the playing-out of great power rivalry over Ukraine.
Our still-vivid memories of the Cold War and the harm it inflicted on the world’s security prompts us to argue that the troubles in Ukraine should not be permitted to usher in a return to a bipolar world in which two heavily armed superpowers confront each other at every level, including on a global scale.
We are particularly concerned over what appears to be a largely unfocused yet virulent mood among members of Congress and the mainstream media to “do something” about Russia — a sentiment that is both ill-advised and quite the reverse of what this nation should be doing to nurture a constructive and ultimately beneficial relationship with Moscow and the rest of Europe.
While we support U.S. efforts to aid the development of a pluralistic democracy in Ukraine, including assistance in conducting free and fair elections, we believe that military support and direct involvement by U.S. troops is a step that will virtually guarantee escalation of the conflict, possibly leading to direct confrontation between two nuclear-armed great powers — a situation that should, and can, be easily avoided if the interests of all countries, including Russia, are taken into account.
To put it in stark terms, Russian engagement with Ukraine — a country that is on Moscow’s doorstep and which is, in part, ethnically Russian — does not threaten vital U.S. interests; nor does it threaten any U.S. allies. Washington’s response should be a measured one, based on the actual risks versus possible gains. Sanctions should be employed with considerable restraint, as their effectiveness is questionable and they frequently serve only to harden adversarial positions. Significant military moves, whether unilateral or in conjunction with NATO, should be avoided as they can be seen as provocative while providing no solution to existing disagreements.
We argue for more, not less, diplomatic engagement, based on our own experience as witnesses to many missed opportunities over the past 50-plus years, in which the United States — to our regret — has found itself all too often on the wrong side of history. The Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961 entrenched communism in Cuba; indiscriminate U.S. support of anti-communist groups and political parties in Europe both weakened fledgling democracies and strengthened corruption; overtures by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev for complete nuclear disarmament were dismissed, encouraging nuclear proliferation among other states.
When the Soviet Union finally fell, specific agreements not to expand into the former Warsaw Pact states were promptly ignored, with both NATO and the European Union quickly moving eastward. The rape of the Russian economy in the 1990s, engineered by Western “entrepreneurs” working with local oligarchs followed. It was described as “shock therapy” at the time, but most Russians more accurately view the events as wholesale pillage, fueling much of the current mistrust of the West.
Russia could hardly have been expected to ignore Washington’s de facto encouragement and achievement of “regime change” in Ukraine — resulting in the unseating of the duly elected (though thoroughly corrupt) government in Kiev. Moreover, continued efforts by the West to draw Ukraine into NATO would guarantee Russian hostility for many years to come. Both of these are existential issues for Moscow; may we remind you of the U.S. parallel in the enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine in our own “backyard.”
In our view, the situation need not spin out of control. The door is still open to enforcing the measures agreed upon on April 17 in Geneva. Russia’s willingness to continue to work with us on destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and on the Iranian nuclear issue remains encouraging and could foster cooperation on other mutual interests.
Perspective
As for Crimea, with all the misleading rhetoric filling the air waves, we want to remind you that Crimea became part of Russia in the late 18th Century. Sixty years ago, Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev, who was then head of the Soviet Communist Party, simply gave Crimea to the Ukraine — one of the 15 “republics” comprising the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). There was no referendum at the time; it appeared not much more than a formality since all areas of the USSR danced to Moscow’s tune.
The transfer of Crimea to Ukraine began to matter significantly in 1991, when the Soviet Union imploded and Crimeans found themselves no longer citizens of Russia. President Vladimir Putin addressed this directly in his major speech of March 18 when he recalled that Russia had “humbly accepted” the situation in 1991. He explained that Russia “was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests.”
Today, Russia is capable of protecting its interests in the areas it calls its “near frontier.” It will not accept the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO. Attempts to force that issue will not make Europe more secure; rather, it will increase the danger of war.
There is an important step you can take, Mr. President. We recommend that you ask NATO to formally rescind the following part of the declaration agreed to by the NATO heads of state in Bucharest on April 3, 2008: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”
Meanwhile, let cooler heads prevail. Sending significant numbers of military forces into countries bordering Ukraine amounts to pouring gasoline on what are now relatively isolated and limited outbreaks of fire, mostly in eastern Ukraine. The fragile accord reached in Geneva on April 17 can still provide the basis for discussion among mature leaders and prevent the kind of provocation, machismo, and escalation that 100 years ago launched the war that was supposed to end all wars. Two short decades later came the Second World War.
In the wake of that carnage, Winston Churchill made an observation that is equally applicable to our 21st Century: “To jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than to war, war, war.”
Respectfully submitted for the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Thomas Drake, former Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, NSA
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
David MacMichael, former Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former chief of CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch & presidential briefer (ret.)
Tom Maertens, former Foreign Service Officer and National Security Council Director for Non-Proliferation
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General Corps (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, former Chief Division Counsel & FBI Special Agent (ret.)

Animal Spirits of U.S. Hegemony

Animal Spirits of U.S. Hegemony

Stephen Glain
Overview Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has spent the last fifteen years in and out of prison for challenging Kuala Lumpur’s autocratic regime. He’s the kind of dissident the world’s oldest democracy and most powerful country should promote and embrace. Instead, U.S. President Barack Obama this week snubbed the dissident and indulged the regime.
Published 28 April 2014 | http://www.beaconreader.com/stephen-glain/animal-spirits-of-u-s-hegemony?utm_source=publish&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=animal-spirits-of-u-s-hegemony&utm_content=titlelink

Punishing an aggressive Russia is a fool’s errand


Punishing an aggressive Russia is a fool’s errand

America’s strategy should mix resistance with accommodation, says Thomas Graham
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/5d018602-cc9e-11e3-ab99-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30Gwg5BzF

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia

Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)
Exclusive: Any propaganda war starts by planting stories that your target is getting rich, whether he is or isn’t, the latest move in demonizing Vladimir Putin. But the larger question is what might happen if the neocons succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia, asks Robert Parry.

Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Exclusive: Last year, Russian President Putin and U.S. President Obama became a geopolitical odd couple as they worked to cool off hotspots such as Syria and Iran. But U.S. hawks succeeded in killing that collaboration via the crisis in Ukraine, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Never Mind Cliven Bundy: Here’s the Real David vs. Goliath Story Between Ranchers and Feds


Never Mind Cliven Bundy: Here’s the Real David vs. Goliath Story Between Ranchers and Feds

Shoshone sisters have battled against the U.S. over land and cattle.
http://www.alternet.org/heres-real-david-vs-goliath-story-between-ranchers-and-feds

The Next Plague: Alzheimer’s

The Next Plague: Alzheimer’s
he Next Plague: Alzheimer’s
http://angrybearblog.com/2014/04/23459.html

Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Records on Obamacare Transactions

Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Records on Obamacare Transactions


http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-sues-hhs-records-obamacare-transactions/

J. Paul Horne on Greece Tapping the Market (and what this says about Euroland)

J. Paul Horne on Greece Tapping the Market (and what this says about Euroland)



http://www.europeaninstitute.org/EA-April-2014/perspectives-greece-taps-the-market.html#ja-content

China's Anticorruption Crusade Is Reaching a Turning Point by Meng Lu

China’s Anticorruption Crusade Is Reaching a Turning Point

by Meng Lu
Xi Jinping is 18 month into his presidency and almost as long into his anticorruption crusade in China. As Wall Street Journal noted as early as May 2013, anticorruption purges are hardly new in China, but President Xi seems to be pursuing his anticorruption drive with unprecedented vigour and commitment. Zhou Yongkang, the newest and arguably most prominent casualty of the purge, is evidence that this time is different. Shannon Tiezzi recently made the same underlying point in a piece in the Diplomat. Ms. Tiezzi takes issue with the oft-repeated claim that President Xi is only using anticorruption to weaken political rivals and promote his allies; she points out that while President Xi is indeed using the purge to his advantage, political infighting couldn’t be his sole motivation, since if it were “he would likely be winding down the campaign now.”
I don’t disagree with Ms. Tiezzi’s point. President Xi’s anticorruption drive--the centerpiece of his tenure so far--has undoubtedly gone further than others before him. More than 182,000 party members, including 17 high-ranking officials, have been punished for corruption since the beginning of his presidency. Yet despite this progress, recent signals suggest that his campaign might be significantly curtailed in the near future.

Kerry Warns Israel Could Become ‘An Apartheid State’

Kerry Warns Israel Could Become ‘An Apartheid State’


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/27/exclusive-kerry-warns-israel-could-become-an-apartheid-state.html

NBA owner Sterling reportedly sought to justify his racism by citing Israeli racism

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/04/sterling-reportedly-israeli.html
The War of Ideas in the Middle East
The War of Ideas in the Middle East

NBA owner Sterling reportedly sought to justify his racism by citing Israeli racism

on April 27, 2014
Donald Sterling Donald Sterling
You surely know about the Donald Sterling story: even as his basketball team competes in the playoffs, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is the focus of national outrage for grotesquely racist statements he is said to have made to his former girlfriend on a tape published by TMZ. The NBA is investigating, and many sports figures have called for Sterling to be thrown out of the league. Some say that the long-time owner has made racist statements “time and time again” without any consequences.

FAS Roundup: April 28, 2014 B61 nuclear bomb family, DNI bans employees from talking to journalists, China SSBNs and more.

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Federation of American Scientists

FAS Roundup: April 28, 2014

B61 nuclear bomb family, DNI bans employees from talking to journalists, China SSBNs and more.

The B61 Nuclear Bomb Family

Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris take a look at the B61 nuclear bomb family, and the half a dozen different types of B61 nuclear weapons that were derived from the original design in a new article published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The Obama administration is about to give birth to the newest member of the B61 family: the B61-12; this golden baby is estimated to cost about $10 billion. 
The new B61-12 will be capable of holding at risk the same targets as current gravity bombs in the US stockpile (apparently even those currently covered by the B61-11 nuclear earth-penetrator that the Air Force no longer needs), but it will able to do so more effectively and with less yield (thus less collateral damage and radioactive fallout) that the existing bombs.
In Europe, the effect of the B61-12 will be even more profound because its increased accuracy essentially will add high-yield targeting capability to NATO’s non-strategic arsenal. When mated with the stealthy F-35A fighter-bomber planned for Europe in the mid-2020s, the B61-12 will represent a considerable enhancement of NATO’s nuclear posture in Europe.
Blog post here.
Full article here. 

Who's Minding the Nukes?

In the wake of recent problems related to Air Force officer morale and test cheating, 60 Minutes examined the U.S. land-based nuclear missile program, one part of the nuclear tria' which includes submarines and bombers. Reporter Lesley Stahl visited an underground control room at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming and spoke to the young officers who watch over these weapons which are on high alert. The control centers were built in the 1960s and due to aging infrastructure, officers who oversee the world's deadliest weapons are working with computers so old they use floppy disks and outdated, faulty phones.
Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, worked with the production team of this piece to provide factual information on the status of the U.S. ICBM force. In 2013, FAS and the Natural Resources Defense Council examined the status of U.S. and Russian nuclear alert forces and provided recommendations to reduce the alert levels of nuclear forces; the report is available here.
Full piece (video and transcript) available here.

From the Blogs

Intelligence Directive Bans Unauthorized Contacts with News Media: The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month and obtained by Secrecy News. “IC employees… must obtain authorization for contacts with the media” on intelligence-related matters, and “must also report… unplanned or unintentional contact with the media on covered matters,” the Directive stated. Significantly, however, the new prohibition does not distinguish between classified and unclassified intelligence information.          
China SSBN Fleet Getting Ready- But For What?: China’s emerging fleet of 3-4 new Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines is getting ready to deploy on deterrent patrols, “probably before the end of 2014,” according to U.S. Pacific Command. Apart from how many Jin SSBNs China will build, the big question is whether the Chinese government will choose to operate them the way Western nuclear-armed states have operated their SSBNs for decades, or continue their long-held policy of not deploying nuclear weapons outside Chinese territory but keeping them in central storage in case of crisis. 
Iran-North Korea-Syria Cooperation and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as NATO response to the crisis in Ukraine, the number of unclassified reports to Congress concerning proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and chemical facility security. 

Short Course on CBRN Weapons, Science and Policy 

FAS and George Mason University will host a short course from July 7-9, 2014 as part of GMU’s 2014 summer program in International Security. This three day, non-credit short course is designed to introduce participants to the science, security, and policy dimensions of the threats of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons as well as ballistic and cruise missile.
This course is aimed at professionals in energy policy, nuclear policy, nuclear industry, public health, life sciences, law enforcement, emergency management and national security who have responsibilities for preventing, preparing for, or responding to acts by states, criminals, or terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. Early bird registration is $1,300 until May 15 and 2.1 Continuing Ed Units will be awarded upon completion of course. 
Click here for course information and registration. 

FAS in the News

Apr 26: The Guardian"DC Thinks It Can Silence A New Snowden, But The Anti-Leak Hypocrisy Is Backfiring" 
Apr 25: The National Interest"Clapper's Media Crackdown: Gone Too Far?"
Apr 24: Orange County Register"Mysterious Plane Hits 500 Days In Space" 
Apr 23: Washington Post"DNI Clapper Barred Unauthorized Media Contact Last Month. But No One Noticed Until Now."
Apr 23: Truthout"Conversation With James Risen: Can Journalists Protect Their National Security Sources?" 
Apr 22: Los Angeles Times"U.S. Spy Chief Bans Employees From Talking To Journalists" 
Apr 22: Associated Press"Obama Administration Tightens Grip On Intelligence" 
Apr 22: Global Security Newswire"Report: Feds Sharing Less Info On Hotspot WMDs With Congress"
Apr 21: The Huffington Post, "James Clapper Bans Intelligence Community From 'Unauthorized' Media Contacts"
Apr 21: New York Times"Intelligence Chief Issues Limits On Press Contacts"
Apr 21: The Wall Street Journal"Spy Agencies Told To Plug Media Leaks"
Apr 21: Reuters"The Top Spook's Stupid Gag Order"
Apr 21: The Guardian"Clapper Bans US Intelligence Employees From 'Unauthorised' Media Contact"
Apr 21: Politico"Clapper Signs Strict New Media Directive"
Apr 21: New York Times"Panel Orders Release Of Memo In Targeted Killing Of Awlaki"
Apr 21: McClatchy Newspapers"U.S. Intelligence Chief Bars Unauthorized Contacts With Reporters On All Intel-Related Matters" 
Apr 21: The Hill"Clapper Bars Spies From Talking To The Press"

The U.S. and the Gulf: A Failure to Communicate

The U.S. and the Gulf: A Failure to Communicate

by Thomas W. Lippman

It was like a movie in which different characters see the same events in completely different ways.
At one of those Washington think-tank panel discussions the other day, senior U.S. national security and military officials insisted that the American commitment to security and stability in the Persian Gulf is iron-clad and will not change. The U.S Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the 35,000 soldiers and sailors in the region are staying, they said, and Iran will not acquire or develop nuclear weapons. They reminded the audience that President Barack Obama, his secretaries of state and defense, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have told all this to Gulf Arab leaders over and over, most recently during the president’s visit to Saudi Arabia in March.
“We are present in a major and significant way,” one senior Pentagon official said at this gathering, organized by the Atlantic Council. “We are not leaving and we are not inattentive.”

Description: Agence Global Israeli Extremism or Zionism’s True Colors?

Description: Agence Global
Israeli Extremism or Zionism’s True Colors?
by Rami G. Khouri
23/4/2014



This week, the Israeli transportation ministry announced that it would establish designated bus routes for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, allowing Jewish Israelis to travel on buses without Palestinians. Some months ago, the Israeli government started discussing a bill in parliament that would identify Palestinian Christians with Israeli citizenship as “non-Arabs.” These are among the continuing actions by the state of Israel that cause more and more people around the world to roll their eyes in disbelief—for they see Israel slowly turning into an Apartheid-like state that plays with the demography of its citizens and those under its occupation, in order to enhance the wellbeing of the politically dominant Zionist and Jewish majority. http://www.agenceglobal.com/index.php?show=article&Tid=3161