Thursday, August 14, 2014

The #Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith By Karel van Wolferen

The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith

The European Union is not (anymore) guided by politicians with a grasp of history, a sober assessment of global reality, or simple common sense connected with the long term interests of what they are guiding. If any more evidence was needed, it has certainly been supplied by the sanctions they have agreed on last week aimed at punishing Russia.
One way to fathom their foolishness is to start with the media, since whatever understanding or concern these politicians may have personally they must be seen to be doing the right thing, which is taken care of by TV and newspapers.
In much of the European Union the general understanding of global reality since the horrible fate of the people on board the Malaysian Airliner comes from mainstream newspapers and TV which have copied the approach of Anglo-American mainstream media, and have presented ‘news’ in which insinuation and vilification substitute for proper reporting. Respected publications, like the Financial Times or the once respected NRC Handelsblad of the Netherlands for which I worked sixteen years as East Asia Correspondent, not only joined in with this corrupted journalism but helped guide it to mad conclusions. The punditry and editorials that have grown out of this have gone further than anything among earlier examples of sustained media hysteria stoked for political purposes that I can remember. The most flagrant example I have come across, an anti-Putin leader in the (July 26) Economist Magazine, had the tone of Shakespeare’s Henry V exhorting his troops before the battle of Agincourt as he invaded France.
One should keep in mind that there are no European-wide newspapers or publications to sustain a European public sphere, in the sense of a means for politically interested Europeans to ponder and debate with each other big international developments. Because those interested in world affairs usually read the international edition of the New York Times or the Financial Times, questions and answers on geopolitical matters are routinely shaped or strongly influenced by what editors in New York and London have determined as being important. Thinking that may deviate significantly as can now be found in Der Spiegel, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Handelsblatt, does not travel across German borders. Hence we do not see anything like a European opinion evolving on global affairs, even when these have a direct impact on the interests of the European Union itself.
The Dutch population was rudely shaken out of a general complacency with respect to world events that could affect it, through the death of 193 fellow nationals (along with a 105 people of other nationalities) in the downed plane, and its media were hasty in following the American-initiated finger-pointing at Moscow. Explanations that did not in some way involve culpability of the Russian president seemed to be out of bounds. This was at odds right away with statements of a sober Dutch prime minister, who was under considerable pressure to join the fingerpointing but who insisted on waiting for a thorough examination of what precisely had happened.
The TV news programs I saw in the days immediately afterwards had invited, among other anti–Russian expositors, American neocon-linked talking heads to do the disclosing to a puzzled and truly shaken up audience. A Dutch foreign policy specialist explained that the foreign minister or his deputy could not go to the site of the crash (as Malaysian officials did) to recover the remains of Dutch citizens, because that would amount to an implicit recognition of diplomatic status for the “separatists”. When the European Union en bloc recognizes a regime that has come into existence through an American initiated coup d’état, you are diplomatically stuck with it.
The inhabitants and anti-Kiev fighters at the crash site were portrayed, with images from youtube, as uncooperative criminals, which for many viewers amounted to a confirmation of their guilt. This changed when later reports from actual journalists showed shocked and deeply concerned villagers, but the discrepancy was not explained, and earlier assumptions of villainy did not make way for any objective analysis of why these people might be fighting at all. Tendentious twitter and youtube ‘news’ had become the basis for official Dutch indignation with the East Ukrainians, and a general opinion arose that something had to be set straight, which was, again in general opinion, accomplished by a grand nationally televised reception of the human remains (released through Malaysian mediation) in a dignified sober martial ceremony.
Nothing that I have seen or read even intimated that the Ukraine crisis – which led to coup and civil war – was created by neoconservatives and a few R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”) fanatics in the State Department and the White House, apparently given a free hand by President Obama. The Dutch media also appeared unaware that the catastrophe was immediately turned into a political football for White House and State Department purposes. The likelihood that Putin was right when he said that the catastrophe would not have happened if his insistence on a cease-fire had been accepted, was not entertained.
As it was, Kiev broke the cease-fire – on the 10th of June – in its civil war against Russian speaking East Ukrainians who do not wish to be governed by a collection of thugs, progeny of Ukrainian nazis, and oligarchs enamored of the IMF and the European Union. The supposed ‘rebels’ have been responding to the beginnings of ethnic cleansing operations (systematic terror bombing and atrocities – 30 or more Ukrainians burned alive) committed by Kiev forces, of which little or nothing has penetrated into European news reports.
It is unlikely that the American NGOs, which by official admission spent 5 billion dollars in political destabilization efforts prior to the February putsch in Kiev, have suddenly disappeared from the Ukraine, or that America’s military advisors and specialized troops have sat idly by as Kiev’s military and militias mapped their civil war strategy; after all, the new thugs are as a regime on financial life-support provided by Washington, the European Union and IMF. What we know is that Washington is encouraging the ongoing killing in the civil war it helped trigger.
But Washington has constantly had the winning hand in a propaganda war against, entirely contrary to what mainstream media would have us believe, an essentially unwilling opponent. Waves of propaganda come from Washington and are made to fit assumptions of a Putin, driven and assisted by a nationalism heightened by the loss of the Soviet empire, who is trying to expand the Russian Federation up to the borders of that defunct empire. The more adventurous punditry, infected by neocon fever, has Russia threatening to envelop the West. Hence Europeans are made to believe that Putin refuses diplomacy, while he has been urging this all along. Hence prevailing propaganda has had the effect that not Washington’s but Putin’s actions are seen as dangerous and extreme. Anyone with a personal story that places Putin or Russia in a bad light must move right now; Dutch editors seem insatiable at the moment.
There is no doubt that the frequently referred to Moscow propaganda exists. But there are ways for serious journalists to weigh competing propaganda and discern how much veracity or lies and bullshit they contain. Within my field of vision this has only taken place a bit in Germany. For the rest we must piece political reality together relying on the now more than ever indispensable American websites hospitable to whistleblowers and old-fashioned investigative journalism, which especially since the onset of the ‘war on terrorism’ and the Iraq invasion have formed a steady form of samizdat publishing.
In the Netherlands almost anything that comes from the State Department is taken at face value. America’s history, since the demise of the Soviet Union, of truly breathtaking lies: on Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Libya and North Korea; its record of overthrown governments; its black-op and false flag operations; and its stealthily garrisoning of the planet with some thousand military bases, is conveniently left out of consideration. The near hysteria throughout a week following the downed airliner prevented people with some knowledge of relevant history from opening their mouths. Job security in the current world of journalism is quite shaky, and going against the tide would be almost akin to siding with the devil, as it would damage one’s journalistic ‘credibility’.
What strikes an older generation of serious journalists as questionable about the mainstream media’s credibility is editorial indifference to potential clues that would undermine or destroy the official story line; a story line that has already permeated popular culture as is evident in throwaway remarks embellishing book and film reviews along with much else. In the Netherlands the official story is already carved in stone, which is to be expected when it is repeated ten-thousand times. It cannot be discounted, of course, but it is based on not a shred of evidence.
The presence of two Ukrainian fighter planes near the Malaysian airliner on Russian radar would be a potential clue I would be very interested in if I were investigating either as journalist or member of the investigation team that the Netherlands officially leads. This appeared to be corroborated by a BBC Report with eyewitness accounts from the ground by villagers who clearly saw another plane, a fighter, close to the airliner, near the time of its crash, and heard explosions coming from the sky. This report has recently drawn attention because it was removed from the BBC’s archive. I would want to talk with Michael Bociurkiw, one of the first inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site who spent more than a week examining the wreckage and has described on CBC World News two or three “really pock-marked” pieces of fuselage. “It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else.”
I would certainly also want to have a look at the allegedly confiscated radar and voice records of the Kiev Air Control Tower to understand why the Malaysian pilot veered off course and rapidly descended shortly before his plane crashed, and find out whether foreign air controllers in Kiev were indeed sent packing immediately after the crash. Like the “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity”, I would certainly urge the American authorities with access to satellite images to show the evidence they claim to have of BUK missile batteries in ‘rebel’ hands as well as of Russian involvement, and ask them why they have not done so already. Until now Washington has acted like a driver who refuses a breathalyzer test. Since intelligence officials have leaked to some American newspapers their lesser certainty about the American certainties as brought to the world by the Secretary of State, my curiosity would be unrelenting.
To place European media loyalty to Washington in the Ukraine case as well as the slavish conduct of European politicians in perspective, we must know about and understand Atlanticism. It is a European faith. It has not given rise to an official doctrine, of course, but it functions like one. It is well summed up by the Dutch slogan at the time of the Iraq invasion: “zonder Amerika gaat het niet” (without the United States [things] [it] won’t work). Needless to say, the Cold War gave birth to Atlanticism. Ironically, it gained strength as the threat from the Soviet Union became less persuasive for increasing numbers among European political elites. That probably was a matter of generational change: the farther away from World War II, the less European governments remembered what it means to have an independent foreign policy on global-sized issues. Current heads of government of the European Union are unfamiliar with practical strategic deliberations. Routine thought on international relations and global politics is deeply entrenched in Cold War epistemology.
This inevitably also informs ‘responsible’ editorial policies. Atlanticism is now a terrible affliction for Europe: it fosters historical amnesia, willful blindness and dangerously misconceived political anger. But it thrives on a mixture of lingering unquestioned Cold War era certainties about protection, Cold War loyalties embedded in popular culture, sheer European ignorance, and an understandable reluctance to concede that one has even for a little bit been brainwashed. Washington can do outrageous things while leaving Atlanticism intact because of everyone’s forgetfulness, which the media do little or nothing to cure. I know Dutch people who have become disgusted with the villification of Putin, but the idea that in the context of Ukraine the fingerpointing should be toward Washington is well-nigh unacceptable. Hence, Dutch publications, along with many others in Europe, cannot bring themselves to place the Ukraine crisis in proper perspective by acknowledging that Washington started it all, and that Washington rather than Putin has the key to its solution. It would impel a renunciation of Atlanticism.
Atlanticism derives much of its strength through NATO, its institutional embodiment. The reason for NATO’s existence, which disappeard with the demise of the Soviet Union, has been largely forgotten. Formed in 1949, it was based on the idea that transatlantic cooperation for security and defense had become necessary after World War II in the face of a communism, orchestrated by Moscow, intent on taking over the entire planet. Much less talked about was European internal distrust, as the Europeans set off on their first moves towards economic integration. NATO constituted a kind of American guarantee that no power in Europe would ever try to dominate the others.
NATO has for some time now been a liability for the European Union, as it prevents development of concerted European foreign and defense policies, and has forced the member states to become instruments serving American militarism. It is also a moral liability because the governments participating in the ‘coalition of the willing’ have had to sell the lie to their citizens that European soldiers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a necessary sacrifice to keep Europe safe from terrorists. Governments that have supplied troops to areas occupied by the United States have generally done this with considerable reluctance, earning the reproach from a succession of American officials that Europeans do too little for the collective purpose of defending democracy and freedom.
As is the mark of an ideology, Atlanticism is ahistorical. As horse medicine against the torment of fundamental political ambiguity it supplies its own history: one that may be rewritten by American mainstream media as they assist in spreading the word from Washington.
There could hardly be a better demonstration of this than the Dutch experience at the moment. In conversations these past three weeks I have encountered genuine surprise when reminding friends that the Cold War ended through diplomacy with a deal made on Malta between Gorbachev and the elder Bush in December 1989, in which James Baker got Gorbachev to accept the reunification of Germany and withdrawal of Warsaw Pact troops with a promise that NATO would not be extended even one inch to the East. Gorbachev pledged not to use force in Eastern Europe where the Russians had some 350,000 troops in East Germany alone, in return for Bush’s promise that Washington would not take advantage of a Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe. Bill Clinton reneged on those American promises when, for purely electoral reasons, he boasted about an enlargement of NATO and in 1999 made the Czech Republic and Hungary full members. Ten years later another nine countries became members, at which point the number of NATO countries was double the number during the Cold War. The famous American specialist on Russia, Ambassador George Kennan, originator of Cold War containment policy, called Clinton’s move “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era.”
Historical ignorance abetted by Atlanticism is poignantly on display in the contention that the ultimate proof in the case against Vladimir Putin is his invasion of Crimea. Again, political reality here was created by America’s mainstream media. There was no invasion, as the Russian sailors and soldiers were already there since it is home to the ‘warm water’ Black Sea base for the Russian navy. Crimea has been a part of Russia for as long as the United States has existed. In 1954 Khrushchev, who himself came from the Ukraine, gave it to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, which came down to moving a region to a different province, since Russia and Ukraine still belonged to the same country. The Russian speaking Crimean population was happy enough, as it voted in a referendum first for independence from the Kiev regime that resulted from the coup d’état, and subsequently for reunification with Russia.
Those who maintain that Putin had no right to do such a thing are unaware of another strand of history in which the United States has been moving (Star Wars) missile defense systems ever closer to Russian borders, supposedly to intercept hostile missiles from Iran, which do not exist. Sanctimonious talk about territorial integrity and sovereignty makes no sense under these circumstances, and coming from a Washington that has done away with the concept of sovereignty in its own foreign policy it is downright ludicrous.
A detestable Atlanticist move was the exclusion of Putin from the meetings and other events connected with the commemoration of the Normandy landings, for the first time in 17 years. The G8 became the G7 as a result. Amnesia and ignorance have made the Dutch blind to a history that directly concerned them, since the Soviet Union took the heart out of the Nazi war machine (that occupied the Netherlands) at a cost of incomparable and unimaginable numbers of military dead; without that there would not have been a Normandy invasion.
Not so long ago, the complete military disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan appeared to be moving NATO to a point where its inevitable demise could not to be too far off. But the Ukraine crisis and Putin’s decisiveness in preventing the Crimea with its Russian Navy base from possibly falling into the hands of the American-owned alliance, has been a godsend to this earlier faltering institution.
NATO leadership has already been moving troops to strengthen their presence in the Baltic states, sending missiles and attack aircraft to Poland and Lithuania, and since the downing of the Malaysian airliner it has been preparing further military moves that may turn into dangerous provocations of Russia. It has become clear that the Polish foreign minister together with the Baltic countries, none of which partook in NATO when its reason for being could still be defended, have become a strong driving force behind it. A mood of mobilization has spread in the past week. The ventriloquist dummies Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer can be relied upon to take to TV screens inveighing against NATO member-state backsliding. Rasmussen, the current Secretary General, declared on August 7 in Kiev that NATO’s “support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is unwavering” and that he is looking to strengthen partnership with the country at the Alliance’s summit in Wales in September. That partnership is already strong, so he said, “and in response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions.”
In the meantime, in the American Congress 23 Senate Republicans have sponsored legislation, the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act”, which is meant to allow Washington to make the Ukraine a non-NATO ally and could set the stage for a direct military conflict with Russia. We will probably have to wait until after America’s midterm elections to see what will become of it, but it already helps provide a political excuse for those in Washington who want to take next steps in the Ukraine.
In September last year Putin helped Obama by making it possible for him to stop a bombing campaign against Syria pushed by the neocons, and had also helped in defusing the nuclear dispute with Iran, another neocon project. This led to a neocon commitment to break the Putin-Obama link. It is hardly a secret that the neoconservatives desire the overthrow of Putin and eventual dismemberment of the Russian Federation. Less known in Europe is the existence of numerous NGOs at work in Russia, which will help them with this. Vladimir Putin could strike now or soon, to preempt NATO and the American Congress, by taking Eastern Ukraine, something he probably should have done right after the Crimean referendum. That would, of course, be proof of his evil intentions in European editorial eyes.
In the light of all this, one of the most fateful questions to ask in current global affairs is: what has to happen for Europeans to wake up to the fact that Washington is playing with fire and has ceased being the protector they counted on, and is instead now endangering their security? Will the moment come when it becomes clear that the Ukraine crisis is, most of all, about placing Star Wars missile batteries along an extensive stretch of Russian border, which gives Washington – in the insane lingo of nuclear strategists – ‘first strike’ capacity?
It is beginning to sink in among older Europeans that the United States has enemies who are not Europe’s enemies because it needs them for domestic political reasons; to keep an economically hugely important war industry going and to test by shorthand the political bona fides of contenders for public office. But while using rogue states and terrorists as targets for ‘just wars’ has never been convincing, Putin’s Russia as demonized by a militaristic NATO could help prolong the transatlantic status quo. The truth behind the fate of the Malaysian airliner, I thought from the moment that I heard about it, would be politically determined. Its black boxes are in London. In NATO hands?
Other hindrances to an awakening remain huge; financialization and neoliberal policies have produced an intimate transatlantic entwining of plutocratic interests. Together with the Atlanticist faith these have helped stymie the political development of the European Union, and with that Europe’s ability to proceed with independent political decisions. Since Tony Blair, Great Britain has been in Washington’s pocket, and since Nicolas Sarkozy one can say more or less the same of France.
That leaves Germany. Angela Merkel was clearly unhappy with the sanctions, but in the end went along because she wants to remain on the good side of the American president, and the United States as the conqueror in World War II does still have leverage through a variety of agreements. Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, quoted in newspapers and appearing on TV, repudiated the sanctions and points at Iraq and Libya as examples of the results brought by escalation and ultimatums, yet he too swings round and in the end goes along with them.
Der Spiegel is one of the German publications that offer hope. One of its columnists, Jakob Augstein, attacks the “sleepwalkers” who have agreed to sanctions, and censures his colleagues’ finger-pointing at Moscow. Gabor Steingart, who publishes Handelsblatt, inveighs against the “American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies” and concludes that also German journalism “has switched from level-headed to agitated in a matter of weeks. The spectrum of opinions has been narrowed to the field of vision of a sniper scope.” There must be more journalists in other parts of Europe who say things like this, but their voices do not carry through the din of vilification.
History is being made, once again. What may well determine Europe’s fate is that also outside the defenders of the Atlanticist faith, decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state.

Karel van Wolferen is a Dutch journalist and retired professor at the University of Amsterdam. Since 1969, he has published over twenty books on public policy issues, which have been translated into eleven languages and sold over a million copies worldwide. As a foreign correspondent for NRC Handelsblad , one of Holland’s leading newspapers, he received the highest Dutch award for journalism, and over the years his articles have appeared in The New York Times , The Washington Post , The New Republic , The National Interest , Le Monde , and numerous other newspapers and magazines.
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30 Comments to "The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith"

  1. Don Nash says:Website
    Excellent article Mr. Van Wolferen and well said. One could suppose that Europeans are as obsequious as would be American sheeple. It is ever so easy to just accept the “official” dogma and never have to spend time or energy having to think for yourself.
  2. Hepp says:
    Is Ukraine in the midst of a civil war because a large portion of those in the East want to break off? Or is this simply a Russian invasion that is made to look like a civil war? Put it this way, if there was really support for the separatists, where are the Ukrainian politicians who have gone over to their side? Why is the rebel “leadership” made up of FSB agents and guys who were manufacturing soap before they joined the war?
  3. Hepp says:
    have encountered genuine surprise when reminding friends that the Cold War ended through diplomacy with a deal made on Malta between Gorbachev and the elder Bush in December 1989, in which James Baker got Gorbachev to accept the reunification of Germany and withdrawal of Warsaw Pact troops with a promise that NATO would not be extended even one inch to the East.
    In one of Sailer’s threads a few days ago, we went back and forth on this issue and no one was able to produce a shred of evidence that such an agreement existed. None is presented here either.
  4. I guess some people thought that the internet would result in more people knowing more truth. The bad guys won’t get away with anything anymore. Unfortunately, at the same time that the internet took off so did the total corporatization of the main stream media. And so here we are a handful of people reading the truth here at unz dot com while the whole world is led into madness by the non journalists in the main stream media.
  5. @Hepp
    On the face of it what you wrote is stupid ..but more fundamentally dishonest. You want to go to war with Russia whatever the consequences.
    That Russia has a Red Line is obvious….and for good reason given the very obvious malignant intent of the Obama Regime.
    The Russians and the ethnic Russians in the Eastern Ukraine have right to not be exterminated by the Kenyan Dear
    Leader POTUS.
  6. I don’t know what happened. I agree with the argument that the US should show us the evidence it has. It is telling that it hasn’t shown it.
    I think Carroll Quigley was onto something when he described there being a core civilization and peripheries that are crude imitations of the core civilization. Western Civilization expands and then enters periods of conflict like World War II. It reorganizes itself and continues according to Quigley except something happened in World War II. The US became the power center of the civilization and thus became the Universal Empire. If Europe does not get its act together there will be decay and then invasion according to his argument. The supposed cure is for Europe to grow a pair and bring back the power center back to Europe, and reorganize Western Civilization so it can expand again. Europe should take responsibility for its own security. The EU isn’t a weakling. It has the largest economy in the world. The question is do Europeans have a workable plan to reorganize Western Civilization? The West is still wealthy but things aren’t looking too good.
    Source: pages 10-11 of Tragedy and Hope:
    If the US doesn’t bait Russia into harming Europe then it will be the Islamic world. Europeans are working against their economic interest when they go after Russia. Also, Europeans should avoid conflict with the Islamic world because they have invited it into their homes.
  7. And what will be Susan Rice’s and Samantha Power’s defense when they are prosecuted for Mass Murder and Crimes Against Humanity.?….. “Oh ….we didn’t know there was a Red Line at the Ukraine border…..The Crimea Border….and….the Russian border….The Russians never told us that there was a Red Line….”
  8. Harold says:
    I find it hard to care. Unless Europe ends mass immigration it will all be moot anyway. How can anything else matter compared to the single biggest mistake in Europe’s history?
    Bad policy can ruin a country for decades at most, bad culture for centuries, bad genes for millennia.
  9. Art M says:
    …”decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state.”
    Yeah, lady, whatever. I used to work for a Dutch company, and I don’t recall ever meeting or seeing another Dutch person so frazzeled and discombobulated as dear Karel. You sound like you just woke up to find your house full of frat boys in the midst of an international kegger. Gee wilikers, Karel, at least you must be well rested after that 30 year nap you’ve been enjoying. We’ll ignore for a moment the fact that your parents and grandparents have been living off the American tit (editor: if you wish to use “teat” instead, fine) since June 6, 1944, after all, Karel, you have been living in the glow of that day since the moment you were born. Or would you prefer to be speaking Russian? In truth, it was never your choice, sweetcheeks, again, it was your parents and grandparents decision, but you (and the rest of us) are stuck with it. So grow up and stop whining. Europe has been ever so content to let the US spend big piles of cash to keep the EU’s ungracious derriere out of the nearest segment of the Gulag; which, in an apparent demonstration of industrial strength hubris, your squeal “NATO has for some time now been a liability for the European Union” is just plain stupid. F U Karel. Go get you own army and start spending 50%+ of your GDP for defense and let’s see how many microseconds your vaunted ‘EU’ continues to exist.
    America treats the EU like a pet chihuahua because that’s the way the EU acts, and has acted since 1944.
    Karel, if you want to live in Russia, go live in Russia. Or Pago Pago, or the Antarctic, or wherever you tiny heart desires. But, wherever you freely choose to live, you can thank an American for that option. If you want it all to get better, then get with your friends and find and empower true leaders of men, not that gaggle of pederasters, creeps, thieves, and just general psychotic gutter-trash scum that you keep coming up with for national leaderships. Yeah, yeah, we got the same problem over here, and we are starting to work on it. Maybe. But my point is, you and the rest of Europe are still looking to the US for the answer to your problems. Realizing that you have never ever known any different action taken by any member of the EU in your entire lifetime is a reason for your current situation, it is not an answer. You have to break the habit sometime, Karel, it might as well be now.
  10. Kgaard says:
    Great piece. One issue is simply that absolutely NOBODY who isn’t Russian wants to live under Russian rule — including the vast majority of Ukrainians (and everybody west of the Dnieper). So … there is a perennial challenge in trying to keep foreign policy neutral in that part of the world. It’s an easy sell for the US foreign policy establishment to expand in central Europe …
  11. Bill says:
    Well, there’s South Ossetia.
  12. @Art M
    America has been sweeping up after the Continental imperial-fascist circus parades since 1918. If Europe had kept its house in order then America wouldn’t need to come in and take away everybody’s toys. Europe got to splurge on social democracy; we had to spend on aircraft carriers, nuclear missiles and mechanized armies. Now we’re off in Iraq, helping yet another group of people who can’t govern themselves.
    Europe will eventually be under the rule of liberal female Quislings and African and Arab Muslims; then the old folks will be muttering to each other that their grandparents should have just surrendered to Germany.
    The counter to your rant (and it’s a good, healthy rant) is that liberal democracy/multiculturalism is actually an Anglo-American imposition.
  13. There seems to be a strange incuriousness in the media about how these SAM systems actually operate. From what I have read, you can just program these things to go off at radar blips and go drink vodka and smoke cigarettes with your friends. That’s why civilian airliners fly around, not over, war zones. Maybe I’m wrong and the Rooskies really did order the secessionists to target those lousy Malaysian airliners and their insufferable Dutch passengers.
  14. rod1963 says:
    Whether or not such a agreement it exists, it’s not wise to push a nuclear armed nation and one that holds the economic fate of the EU in it’s hands, into a corner. Then to make matters worse, toppling a regime right next to Putin’s with a bunch of shadowy NGO’s that are front groups for the USG. That wasn’t going to be well received by Putin and he rebuked us by taking back the Crimea, not that it was Ukraine’s to begin with despite what a bunch of sleazy Americans from the Hamptons say.
  15. Hepp says:
    I agree with everything you say. I detest Western policy towards Eastern Europe, which was bound to cause a backlash.
  16. @rod1963
    It comes down to whether or not one thinks that the Russian People have a right to defend themselves againt the mass murderers Susan Rice and Samantha Powers. I’d say it is mighty obvious that the Russian People do.
    Samantha Powers is very close personally to the Havard Economists whose economic warfare against the Russian People during the 1990s caused a massive demographic collapse of the Russian Population during the Clinton Era. How many Russians are missing from the Russian Population in 2014?..The ones that died directly from the billionaire Oligarchs gang rape of Russia and the Russian infants who were never born as a consequence of Clinton Democratic Party Economic Warfare. Is Genocide too strong a word?
  17. Washington Has Placed The World On The Road To War -- Paul Craig Roberts - says:Website
    […] our attention the important voice of a distinguished Dutch journalist, Karel Van Wolferen. Wolferen and Unz himself are […]
  18. D. K. says:
    @Art M
    Karel van Wolferen (born 1941, Rotterdam) is a Dutch journalist, writer and professor, who is particularly recognised for his knowledge of Japanese politics, economics, history and culture.[1][2]
  19. Washington Has Placed The World On The Road To War « Financial Survival Network says:Website
    […] our attention the important voice of a distinguished Dutch journalist, Karel Van Wolferen. Wolferen and Unz himself are […]
  20. Brendan says:
    @Art M
    “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain”
    You would do better, Art, to close your mouth and think instead, and also learn from those who are far more intelligent than you, and who have actually taken the trouble to read and study and think. You are the all too typical American “jerk”–a vulgar loutish insolent philistine without manners or culture or an awareness of your own ignorance, and of course thoroughly brainwashed and therefore an automaton “knee jerk” “love it or leave it” sort of “patriot”. As an American, I am ashamed of you and the hordes of other fools like you.
  21. Fabian says:
    @Johnny F. Ive
    The EU is a weakling because it has little energy (I mean oil). They should team up with Russia that could be its Texas then they could talk. But that’s exactly what the US wants to avoid. They have it easy because those who lived under Russian rule (Poles, Baltics, Ethnic Ukrainians, etc) are very happy to see the Americans coming. It was not fun to live behind the iron curtain. So Europe is a pawn of the US but recent history favors the US vs. Russia and without Russia, Europe can only remain a power of second order.
  22. Washington Has Placed The World On The Road To War says:Website
    […] attention the important voice of a distinguished Dutch journalist, Karel Van Wolferen. Wolferen Unz himself are […]
  23. ” I don’t recall ever meeting or seeing another Dutch person so frazzeled and discombobulated as dear Karel. You sound like you just woke up to find your house full of frat boys in the midst of an international kegger.”
    Arguing by ridicule just means you really have no knowledge or information to add. And instead of advancing your animus towards having others concur, it makes your position appear even weaker than it may be.
    I found Karel’s arguments logical and reality-based.
    One can only hope for the eventual ascendency of more reasonable and informed leadership in the West, including here in the U.S.
    It is quite prescient to point out how an economically important war economy, where so much less else is now made, drives much of the worldwide policy for conflict. And how it continues, because those interests make those who run for political office conform to those policies.
  24. America is bankrupt,printing money for its military industrial complex,it’s divide and rule wars,it’s budget deficit,it’s stock market interventions,it’s foreign fifth columnists NGO’s….it’s thousand plus military worldwide bases.,it’s endless bank bailouts,it’s Wall Street cronies,the ruling elites.
    The psychopaths have taken over the Sanatorium(Washington,the judiciary,the media,The Fed,Law enforcement,CIA,The Pentagon,Nato,Global corporations..Their mission to subjagate the world,or destroy the world.
    American hegemony is Sauron…..The all seeing eye…..Absolute Corruption with a malevolence that knows no bounds…..
    Let’s supply the jihadist’s in Syria as our proxy army……our psychopathic brothers in arms.
    Let’s oppose the same jihadist’s in Iraq,after totally destroying the infrastructure and stoking up the sectarian violence……..
    Might be a great idea to arm the Kurds,to protect them there oilfields……humanitarian ?
    Arm both sides seems like a WIN-WIN.
    The downing of Flight MH17 over Ukraine has the hallmarks of an American false flag attack.
    Why?Worse case scenario:A bungled fascist American inspired Ukrainian attempt to assassinate Putin…..similarly marked plane….or it could also serve as a way to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
    The Russians could never admit the former as war would then be inevitable.
    The Ragtag Ukrainian army with Blackwater advisors is butchering the population in the Russian speaking Southeast,on a wave of fascist inspired nationalism,sounds familiar.
    How about a UN National Security Council inspired no fly zone…….as in Libya,to protect the civilian population from genocide ……..and an immediate ceasefire.
    The Americans tell the fascists.The Russians mediate with the russian speaking seperatists.
    A diplomatic solution is started.
    “Sorry we aren’t interested in a peaceful conclusion”
    I wonder whose stance that conveys……..answers on a postcard……It’s called Obamacare.
  25. Washington Has Placed The World On The Road To War – Eyes Open Report says:Website
    […] attention the important voice of a distinguished Dutch journalist, Karel Van Wolferen. Wolferen and Unz […]
  26. Washington Has Placed The World On The Road To War — Paul Craig Roberts | gold is money says:Website
    […] attention the important voice of a distinguished Dutch journalist, Karel Van Wolferen. Wolferen Unz himself are […]
  27. Ipse Dixit says:Website
    The USA wants to keep Europe under its thumb as it has since 1945. Since that date the US economy has been following a military-Keynesian model of demand side economics first pioneered by none other than Hitler’s Germany: use government planning and tax payers money (in this case, to be spent on military expenditures) to stimulate the economy. When Russia used state planning to get out of the great depression caused by capitalist finance they called it communism and attacked and destroyed it; and when Germany used military-Keynesianism to do the same they called it fascism and attacked and destroyed it. But when the United States does it they call it capitalism and hail it as humanity’s salvation.
    The US, in short, has been using military expansionism (and capitalism is built around the idea of limitless expansion) to keep its economy afloat. Unfortunately, it’s found that it can’t expand forever without expanding right into China, India and Russia’s territory. And this resistance to further US growth, and the inability of the elites to comprehend this fact, might very well be the undoing of us all.
  28. Art M says:
    @D. K.
    I know what I wrote.
  29. Art M says:
    And you are boring. I’ll take it as a personal victory, however, that I motivated at least 1 American to get off of his/her slouchy couch and say something. Anything. Oh God Brenden, how can you be so smart and yet let all this happen? I obviously let this happen because I’m stupid, what’s your excuse?
  30. fnn says:
    …”decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state.”
    The strange case of Woodrow Wilson should have taught you to avoid US hegemony. The Europeans brought this on themselves by bringing in the Americans to help fight their battles.
    I like this Moldbug quote:
    What Europeans call “anti-Americanism” is actually a belief, generally quite sincere, that America is not living up to her own ideals of 1945. “Anti-Americanism” might be better described as “ultra-Americanism,” or perhaps “Georgetownism.” And it certainly has nothing to do with the any pre-1940 negative perceptions of America. There is minimal cultural continuity between Europe before the war and Europe today. All the institutions were purged, all the individuals have finally kicked it. The Dutch who let you smoke weed in their cafes and the Dutch who ruled Indonesia might as well be on different planets. The former are thoroughly ashamed that they are even descended from the latter. And the latter are dead, which is probably a blessing.

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