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Boardman writes: "If American media seem filled these days with bellicose, jingoistic, uniform perspectives on a new Cold War, that's probably because so many news outlets can't seem to help themselves."

Is the media creating conflict between Putin and Obama? (photo: Reuters)
Is the media creating conflict between Putin and Obama? (photo: Reuters)


Media Whoop Up Stampede to Cold War, Hot War, Whatever

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

26 March 14

 

Crimea may be bigger than an archduke, but not more important

f American media seem filled these days with bellicose, jingoistic, uniform perspectives on a new Cold War, that’s probably because so many news outlets can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to framing new events in the tired terms of the last generation’s ingrained propaganda. At a time that needs fresh contemplation, even people like Amy Goodman on Democracy NOW! are talking about recent events in and around Ukraine as having “sparked the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War,” or words to more extreme effect.

This construct (a no longer relevant “East-West” divide) reflects an unreflective, outdated group think. This approach is clearly wrong about the “worst crisis,” unless one ignores various wars and terrorist attacks and drone strikes of recent years. A difference between Iraq and Crimea is one of scale, certainly, but also of response, as the rest of the world accepted the American view of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (just as they passively accept the American view of Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, and Honduras, as well as all those other places where might makes right irrelevant).

Any of those other countries might well argue that the “worst crisis” since the end of the Cold War was actually any of the wars visited on them and still not over. This comparison is not made in the sealed mind room of the New Cold Warriors, where the nonviolent, legally ambiguous, and possibly welcome occupation of Crimea is seen as so much worse than tens of thousands of dead Iraqis (or pick your own odious comparison). It is an expression of mental sterility that will do most of us no good.

The endlessly parroted mantra of a new Cold War is worse than merely mindless. Such irresponsible repetitive chatter also functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy by heightening a few fairly insignificant events (and omitting others) until the tunnel vision focus on only a part of the whole becomes widely perceived as the totality of a real crisis and reality is discredited. Can anyone say Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 1914?

Intellectual dishonesty, as illustrated by NBC News

NBC News, in its “First Read” feature on March 24, 2014, provided what could someday be a textbook example of how media bias works to make war more thinkable, by emphasizing conflict and ignoring cooperation as appropriate responses to difficult questions (which media also tend to oversimplify). Covering the White House European trip, NBC reporters picked up on an interview President Obama did with a newspaper in the Netherlands, de Volkskrant, which submitted eight questions in advance for the president to answer in writing. The president answered five (relating to Ukraine, the European Union, nuclear weapons, Iran, and the Mideast).

Without describing (or linking to) those five questions or their answers, the NBC reporters instead commented: “However, the paper also noted the three questions he did NOT answer. And all of them were MUCH trickier to answer…. The THREE unanswered questions were the best three questions, and they're the ones we're looking forward to others asking the president later this week.”

This approach by NBC deprives the reader of the opportunity to compare, contrast, and make an independent judgment on all eight questions and answers. Instead, NBC guides its audience to the assumption that the real news is actually NBC’s editorial point of view (although that’s not said directly). This technique of asking editorially charged questions is common in American “journalism” and helps “news” organizations shape a story to whatever predetermined perspective might be desired (it’s rarely clear who desires it).

Here, NBC provides an excellent exercise for analyzing fundamentally dishonest questions (questions that, in and of themselves, raise the question of the questioner’s agenda). NBC’s choice of the “three best questions” comes out of an apparent mindset that represents current conventional wisdom (which, by definition, demands inquiry by those who distrust any herd instinct). Here are the three questions the president left unanswered, and some of the reasons they may not deserve an answer:

“1. How do you fight the perspective that America withdraws from the world and is no longer feared by his [sic] opponents?”

What does the questioner mean by “the perspective?” Whose perspective? The questioner’s perspective? The perspective for a New American Century? Some hypothetical perspective? Is it anyone’s perspective at all? Why should such a question even be considered seriously without some clarity on the presumed “perspective?” Without context, it is not a serious question.

The first hidden assumption here is that America needs to “fight,” that America should fight, that America should start by fighting a “perspective,” but get into a real fight soon enough. The point of the question is to get into a fight, not to consider whether there’s anything worth fighting about.

Another hidden assumption here is that America has, in fact, withdrawn from the world. That hidden assumption is blatantly false, as those who engineered the February coup in Kiev are well aware. Close American involvement in the unconstitutional overthrow of an elected, Russian-leaning government and its replacement with a Western-leaning junta is a reality that rather blurs the picture of exceptional American purity and persistent Russian perfidy.

So one partial answer to the question would correctly be: I don’t “fight the perspective that America withdraws from the world,” because that perspective is disconnected from reality. A more expansive answer might mention that the “perspective” is a right-wing talking point that would lead logically to the experience of Iraq-in-Ukraine, only much messier.

Rhetorically, one might add: “Withdraws from the world?” Really? You mean the “pivot to Asia,” maybe? Or are you referring to the thousand or so U.S. military bases in countries that may have missed our “withdrawal” (Okinawa has perhaps a majority population that would rejoice at any “withdrawal”)? Or maybe you’re relying on the “need” to contain all those five Russian overseas military bases (in Armenia, Syria, Tajikistan, Kyrggystan, and Transnistria)?

The assumption that there is such a perspective of American withdrawal hides yet another assumption, that any American “withdrawal” from the world would, in and of itself, be a Bad Thing. And that hidden assumption hides yet another: that American imperialism is unquestionably a Good Thing.

Sometimes the invisible hides the imaginary, sometimes the opposite

And then there’s the second half of the question, the assumption that America “is no longer feared by his [sic] opponents.” Again, no evidence is offered or implied for this assumption, which is another New American Century sort of right-wing talking point. A more realistic assumption would be that America is feared by everyone to a greater or lesser degree, whether for some act of active destruction (see list above) or some passive act of destruction (such as inaction on climate change that leaves island nations to the mercy of rising sea levels).

Another hidden assumption here is that “fear” is a desirable basis for an international relationship, especially with one’s “opponents.” Since fear is a basic tool of the bully, the further assumption here is that it’s good for America to bully any part of the world that opposes it. Fear is also the tool of the colonizer, the slave master, the imperialist, the aggressor. Fear is a tool of direct attack on the sovereignty of others, and opens the way to attacks on their territorial integrity. Fear has its uses, to be sure, and can be effective sometimes, but is it a default value of peacemaking statecraft seeking a stable world of interdependence?

As the United States proceeds with its military buildup in the Baltic countries, in Poland, and in other places proximate to Russia, is there anyone who should not be afraid? Is there anyone who does not understand that advancing US/NATO forces, by definition, bring the threat of tactical nuclear weapons that much closer to Moscow, which has tactical nuclear weapons of its own?

And then there’s the geographically separate Russian state of Kaliningrad (formerly Konigsberg, among many other names), located on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania (both NATO members). Kaliningrad has a vulnerability similar to that of Crimea and an area about half the size. Ethnically cleansed of its former majority German population in the aftermath of World War II, Kaliningrad’s population of 430,000 is now predominantly Russian. Kaliningrad may or may not be a base for Russian tactical nuclear weapons.

So who are these “opponents” who are supposed to be afraid of the United States? Who defines them, and how? Does the determination lie with someone in Washington unhappy with the way another country distributes its oil or runs its beach resorts? Does Washington just pick whatever fight amuses it (two decades of encircling Russia with NATO), or does it wait for some actual act of opposition? And who decides what opposition is legitimate (Canadian opposition to American wars once, say, or opposition to U.S. environmental law now)? How dare Russia assert its authority over Crimea, or China assert its rights in the South China Sea?

Framing the question with “opponents” hides the assumption that the world must always be based on competition and hostility. The truth of that assumption is hardly self-evident. But making an assumption of eternal opposition does contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy that makes any other assumption impossible.

What if the Dutch newspaper had asked a different question, along these lines: How do you fight the perspective that America doesn’t play well with others and so, instead of cooperating in order to ease tensions over the long term, quickly resorts to temper tantrums, often violent ones, that do far more damage than just sitting still and trying to understand?

“2. Sanctions are a slow working medicine which perhaps doesn't work at all. How do you expect to keep Putin in the meantime in check?”

Here the stated assumption is that sanctions work slowly, if at all, but it is asserted ex cathedra without reference to any specific evidence. However reasonable the assumption is, it carries a hidden assumption that is at best dubious. That assumption, hidden in the word “medicine,” is that sanctions are inherently good and proper instruments of restoring health, rather than tools for exercising control, or means of punishment or destruction. This also assumes that those applying the medicine are all good doctors following the imperative of the Hippocratic Oath – first, do no harm.

Or, as the European Union might put it: If only we could do to Russia what we’ve already imposed on Greece, Portugal, and Spain. Of course those weren’t sanctions, that was austerity, and it was for their own good to protect our good. Are you listening, Ukraine? We want only the best medicine for you!

Another assumption hidden in the way sanctions are defined is that probably the use of stronger medicine will be called for sooner or later – so why aren’t you ready to use force? The assumption is that if the medicine doesn’t work, or works too slowly, then America should employ sterner measures. And this is another right-wing New American Century talking point, albeit a second tier argument needed only when America has failed to be tough enough in the first place.

Then there’s the assumption that Russian president Vladimir Putin needs to be kept in check. Given the volatility of recent events in Ukraine, there’s good reason to see the Russian occupation of Crimea as an opportunistic tactic in the midst of chaos rather than part of some strategic grand plan for which there is scant evidence. Those who argue the grand plan idea have to go back to Georgia in 2008 and not much else but the projection of their fears, usually in a context free of uncomfortably contradictory and aggressive behavior by others during the same period.

The assumption that Putin needs to be kept in check becomes plausible thanks to another hidden assumption: that Putin is an evil person motivated by evil intent. This acceptance of the demonization of Putin is the result of great effort over a long time by much of the American media, the job of demonizing Putin abroad made so much easier by the closed media in Russia. Demonization is, by definition a false narrative, but it is accepted more easily when there is no credible counter-narrative. In a sense, Putin’s demonization becomes an East-West collusion that manages to serve the power politics on either side. If, in fact, the truth will set you free, why would any government want that?

The demonization is further a barrier to thinking clearly, by substituting the ad hominem caricature of a cartoon Czar for a rational assessment of the legitimate interests of the Russian state. Ruthless demonization is what Republicans and their ilk have done to President Obama since 2009, with the same basic intent: to turn a president into a legitimate target, based on a purely emotional appeal that is designed to elicit visceral hatred. Those demonizing either Putin or Obama can not afford to allow fact-based, rational discussion emerge, for fear that the result might turn out be some sort of peaceful settlement.

Perhaps the Dutch newspaper would have served us better by asking something to the effect of: Can you apply sanctions with sufficient balance that they do not become a new provocation to Russia but are still sufficient to keep American war hawks in check? And is that something you actually want to do?

“3. Is it still possible for countries like Ukraine and Georgia to become NATO member? How likely is it that we return to a situation of limited sovereignty for the immediate neighbors of Russia?”

Taking the words at face value, asking about the membership of Ukraine and/or Georgia in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is inherently absurd. These countries are nowhere near the North Atlantic.

In isolation, the question about “possibility” seems to assume that NATO membership for Ukraine or Georgia might be a good thing, and should be open to discussion. But the assumption that such expansion might still be possible is itself inherently threatening to Russian interests. Who benefits from raising the issue again in this new context? Certainly those who prefer to have opponents in the world, and who want to make those opponents afraid, will be happy to press the question of NATO membership ad infinitum.

If the NATO question was intended to be neutral, that neutrality is curdled by the coded message of the second question about “limited sovereignty.” In a stripped down translation, the question amounts to a challenge: President Obama, are you going to allow a new Iron Curtain to come down across Europe?

That question is essentially the same as the initial question about fighting “the perspective that America withdraws.” The argument behind these questions is circular for a reason — because the questioner has already determined the correct answer, regardless of whether that answer is right, wrong, or irrelevant.

No wonder, then, that NBC considers these “the three best questions.”

And no wonder media so often ignore the hidden reality: That questions like these aren’t journalism worthy of the name. These questions are more like Russian dolls, full of hidden assumptions, one within another. Accept the outer doll, you get them all, and the reasoned exchange that never began is already over.

ADDENDUM:

President Obama’s news conference in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 25, 2014, provides another real world example of media obtuseness, as argued above. An excerpt from the transcript follows. The questioner is Jonathan Karl of ABC News asking the mindless herd’s thoughtless question:

Q: Mr. President, thank you. In China, in Syria, in Egypt and now in Russia, we’ve seen you make strong statements, issue warnings that have been ignored. Are you concerned that America’s influence in the world, your influence in the world, is on the decline? And in the light of recent developments, do you think Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe? If not Russia, who?...

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Jonathan, I think if the premise of the question is that whenever the United States objects to an action and other countries don’t immediately do exactly what we want, that that’s been the norm, that would pretty much erase most of the 20th century history. I think that there’s a distinction between us being very clear about what we think is an appropriate action, what we stand for, what principles we believe in versus what is I guess implied in the question, that we should engage in some sort of military action to prevent something…

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Comments   

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+13 # fredboy 2014-03-26 08:46
Remember the old newsroom command:
"IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS!"
Thus, the stirring of the pot.
 
 
+17 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-03-26 08:52
There is no comparison between a Russian doll and the affairs of starting a way against Russia. The cause of the conflict is only one thing. The gradual control of all the nations that used to be part of the U.S.S.R. that are now being brougnt under the control of N.A.T.O. N.A.T.O. is under the control of the U.S.A. This terrorist nation is now putting nuclear weapons all around Russia and makeing a 'pivot to the east' to put those weapons in place against China. There is one nation on earth that is behind all this death and destruction caused by endless wars of aggression against sovereign nations who just happen to have natural resources that the 'Only Super Power' nation wants. We, the United States, are the biggest baddest terrorist power on earth. We, the citizens of this nation must do all we can to change the rotten corrupt government of our sorry nation before they attack yet another nation on false 'intelligence'.
 
 
+17 # Activista 2014-03-26 09:29
Any rational being/nation sees NATO as obsolete - relic from the Cold War. Ukraine crisis is like marketing campaign to keep NATO alive - military market going.
 
 
-3 # bmiluski 2014-03-27 12:25
I'm sorry, when did we attack Georgia? When did we put our armie on the border of the Ukraine? When did we march into Tibet? Don't judge this whole country because of an ass that was "selected" as president for one term and then stole the election the second term.
 
 
+18 # reiverpacific 2014-03-26 09:19
I'm not particularly qualified to comment on the Ukraine/Crimea but the very fact that the cabal of neocon cowards and power-seeking, war-hungry chicken hawks are pushing for aggressive tactics as usual as well as demonizing Putin, is an indicator of whatever they say or release to the US censored, patsy, establishment-o bedient, half- baked (and in the case of Fox, totally corrupted) owner media -and that includes PBS/NPR, the truth is buried in deliberately obscure, pundit-junk-foo d vendors posing as 'experts' with masses of words and spin, so believe the opposite.
As they see it, peace and mediation isn't sexy, nor doest it sell "product", the only real reason for their existence, innit?!
Check out "project censored.org" for further information on this kind of quicksand-buryi ng of the facts.
 
 
+15 # sfintersect 2014-03-26 10:54
I wouldn't worry about being qualified. You are at least as qualified as the members of congress like McCain who go storming around the Sunday talk shows turning the entire issue as yet a new way to slam the President. I think that McCain doesn’t hear how his slams come off as sour grapes. I always want to say C’mon man. You lost the election; it's time you got over it!!!
 
 
-3 # bmiluski 2014-03-27 12:27
No one is demonizing Putin. He's managed to do that all on his own. Ask the Russian gay community and the families of the died journalists about that.
 
 
+14 # Majikman 2014-03-26 10:24
Great article, Mr. Boardman. Russian dolls indeed. Living in this country feels like living with an irrational drunk who is liable to explode into violence at any time.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-03-27 12:29
Are you talking about President Obama who has been trying to get our troops back despite the neo-con chicken hawks that he has to deal with along with the neo-con tea-bags that will do anything to make him fail?
 
 
+10 # torch and pitchfork 2014-03-26 10:42
Along with "In God We Trust" the words,
"War is Good, Endless War is Best" should be engraved on our coins of the realm.
 
 
0 # tclose 2014-03-26 11:23
Agree, this is a great article, Mr. Boardman. Very well thought out and delivered. Russian dolls, indeed!

I do think though that the characterizatio n of Mr. Putin as being only looking out for Russia's interests is poorly thought through. Mr. Putin has responded to an opportunity that was just to much for him to resist: a grossly mismanaged Ukraine following the breakaway from the USSR, and a de-facto majority of ethnic Russians in the Crimea. And, yes, the Crimea was a part of Russia prior to Khrushchev giving it away to Ukraine in 1954.

But Putin ignores the fact that prior to Russia taking over the Crimea in the late 18th century, it was peopled mostly by Crimean Tartars who had been the majority population since at least the 15th century. Russia then proceeded to bring Russian (and Ukrainian) immigrants into Crimea, then in 1944 Russia basically expelled the Tartar people from Crimea - the 1959 census showed the Tartar population as 0%! It has only been since the formation of an independent Ukraine in 1994 that Tartars have been allowed to re-immigrate back, mostly from Uzbekistan, but not in sufficient numbers to overcome the influx of Russians in the meantime.

So the present majority of ethnic Russians in Crimea is not a good historical case for Mr. Putin to decide its population needs to be safeguarded by mother Russia.

Mr. Boardman seems to view this land grab as legitimate and therefore defensible. I don't.
 
 
+9 # WBoardman 2014-03-26 12:41
It's not that I regard the Russian occupation
of Crimea as "legitimate."

In and of itself, of course it's not.
But Crimea does not exist "in and of itself"
any more than anywhere (or anyone) else does.
In its fuller context (as I perceive it)
the transfer of Crimea to Russian control is
not only geo-politically trivial, but may well
contribute in a small way to the increased stability of
both Ukraine and Russia.

Against that possibility if the fulminating (on both
sides, but especially in the west) that has the effect
of inflating (or seeking to inflate) Crimea into a big,
important, symbolic, apocalyptic demand for action –
at a time when inaction all around seems the best course.

Add to that, the legitimacy of the "legitimacy"
argument, when there's nary an actor in the Ukraine
drama who can claim legitimacy without risking a
burst of laughter and ridicule from other quarters.
 
 
+8 # WBoardman 2014-03-26 12:44
[reply to tclose (cont.)]

As for Putin -- I think you mis-read my piece to the
extent that you believe I have characterized him. My point
was quite the opposite: to separate any ad hominem
view of Putin from what, for lack of a more precise term,
might be called Russia's "manifest destiny" – the widely
shared Russian view of Russia's place in the world, as
best we can assess it.

When it comes to Putin (and Obama) it doesn't help that
much to psychologize them, much less to demonize them.
Nations are impersonal monster and those who think they
lead their states are in great part delusional.
Or so it seems to me, which helps explain why serious,
positive change is so very hard to achieve.

As to Crimea, my understanding of its history is the same
as yours. But that still leaves the Crimean population
about 60% Russian today. I totally agree that the Russia
takeover of Crimea was (or appears to be) an essentially
opportunistic move (that might have happened any time, but would probably not have happened not without the chaos in Kiev, which the US had a fat hand in fomenting, which gets
us back to "legitimacy") and I called it opportunistic in my
article, under question #2:

"Given the volatility of recent events in Ukraine, there’s good reason to see the Russian occupation of Crimea as an opportunistic tactic in the midst of chaos rather than part of some strategic grand plan for which there is scant evidence."
 
 
+11 # tedrey 2014-03-26 12:05
This is the most carefully detailed, reasoned analysis of current propaganda that I have seen for far too long. It shows how distortions are invisibly snuck into our minds. I wish it could be the basis of classroom discussions across the nation. Thank you, William Boardman.
 
 
+8 # dsepeczi 2014-03-26 12:22
@tclose, You DO realize that before Russia got involved in any way, it was the EU and US that conspired together to destabilize that government in the first place, don't you ? You do realize that they appointed a leader of an illegitimate government and then refused to recognize the results of a Crimean election, right ? So, if the US instigated the trouble that ousted an elected leader and then immediately supplanted that leader with one more friendly to us, who is really doing the land grabbing here ? Look, I'm not saying that Putin gives a shit about the Crimean people. He probably doesn't and the US and EU certainly don't. But the bottom line is ... if you're trying to stick to the strict letter of both Ukranian AND International law ... then the proper outcome would be to reinstate Ukraine's elected leader until they have their next election where they will have the opportunity to vote him out if they choose. The US, instead, is giving immediate support to a violent coup instead of rightfully condemning their actions (because those actions were actually orchestrated by us). Then they and you are criticizing Russia's move, even though it was done at the request of Ukraine's legitimate leader and a vote by the Crimean people, as a land grab. That's really quite a stretch ! To me, Russia protected it's interests and, in the face of US and EU aggression, WAS right to do so.
 
 
+7 # Roger Kotila 2014-03-26 13:10
Mr. Boardman's brilliant analysis of American media gives them the benefit of the doubt when he attributes their old ways of thinking (i.e., Cold War language again) to "unreflective, outdated group think."

For some reporters and their media owners Boardman's description may be true, but can they all be that dumb?

I'd like to know how many of these reporters and Establishment media outlets
are CIA propaganda assets (think Wurlizter's Organ)? They appear to continue the grand tradition of manipulating the American people and the world public into a certain narrow way of looking at events so as to justify the aggressive military/econom ic behaviors of American Empire.

I hope, however, tht Mr. Boardman's assumptions about Establishment media's "bias" is true, since then there would be hope for an "awakening."
 
 
+4 # WBoardman 2014-03-26 16:36
Roger Kotila –
It's not that I think mainstream journalists are dumb,
for it's obvious they's anywhere from quite smart to very
smart, the national ones at least, and well-trained
(which is a double-edged condition).
I think it's more relevant that they are well-paid –
roughly $85,000/year puts you in the top 10% of
American incomes and the nationals make a lot more –
Joe Scarborough makes $3 mil; Matt Lauer $5 mil – and
that's just who I came across first. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/tv-news-big-story-pay-article-1.1208933

Jonathan Karl gets $8 mil for reliably parroting
the party line on most issues and the beauty part is
he doesn't have to make any effort to think for himself
and feel self-important.

So what I'm seeing (and maybe it's real) is little more
than human nature – telling teacher what teacher wants to here, cause if you say teacher is wrong the odds are good
you'll get a bad grade.

Toadies to power have been with us always, have they not?

And this is worst case speculation --
surely there are people who actually believe the nonsense
they spout.
 
 
+6 # WBoardman 2014-03-26 16:41
Roger Kotila (cont.)

No doubt the CIA has a hand in it all,
but it's not because they need to.

When the top 10% get half (50%) of the nation's income,
the system is almost self-policing.

And the occasional Michael Hastings can be handled.

That's why I started my piece quoting Amy Goodman,
who might be expected to be better than that.
Conformist opinion is powerful.

Rachel Maddow might be a better/more disheartening
example. Amy Goodman was using the Cold War cliche
in passing in the news summary, but she's had good
segments on Ukraine with Stephen Cohen and others.

Maddow, on the other hand, has been selling the party
line as if she believes it, as if it makes sense to her that
Crimea is an outrage and that's all there is to it.

Since her treatment of the FBI is 180 degrees more
skeptical/chall enging, there's a basis for concluding
she actually believes her own jingoism.
 
 
+4 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-26 14:16
Oh good; on the 100 year anniversary of WWI, we want to begin WWIII! So glad I elected to go off and live my final years in a place with a view! 'Homo Sapiens'? Homo Idiotus! Learns nothing, remembers nothing, brings Nothing!
 
 
+1 # Activista 2014-03-27 02:01
from: www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-02-270314.html
Demonized 24/7 by the sprawling Western propaganda machine as a ruthless aggressor, Putin and his Kremlin advisers just need to play Sun Tzu. The regime changers in Kiev are already mired in a vicious catfight. And even Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Petrovych "Yats" Yatsenyuk has identified the gloomy times ahead, stressing that the signature of the economic part of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU has been postponed - so there will be no "negative consequences" for industrialized eastern Ukraine.
Translation: he knows this will be the kiss of death for Ukrainian industry, on top of it coupled with an imminent structural adjustment by the International Monetary Fund linked to the EU (maybe) bailing out a bankrupt Ukraine. "
in essence supports William Boardman article above ...
 

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