United for Peace of Pierce County, WA - We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy.

NEWS: Putin signs 30-year, $400bn natural gas deal with China

E-mail Print

The U.S. is not the only country pivoting toward Asia.  --  On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing for an official visit, the London Guardian reported.[1]  --  It was a visit that bore fruit:  the two countries "signed a 30-year, $400bn (£237bn) deal for Gazprom to deliver Russian gas to China in a deal that underscores Russia's shift towards Asia amid strained relations with the West."[2]  --  An energy expert said that "Russia's new pipeline to China will increase competition for natural gas from 2018 and will most likely increase the cost we pay for natural gas here in the E.U."  --  "Earlier this month, Russia reportedly lifted an informal ban on foreign ownership of strategic assets, apparently opening the way for Chinese companies to take part in developing the gas fields and pipeline," Alec Luhn and Terry Macalister said....

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:20 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: NYT mum on int'l law when US invaded Iraq, but in Ukraine crisis talks of nothing else

E-mail Print

Howard Friel asks:  What does it mean?  --  What does it mean "for the New York Times to accuse Russia of violating international law, given the far more bloody and more numerous U.S. violations of international law over the years and the fact that the Times has yet to apply international law to the United States"?[1]  --  For example, "from September 2001 to March 2003, a period in which the Bush administration repeatedly threatened to invade Iraq, the New York Times never mentioned the words 'U.N. Charter' or 'international law' in any of its seventy editorials on Iraq."  --  But since in the Ukraine case international law can be used to hammer the U.S.'s adversary, the Times has changed its tune....

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 06:01 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: NYT depiction of situation in Mariupol refuted by other accounts

E-mail Print

The New York Times was indeed propagandizing when it reported, with all-too-obvious improbability, that steelworkers had asserted themselves there, taking control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol out of the hands of pro-Russian separatists.  --  That's the most reasonable conclusion to be drawn from other reports of the situation there.  --  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on May 17 that in fact the city is now in the "kind of limbo that develops when nobody has won and the city turns into a gray zone where fearful residents walk the streets by day and criminal gangs rule the streets at night."[1]  --  RFE/RE's description bore little resemblance to the fairy-tale account the Times published as its lead story on Friday.  --  CNN's Richard Allen Greene agreed in implicitly rejecting the Times version on Monday, saying that in Mariupol steelworkers "only make up about a third of the total volunteer force, locals say.  --  And hard-core supporters of independence for the region don't give them credit for restoring order.  --  A group of about a dozen steelworkers was jeered as several hundred supporters of independence gathered for a march Sunday to mark the killings on May 9 that seem to have been a turning point in the city." ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:46 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: Ukrainian oligarch organizes street patrols in eastern Ukraine

E-mail Print

When Ukraine's richest man sent his workers into the streets on Thursday, the New York Times billed it as a non-political uprising against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.  --  "The workers, who were wearing only their protective clothing and hard hats, said they were 'outside politics' and were just trying to establish order," Andrew Kramer said in Friday's lead story.[1]  --  He pretended to believe them, too, enthusing:  "Residents welcomed the steelworker patrols for bringing an end to chaos and insecurity."  --  Readers willing to dig learned that these "unpaid and voluntary patrols" were pounding the pavement because Rinat Akhmetov (net worth estimated by Forbes as $12.2 billion) had "urged his employees . . . to take over [Mariupol]."  --  This story reeks of propaganda, and it's worth recalling that on May 1 USNWR reported that NATO countries were hatching a plan to improve Kiev's propaganda.  --  WSWS saw in the Times story part of a campaign:  "Along with their promotion by the Times and other sources, the patrols are part of a concerted effort by the United States and Germany to stifle resistance to Kiev’s coup regime and ensure that presidential elections planned for May 25 go ahead," Chris Marsden wrote.[2]  --  "To this end, the Western powers are seeking to use the wealth and influence of Ukraine’s oligarchs to bring things under control."  --  Although the Times billed the patrols as a "setback to Russia," WSWS said that there was "ground to suspect that Russian President Vladimir Putin supports Akhmetov’s attempt to stabilize the region," since it served to curb the influence of the far right in the Kiev government....

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 May 2014 23:58 Read more...
 

NEWS: Helmut Schmidt warns danger of war from Ukraine crisis 'is growing day by day'

E-mail Print

NEWS: Helmut Schmidt warns danger of war from Ukraine crisis 'is growing day by day'

The risk that a war will result from U.S., E.U., and Russian actions in the Ukraine crisis is "growing day by day," former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt warned in an interview published by Bild on Friday.[1]  --  Schmidt opposes sanctions on Russia as well as closer ties between NATO and Ukraine, has called the attitude of the E.U.'s European Commission toward Ukraine one of "megalomania," and said in March that Russia's actions in Crimea were "understandable." ...

Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: Ukraine needs Finlandization & a federal system of government

E-mail Print

In a Tuesday column, William Pfaff, like many before him, pinned the blame for the Ukraine crisis squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration's in-house neocons.[1]  --  The "American-sponsored coup d’état in Ukraine" was a particularly stupid provocation:  "It is hard to imagine how Barack Obama’s radical-conservative advisors convinced him to throw the United States once more into the battle to acquire Ukraine for Team West, at a moment when success would humiliate Vladimir Putin at the moment when he had carried off a triumphal Winter Olympics, and when the Russian president was being unprecedentedly cooperative with the U.S. in searching for solutions to the Iran nuclear issue, and to the appearance of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war."  --  The best Ukraine can hope for, Pfaff said, is a federal system of government and Finlandization, not alignment with either great power....

Read more...
 

NEWS: West to Ukraine -- accommodate Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine or else

E-mail Print

The space that has opened up in the course of the past week between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Kremlin seems to be leading Western mainstream media to suggest that the new Ukrainian authorities in Kiev had better find a way of accommodating the Russian-speaking populations of the east... or else.  --  "Many believe Kiev must find some form of government that satisfies the large number of pro-Russia constituents in Ukraine's east if the capital hopes to keep the country intact," the Wall Street Journal reported.[1]  --  The Journal turned to Andrew S. Weiss, a national security state intellectual, to be the bearer of this message:  "The alternative [to accommodating the Russian-speaking population], however, could be continued chaos that itself would undermine Ukraine's fledgling authorities.  --  'Russia has this infinite capacity to make mischief and make life miserable for the government in Kiev,' Mr. Weiss said.  --  'There's only so much the West can do to help absorb those body blows.'"  --  Reporting in the Washington Post was similar:  "The sentiments expressed in the referendums underline the urgent need for the Kiev government to negotiate with the separatists, perhaps offering meaningful autonomy, before the situation slips further out of its control, experts said."[2]  --  Simon Denyer, Michael Birnbaum, and Fredrick Kunkle acknowledged that "many in eastern Ukraine are deeply unhappy with the Western-leaning government in Kiev.  --  They consider it illegal and in league with ultranationalist groups, and some worry that the large population of Russian speakers living in the east will be treated as second-class citizens."  --  COMMENT:  This new tone suggests that there is little appetite for intensifying the Ukraine crisis in the West, and that a concerted attempt is being made to grasp what may be an olive branch from Russian President Vladimir Putin.  --   But all sides appear to be maneuvering in the dark, and the danger of miscalculation is still real.  --  "[T]he vote seemed to further widen divisions between Russia and the West," the *Post* said, describing an upcoming crunch between Kiev and Moscow over energy prices....

Read more...
 

TRANSLATION: "OSCE observers" in eastern Ukraine were really military advisers

E-mail Print

Anyone trying to follow events in the Ukraine crisis will have noted that propaganda is the rule rather than the exception in reporting from there.  --  A French blogger further corroborated this truth Friday when he reported that it turns out the "OSCE observers" held in eastern Ukraine were not OSCE observers at all, but rather military advisers linked to the German armed forces.[1]  --  Moreover, this fact was easily ascertainable from the start from online sources, including tweets from the OSCE itself.  --  In spite of this, Western mainstream media consistently described the individuals as "OSCE observers," thus demonstrating their engagement in Western anti-Russian propaganda.  --  More details below....

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 May 2014 15:12 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine refuse to cancel referendum

E-mail Print

No one seems to know what it means, but pro-Russian separatists have refused an appeal from Russian President Vladimir Putin to call off a May 11 referendum on the independence of the "Donetsk Republic," the Washington Post reported.[1]  --  People interviewed in Donetsk do "not so much want to secede from Ukraine as break away from a Kiev government they do not trust," USA Today reported Thursday.[2]  --  COMMENT:  In historical crises in which no party is sure of what to do next, the outcome is often one that no participant even imagined at its inception.  --  No one was calling for the death of the king and the foundation of a republic when at abbé Sieyès's behest the Third Estate demanded in 1789 to be recognized as the National Assembly of France....

Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 06:00 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: US denounces referendum on status of eastern Ukraine as 'illegal'

E-mail Print

"The Obama administration denounced as illegal a planned weekend referendum by pro-Russian insurgents pushing for autonomy and independence for portions of eastern Ukraine," AP reported Tuesday.[1]  --  "Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, said Tuesday that Russian recognition of another separatist referendum and Russian peacekeepers entering Ukraine would be triggers for the sanctions," according to Matthew Lee.  --  COMMENT:  Too bad American diplomats don't realize that their own country's behavior has deprived them of any credibility in the legal realm.  --  In this domain, the emperor truly has no clothes.  --  And Victoria Nuland, who helped overthrow a democratically elected Ukrainian government in what was essentially a coup d'état, is particularly poorly placed to comment.  --  Nuland's marriage to Robert "Project for the New American Century" Kagan, a foreign policy adviser Mitt Romney, adds to the ludicrousness.  --  What was Barack Obama thinking when he nominated Nuland to be assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in May 2013?  --  The answer, some think, is that Obama loved Kagan's February 2012 essay, "Not Fade Away: The Myth of American Decline," published in The New Republic.  --  The piece also helped Kagan become one of Mitt Romney's key foreign policy advisers.  --  It was while Romney was under Kagan's tutelage that he said Russia was the U.S.'s "number one geopolitical foe."  --  Remember how people laughed?  --  Now, strange to say, it appears to be becoming true....

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 05:33 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: 'Major blow to civil liberties' means US is in 'post-constitutional era' (Chris Hedges)

E-mail Print

Chris Hedges said Sunday that the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear his challenge to the NDAA authorization of indefinite detention means that Americans are now living in "a post-constitutional era" in which the "corporate state" now possesses "unchecked state power" at the same time that it "oversees the most pervasive security and surveillance apparatus in human history."[1]  --  "It can order the assassination of U.S. citizens," Hedges said.  --  "It has abolished habeas corpus.  --  It uses secret evidence to imprison dissidents, such as the Palestinian academic Mazen Al-Najjar.  --  It employs the Espionage Act to criminalize those who expose abuses of power.  --  A ruling elite that accrues for itself this kind of total power, history has shown, eventually uses it."  --  Reuters published a squib on the high court's refusal to grant certiorari.[2]  --  COMMENT:  The refusal to hear this case amounts to an endorsement of the Obama administration's nullification of the Bill of Rights.  --  The silence that has greeted this abrogation of a fundamental constitutional provision has been widely noted and commented upon.  --  Not only mainstream media but also right-wing media and Tea Party-types have mostly turned a blind eye to NDAA 2012.  --  As Human Rights Watch put it in December 2011:  "President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law." ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 17:23 Read more...
 

NEWS: NATO countries planning to bolster Ukrainian propaganda

E-mail Print

NATO countries have begun planning "to bolster the Ukrainian government’s ability to communicate among its security services and broadcast to the general public," U.S. News & World Report said Thursday.[1]  --  There is even a possibility, according to a high Latvian official, that this will involve "troops from NATO countries on the ground in Ukraine to train and support the effort," Paul Shinkman said.  --  The Pentagon ignored requests for comment, but a NATO official admitted that "NATO Allies are actively considering ways to further strengthen our long-standing cooperation with Ukraine, including in the area of public diplomacy." ...

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 12:24 Read more...
 

NEWS: Ukrainian military units fail to make much progress in eastern Ukraine

E-mail Print

Russia Today reported Sunday that pro-Russian separatists have driven Ukrainian troops "to the outskirts of town" in Slavyansk.[1]  --  AFP, however, reported that Slavyansk is besieged by Ukrainian troops who have cut off the road to the town.[2]  --  "The rebels have barricaded themselves in occupied buildings including the town hall and the SBU security services headquarters.  --  Locals have thrown up barricades around the center to slow any army advance."  --  The London Guardian reported that "On their sweep through Kramatorsk, the Ukrainian army succeeded in pushing the rebels out of the local headquarters of the SBU, the security services.  --  But contrary to Ukrainian media reports, they had not held the building, and had instead fled."[2]  --  "On Sunday, the flag of the Donetsk People's Republic still flew from the roof," Shaun Walker said, "and the hole in the fence where a Ukrainian army vehicle had stormed the compound was visible, but the building was abandoned."  --  "A sense of lawlessness permeates the region, as the police have largely melted away or joined the separatists. . . . Amid the mood of tension and violence, there also remains disagreement within the ranks of those protesting about what their ultimate goal is:  increased autonomy within Ukraine, an independent republic or absorption into Russia." ...

Read more...
 

ANALYSES: Imagination is failing those brandishing anti-Russian Ukraine sanctions

E-mail Print

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal purported to analyze the economic consequences of "stiffer sanctions" against Russia stemming from the Ukraine crisis.[1]  --  COMMENT: Ian Talley's unimaginative analysis referred to quantitative effects on GDP, bank profits, and exports; he also mentioned "unintended consequences in foreign-exchange and commodity markets," which he also evidently conceived in quantitative terms.  --  There was not a word about the possible social and political consequences might be in a Europe in which far-right and neo-fascist parties are on the rise in a climate of rising social tensions.  --  And there will inevitably be effects elsewhere; for example, many Central Asian economies are dependent on remittances from emigrant workers in Russia, the website Emerging Markets pointed out on Friday.[2]  --  These will be hard hit if the West imposes tough sanctions on Russia.  --  And Russian officials have vowed that such sanctions would evoke a Russian response, Al Jazeera America reported last week.[3] ...

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00 Read more...
 

NEWS: 'Essentially a war in the east,' says Kiev as Putin weighs Ukraine response

E-mail Print

Ukraine pursued military operations in the eastern part of the country, advancing on Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, as Russia said that violence there "demanded a response," the Washington Post reported.[1]  --  "For every advance that the Ukrainian government made, it seemed to lose ground elsewhere," Simon Denyer and Michael Birnbaum said.  --  A Ukrainian security official in Kiev called the activity in eastern Ukraine "essentially a war," Bloomberg News reported.[2] ...

Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: Pro-Russian militia in east Ukraine is, indeed, autonomous of Moscow, NY Times reports

E-mail Print

On Saturday the New York Times stepped out of line, disputing a key element of the official USG line in the Ukraine crisis.  --  Contradicting oft-repeated claims that it is Moscow that is leading, organizing, and equipping pro-Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine, the Sunday New York Times reported in a front-page story (posted online Saturday afternoon) that "more than a week" of observing the 119-member 12th Company of the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic indicated that they are made up of Ukrainians who are all "veterans of the Soviet, Ukrainian, or Russian Armies," with mixed identities and loyalties.[1]  --  Some have "families on the other side of the border," said C.J. Chivers and Noah Sneider.  --  "[T]hey disagree among themselves about their ultimate goals."  --  Focusing on the leader of the company, a man in his fifties identified as "Yuri," Chivers and Sneider said that "he chuckled at the claims by officials in Kiev and the West that his operations had been guided by Russian military intelligence officers.  --  There is no Russian master, he said.  --  'We have no Muscovites here,' he said.  --  'I have experience enough'" -- experience that includes "four years as a Soviet small-unit commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the 1980s."  --  The Times reported both that there was "no clear Russian link in the 12th Company’s arsenal" and that there were "indicators of local support" for the company's activities....

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 04:47 Read more...
 

NEWS: NATO's #2 calls Russia 'more of an adversary than a partner'

E-mail Print

On Thursday, A.P. published an interview in which the No. 2 official of NATO declared Russia to be "an adversary."[1]  --   NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said that Russia's annexation of Crimea meant NATO's 1997 commitment not to station nuclear weapons or substantial numbers of combat troops on the territory of new members near its borders was no longer in effect.  --  Vershbow said he believes NATO would be "within our rights" permanently to station substantial numbers of combat troops in Poland or other NATO member nations in Eastern Europe, Robert Burns said.  --  Russia Today also reported on the remarks, noting that Vershbow said:  "We need to step up our support for defense reforms and military modernization of Russia’s neighbors, and not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan."[2]  --  "Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the build-up of NATO troops near Russia’s border was 'unprecedented.'"  --  COMMENT:  While Vershbow's position is unlikely to be accepted by other NATO countries, according to Robert Burns, it is another demonstration of the aggressive attitude that American policymakers are taking toward Russia.  --  In Putin's eyes, the willingness of the U.S. to engineer the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government on Russia's border has clearly caused him fundamentally to reevaluate the West's attitude toward Russia.  --  Only last September, when he helped dissuade the U.S. from bombarding Syria, his attitude was very different, as can be seen by reviewing Putin's comments at that time.  --  Deciding to antagonize Russia was and is an enormous foreign policy blunder....

Read more...
 

NEWS: Ukrainian assault bogs down in Slovyansk; in Odessa, 31 pro-Russian militants killed in fire

E-mail Print

The situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate.  --  By Friday evening, a dawn attack on pro-Russian strongholds in Slovyansk had failed to reach the town center and two Ukrainian attack helicopters were downed, the Washington Post reported.[1]  --  In Odessa, meanwhile, a "pro-Ukrainian mob" threw "gasoline bombs" into a government building where police said thirty-one "pro-Russian separatists" who had taken refuge from attacks "were killed, choked to death on smoke, or after jumping out of windows," Simon Denyer and Anna Nemtsova said.  --  In Moscow, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Thursday had sent an envoy to eastern Ukraine to try to negotiate the release of OCSE observers held in Slovyansk, condemned the Ukrainian assault as "criminal" and said that the Apr. 17 four-party agreement to defuse the situation was dead.  --  But in Washington, "President Obama expressed strong support Friday for the Ukrainian offensive."  --  And at the U.N., "Russia and the United States again traded accusations and insults" in "Cold War language."  --  CNN also reported violence and gunshot injuries in Donetsk.[2]  --  COMMENT:  Curiously, neither of these accounts mentions a widely reported previous assault by Ukrainian forces on pro-Russian militants that went nowhere and "unraveled in disarray." ...

Read more...
 

UFPPC statement: The anti-Russian propaganda campaign

E-mail Print

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

THE ANTI-RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN

May 1, 2014

We are finding that it is impossible to get a clear picture of events in Ukraine from Western mainstream media reports, because they overdramatize events that its reporters seem not to fully understand, obscure important details, and are based on premises that we are inclined to think are false.

Read more...
 

NEWS: On Apr. 25 Kerry said US has intel showing Russia in command in eastern Ukraine

E-mail Print

The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a "private meeting" with the Trilateral Commission in Washington, D.C. last week that the U.S. has signals intel showing that pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine are "taking their orders from Moscow."[1]  --  The New York Times, though, is unlikely ever to mention the report, since its only mention of the commission in the last twelve months was a note in an obituary nonsensically describing it as a group "formed in 1973 by citizens of Europe, North America and Japan."  --   (Who knew you can be a "citizen of North America"?)  --  The report in question was published by the Daily Beast on Tuesday.[2]  --  Josh Rogin and Eli Lake considered its chief significance to be that "the code-breakers and eavesdroppers in the National Security Agency and the broader American armed forces have overcome Russian efforts to hide their military communications."  --  In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. agencies were surprised that it had not collected any telltale signs of the Crimea stealth invasion at the end of February, suggesting the Russians had managed to give such orders without the United States knowing about it."  --  "Representatives for the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to requests for comment," Rogin and Lake said.  --  "On Tuesday, however, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Kerry was referring to Ukrainian intelligence in his remarks on Friday, adding The Daily Beast's story was a 'mischaracterization.'"  --  "Kerry at no point in his remarks indicated that he was referring to Ukrainian intelligence," said Rogin and Lake, who managed to obtain a recording of the remarks Kerry made....

Read more...
 

NEWS: Moderates prevail in debate over Russia policy as Europe refuses to follow US lead

E-mail Print

"[W]hile some of Mr. Obama’s advisers want him to impose sanctions against whole sectors of the Russian economy, the president has decided against it for now, cognizant of the resistance of European nations that have far more at stake economically," Monday's New York Times reported in a front-page story.[1]  --  According to Peter Baker and C.J. Chivers, after a "blistering" speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, the plan to announce stiffer sanctions "fell apart while Washington waited for Europe."  --  Really?  --  Did Kerry really make a "blistering" public speech without knowing what his European allies would do the next day?  --  If John Kerry has that much confidence in his oratorical gifts, he needs better advisers.  --  The Wall Street Journal politely called this switch "reaching consensus."  --  "Until Friday, the U.S. and European governments were at odds over how much pain to inflict on the Russian economy, with European officials worried that their economies are more intertwined with Russia's and thus more susceptible to a whiplash effect.  --  That divide prevented the adoption of new punitive measures for several days as officials in Kiev complained that Moscow's armed forces closed in on Ukraine's borders and armed, pro-Russian separatists had free rein inside Ukraine.  --  Late Friday, the U.S. and key European governments appeared to reach a consensus for action."[2]  --  The U.S. is taking Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin's approach.  --  It is Ledru-Rollin who is supposed to have said:  "I must follow them, for I am their leader." ...

Last Updated on Monday, 28 April 2014 05:20 Read more...
 
More Articles...


Page 7 of 537

Upcoming

2014 PEACE PICNIC! -- Sun., Aug. 31, 2pm-dusk @ Gig Harbor viewpoint on 5 Mile Drive in Point Defiance Park. -- Potluck; UFPPC provides charcoal fire, hot dogs, & hamburgers (meat or veg). -- Games (bring some!), Peaceful Pie Contest w/ ribbons to winners. -- Free door prizes and raffle tickets sold for prizes. -- See you there!

Meeting schedule

United for Peace of Pierce County meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South).

Search