A poll taken this month in Germany found that 49% of Germans want their country to mediate between Russia and the U.S.— outnumbering the 45% who want to see Germany siding unmistakably with the West... The poll also showed a majority of Germans rejecting a regular presence of NATO forces in the Alliance countries bordering Russia.
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(2) Thousands march against US - Philippines military deal
About 2,000 protesters marched in Manila on Monday to condemn the signing of a new military agreement between the Philippines and United States that allows an increased US troop presence in the country.
Philippine and US officials signed the "Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement" shortly before US President Barack Obama landed in Manila for a two-day state visit on Monday.
But former Philippines vice president Teofisto Guingona, who led the protest march in Manila, warned that the agreement might be going "beyond the scope of previous military agreements."
US ambassador Philip Goldberg said the agreement will update the security alliance of both countries and "promote peace and security in the region". He said the US "does not intend to establish a permanent military presence in the Philippines."
American forces left their bases in Subic Bay in Zambales and Clark Field in Pampanga in 1992 after the Philippine Senate chose not to extend a treaty that allows the Americans to have bases in the country.
The new agreement, however, grants US troops access to designated Philippine military facilities, the right to construct facilities, and pre-position equipment, aircraft and vessels. The pact, however, rules out permanent basing, as the Philippine constitution bans foreign military bases in the country unless covered by a treaty.
U.S. Return to the Philippines - WSJ.com
President Obama's Asia tour is ending with a deal signed Monday to increase U.S. military access to ports, bases and airfields in the Philippines. Two decades after Manila booted U.S. personnel from the country, Filipinos went a few steps backward in terms of their national independence.
(4) Americans polled oppose arms for Ukrainehttp://lat.ms/1kfT2zc
Pew/USA Today poll conducted over the weekend found 53% of the 1,501 Americans surveyed were in favor of stepping up economic and diplomatic sanctions on Moscow for its March annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and reported instigation of the separatist actions roiling eastern Ukraine.
But 62% of those polled said they were opposed to sending arms or other military aid to Ukraine, more than twice the 30% who backed providing defense help to Ukrainians trying to hold their country together.
(5) The New York Times actually questions the official narrative on Ukraine! A first!
"Even deeper questions, which would have one answer in a healthy body politic with trusted sources of information, have many answers in Ukraine: Who killed the people on Independence Square in Kiev last winter? Is the current government legitimate, or just another armed group required to vacate public buildings under the Geneva agreement?
It depends on whom you ask — and where. In accounts from western Ukraine, behind every unfortunate event lies a Russian agent. In the east and south, Ukrainian nationalist militants with Western backing are thought to pull the strings."
(6) The TPP is DOA
Because of the 'complications' with Russia caused by the US supported coup in Kiev Washington's so-called military "pivot" to Asia has pivoted back to Europe. US efforts to strong-arm Asian trade allies into passing the TPP by January 1 has floundered, and the treaty is D.O.A.
(7) EU is split into three camps over moving to economic sanctions against Russia
Diplomats say the EU is split into three camps over moving to economic sanctions against Russia.
Those pushing towards tougher sanctions include Britain, France, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Those most reluctant are Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and Malta.
EU heavyweight Germany is in an undecided middle camp.
Weekend Edition Counterpunch April 25-27, 2014
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/25/unit(3) Weekend Edition Counterpunch April 25-27, 2014
If Not Now, When?
Unite Against Imperialism!
by ANDRE VLTCHEK
In countless interviews, in personal letters, in face-to-face discussions, the questions I keep being asked are becoming very similar: “Now that it is obvious that the West is ready and willing to destroy everything that stands in its way to the total domination of the planet, what can still be done?”
Some say: ‘Nothing’. There are plenty of discouraged, scared voices of people who have already fully given up, and come to the conclusion that the Empire is too powerful, too determined, and therefore, unstoppable.
Others are praying. And there are also some, who are putting all their trust into those few brave ones that are ‘still fighting’.
Hopelessness, fear and defeatism – this is how the Empire wants you to feel.
Do not! Defeat is only purposefully encoded in the propaganda that is being spread by the West. In reality, nothing is lost.
Actually, working all over the world, I am increasingly optimistic. People in the Middle East, in Africa, in many parts of Asia, are now waking up. People in Latin America woke up long time ago – they are alert, vigilant!
These are actually truly breathtaking moments in our human history. But nothing is free. To save the world, we will still have to stand firm against neo-colonialism, and all that insane propaganda that is being constantly disseminated by the West. We will have to be determined and strong. If we are, this is not going to be the end, but the beginning!
Of course if we just whine, everything will go to hell, and fall into the laps of the rulers of the world.
I actually think, and I have said it and written it on so many occasions, that right now there is absolutely no reason for nihilism.
Those dark days, some two decades ago, of disheartenment and gloom, are over. The era of the monsters like Reagan and Thatcher, the post-Reagan and post-Thatcher decades, of the Bush years, of the Yeltsin years, pre-Chavez years, pre-Morales years: Have all gone!
This is a new reality, and in many parts of the planet, it is quite a beautiful one!
Of course, most of the world is still extremely ugly, in pain and being governed by ruthless thugs, hypocrites, and even by mass murderers. Of course the West has not reformed itself, and it has never abandoned its ambition to dominate the planet. Of course there are millions of innocent people still dying, and the planet is being plundered by a bunch of degenerate morons belonging to the new religion called ‘market fundamentalism’… as this is being written.
Of course the propaganda and brainwashing campaigns coming from North America and Europe are intensifying dangerously. Of course it is not ‘the end of history’, but ‘the end of democracy’ as we have always perceived it…
Democracy has been totally kidnapped, perverted and humiliated by the most cynical manipulations from Washington, London and Paris. It has nothing to do with the ‘rule of the people’, nor about sticking some piece of paper into a carton box, in order to legitimize an entirely illegitimate ‘multi-party’ (really multi-party?) regime.
And of course, if there is no determined resistance, or defense of the basic values on which humanity is based, there will soon be nothing except absolute slavery, market fundamentalism, in brief a society much more appalling than Orwell or Huxley could ever envision.
The good news is, that there is resistance!
And there are people who are standing tall and fighting for the survival of mankind.
But equally as important, or even more important, is the fact that now there are also several countries that are totally determined not to allow this neo-Nazi European and North American system to choke the world.
These countries are not ‘perfect’, as nothing on this earth is. But they are historically peaceful, even if dirtied by the relentless disinformation campaign carried out by the global mass media. And they are all, without exception, much more interested in the well-being of humankind, than in religious concepts attached to business doctrines or world domination.
These countries – they all have different histories, economic and political systems, but all of them are fundamentally against Western neo-colonialism and imperialism. Needless to say, all of them have suffered greatly from it in the past, so they know what they are fighting against.
I am talking about Cuba and Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, Uruguay, China, Russia, Eritrea, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Iran, and many other nations of our wonderful and diverse planet.
Each and every one of them has been attacked in the past, by either Europe or the United States, or both.
China, one of the oldest and greatest nations on earth, was tricked, occupied and divided; plundered… Barbaric French hordes ransacked its cultural treasures, while the British colonized its cities, and in fact entire areas.
Symbolically, as recorded, the invaders even looted Chinese cultural treasures. As written in ‘The Telegraph’: there are Chinese artifacts, “1.5 million artifacts… in museums and collections across Europe and America, including the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.”
The West has been meddling in the internal affairs of China, financing, training and even arming its ‘opposition’. The narrative over Tibet, as well as its mostly internationalist approach towards Africa (I have interviewed hundreds of African people on the ground, in twenty odd countries, and most of them were appalled by the Western anti-Chinese narrative), has been totally kidnapped by the propagandists in London and Washington. The country has been antagonized and provoked on various occasions, its neighbors pitched artificially against it, again and again.
The outrageous provocative military actions of the US, Japan and South Korea against China and North Korea, are continuously bringing the world somewhere close to WWIII, as I have been told by most of the leading academics specializing in the region, including many of those from the West. Europe or the United States would never tolerate even one percent of what they are subjecting China, Russia and other countries to, with deadly regularity.
Is there any rational, historical reason why the world should fear China or North Korea, or Vietnam? Of course not! Except that the world is constantly being bombarded by a ‘religious’ and impossible to prove demagogy, which describes China (not the West!), as the true aggressor.
The historical and present-day violence against Russia is even more extreme. In recent history, the West has openly attacked Russia, on countless occasions. To name just a few of the most deadly ones: WWI, as well as several incursions against the young Soviet State by the French, Czech and others. According to the BBC Russia Profile:
“In northern Russia, British, French and US troops captured Murmansk and Archangel until 1919, while in the Russian Far East they occupied Vladivostok.”
WWII terminated the lives of twenty million Soviet citizens, who in the end defeated Nazism and saved further hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from definite annihilation.
While the Soviet Union supported most of the liberation struggles in the fight against Western colonialism, it never directly attacked Western Europe nor the United States.
In the end, the Soviet Union was dragged into the Afghan conflict in 1979, and was financially and mentally exhausted, exactly in accordance with the plan created by Zbigniew Brzesinski. As I was recently told, in the city of Kharkov, by a Ukrainian political analyst, Alexandr Oleinik:
“The essence of what is now happening is based on the doctrine of the United States, which has one major goal: To wipe out from the globe, first the Soviet Union, and then Russia, regardless of its form; whether socialist or capitalist… As is well known, these goals were already defined in the early 1980s, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his report to the US State Department, titled: “Game Plan: A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U.S.-Soviet Contest.”
But it is Russia, not the US, UK or France, which is constantly defined by Western propaganda as the aggressor! No facts are given, except for many pseudo-facts about the Ukrainian famine, which, this author is intending to re-visit from his previous essays, together with the other ‘main pillars of Western anti-Communist propaganda’ – the Chinese famine and Cambodian bloodletting (both triggered by imperialism – by the US and Japanese ones), but about these topics, a little bit later this year.
Could all these vicious lies and manipulations be created precisely because Russia has always fought against Western imperialism?
And what about the world? Just ask people from the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa: Many see both Russia and China as two giants, two heroes, not as ‘aggressors’.
Iran: Is there any country (maybe except Cuba and Russia), which has suffered from Western terror more than this old cultural powerhouse?
Iran has been battered relentlessly! The democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, a true patriot who introduced great social changes in his country, was overthrown in a CIA and MI6 arranged coup, in 1953. It is not even denied in the West. The New York Times in 2000, reported (“The C.I.A. In Iran”) on that fact, and called the operation a ‘success’, lamenting ‘mishaps’:
“The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret history of its covert operation to overthrow Iran’s government in 1953 offers an inside look at how the agency stumbled into success, despite a series of mishaps that derailed its original plans.”
The West then pampered and supported its brutal implant, the Shah; his torture chambers, rapes, political murders and disappearances. And it armed and conditioned Iraq, which was under its close ally – Saddam Hussein – who invaded Iran in 1987, triggering a beastly war that took between 500,000 and 1.5 million human lives (historians can still not agree on the exact numbers).
Iran, naturally, has never attacked Europe or the United States, but we are told to fear its ‘potential nuclear capability’! Of course it did something much more ‘terrible’ in the eyes of the West; it dared to, under Mosaddegh, to nationalize its oil reserves. For that, millions of people had to die.
I don’t know about others, but while looking back at our planet’s history, I’d feel calmer if Iran were to have nukes, than when I know for certain, that the UK, France or US, some of the most aggressive countries on earth, actually have them.
And Cuba! Assassination plots against its President, the bombing of a passenger airliner, the bombing of restaurants and hotels, a direct invasion, an insane embargo, and even attempts to trigger drought and poison its crops, not to speak about the direct financing of the ‘dissidents’! The West, led mainly by the United States, did all that to Cuba. And it was done with absolute impunity.
All this because Cuba has been fighting, for decades, against imperialism and colonialism in Africa, because it helped to liberate Namibia and Angola, and tried to liberate the Congo; because it has been sending its doctors to the poorest parts of the world, because it has become a symbol of resistance against Western fascism…
Are we all scared of Cuba? Hands up who is! I am serious.
I can go on and on, about Venezuela and Bolivia, about Chile, even Brazil. But this time I just want to send a relatively short message: Just once, just for a few minutes, let us ‘censor’ our minds, to all the propaganda coming from the West. And let us, based on history and common sense, ask a very logical question: “Would it not be better to give a chance to those countries that are now standing against the Empire?”
We let Europe, the United States and their religious market fundamentalists rule the world, for many long centuries, and hundreds of millions of people vanished. Just let us have a glance at the map of the world, the way it looked at the very beginning of the 20th century. Are we getting the point? Everything colonized by Europe, all divided, messed up and enslaved.
Let us try something else. Let us all join the fight against Nazism and imperialism. Let us at least try!
Slowly but surely, non-Western countries are joining hands: Russia and Latin America, China and Latin America (yes, it was China which bailed out and saved Cuba, when that traitorous alcoholic Yeltsin, was busy destroying his country and the world, while at the same time taking direct Western dictates). Russia and China are getting closer, while Russia declared that it would support and defend Iran, if necessary. Venezuela and Iran, despite their cultural and social differences, are now as close as possible, and so are countries like Brazil and China.
The world is changing.
New and powerful media has emerged, sheltering the world from the one-sided Western indoctrination, offering great alternatives:
‘TeleSur’ in Venezuela (for which we are laboring relentlessly and proudly!). Press TV. RT! And there is even CCTV of China, although it still has to shed its ‘shyness’.
All this new and potent media is being read watched and relied on, by tens of millions of people starved of honest reporting and anti-imperialist stands! These media outlets are now standing tall and firm, alongside those several great opposition publications in the West (mainly in North America, very little in Europe) such as Counterpunch, Global Research, and Znet.
Public disobedience and “Occupy Wall Street” will definitely not save the world.
Whole countries, big and strong, will have to get involved.
There should be no appeasement. If the Empire dares to put its destroyers and military bases near Russia, China, Iran or Venezuela, these countries should do the same. And they are doing it, and they will.
The West is increasingly acting as a Nazi entity, and one does not do ‘peaceful protests’ in front of the Reichstag, when flames are consuming the world, when millions are being murdered!
Such protests will only be tolerated for as long as they are ineffective, but the moment when they truly become dangerous to the empire, they will be crushed. As they were!
I also believe that internal opposition in Europe and the United States should stop being so picky, demanding purity and perfection from the countries that are fighting against their own Nazi rulers, the system and the Empire. It’s not the time to be too fussy.
Resistance forces are diverse, they are not always ideal and to everyone’s taste, but they are already saving millions of human lives.
Let us first stop Western aggressions, imperialism and neo-colonialism, and only then, let us sort out our differences and determine the ideological way forward for the progressive forces on this planet.
Until then, to the barricades, to the battleships and to the television stations and magazines!
Of course we will win, but it will take some balls and ovaries, as they say in Latin America!