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War is Hot, Not Cold: A perspective on the new cold war between the US and Russia

War is Hot, Not Cold: A perspective on the new cold war between the US and Russia

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I began writing my latest political thriller, “Russian Holiday,” on a trip to Russia, during the most bizarre election campaign in history between two of the most unpopular candidates ever to win the nomination of a major political party in the United States.  At first, I thought I could make a choice between the two; select the lesser of the two evils; but then the propaganda wheels for the military industrial complex started spinning stories about Russia preparing for nuclear war.  It soon became clear to me that “We came, we saw, he died.”[1] Hilary Clinton’s Russia bashing was a prelude to the workup of a new cold war to justify billions in government contracts for arming Europe and possibly the Ukraine.  This essay is not to be interpreted as slanted “liberal” or “conservative.”  I am just noting what I observed.

After World War II, the United States economy had to shift from a wartime to peacetime economy.  However, that left the defense industry, which had been the driving force behind the wartime economy, out to dry.  They needed an enemy.  Thus, the “cold war” was begun with the Communists as the enemy.  Fast forward to the 21st Century.  No more Soviet Union, no more Communist threat.  Vacillating Donald Trump at first declared NATO obsolete, but then tried to tweet himself out of it.[2]  But Trump was not the first one to declare NATO obsolete.  Putin himself declared in 2014 that NATO was part of the old “bloc” system and had outlived itself.[3]

The real-life setting of this novel in civil war-torn Syria is a perfect example of how “Spy vs. Spy” can be a very dangerous game.  In 2016, the United States Treasury opened a terrorism finance inquiry into a large number of brand new Toyota trucks being used by ISIS.  The U.S. State Department and the British government had both provided the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), a loose group of rebels who had expressed a desire to topple the al-Assad government, with the trucks, which were now being used by Islamic terrorists.[4]

In 2016, in the northern province of Aleppo, different groups fighting the Syrian civil war are vying for the same territory, among them the Free Syrian Army, the U.S.-armed Kurdish YPG, and ISIS.  Free Syrian Army officials have cited a “deepening divide” between themselves and the Kurds, with the Kurds stating they could probably eliminate the FSA in a war.  Many other groups fighting in the area include the Martyrs of Syria Brigade, the Northern Storm Brigade, an Islamist FSA unit, the Islamic Front, which welcomes jihadist fighters, and the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front.[5]  These are not “moderate” rebels and the United States claims.  They are not “friendly” to the United States or its interests.  They are mercenaries, and, in some cases, terrorists.  According to Putin, the very arming of these groups by the US is giving ISIS an economic advantage.[6]

U.S. Special Forces Officer Jack Murphy reported in September 2016 that the U.S. policy of aiding Syrian rebels had the Special Forces training and arming Syrian anti-ISIS forces, while the CIA was maintaining a parallel program to arm anti-Assad insurgents.  Murphy reported that distinguishing between former al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army (supported by the CIA) was impossible, and that, as early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting to al-Nusra, while still retaining the FSA moniker to maintain access to CIA-provided weaponry.  He also reported among the rebels that U.S. Special Forces and Turkish Special Forces were training, at least 95% of them were either working in terrorist organizations or supporting them.  This would lead credence to Russia’s contentions that the Syrian rebels are no more than terrorists themselves.[7]

Witnesses describe Syrian rebels in Aleppo, including the FSA, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and Nour el din Zinki, as terrorists themselves.[8]  In July 2015, Syrian rebels blew up the western gate of the UNESCO protected heritage site, the Citadel of Aleppo with underground explosives.[9]  The U.S.-backed rebels, who are now fighting the Russians in Syria, have blown up the Carlton Hotel and the Palace of Justice in the same manner.  Aleppo itself is almost completely destroyed.[10]

So, it seems not only is the choice of who to support a mess, as it usually has been with interventions in  Afghanistan and Iraq, but the United States and Russia are fighting a proxy war against each other.  There are so many factions fighting for their own individual objectives in the Syrian civil war it is difficult to sort them all out.  What is sure, however, is that Russians were the only ones invited by the legitimate Syrian government.

I don’t condone or support genocide or terrorism.  However, I don’t think regime change is the proper paradigm to follow.  Even conservatives like Ted Cruz recognize the fact that putting Saddam Hussein and Muamar Gaddafi out of power has destabilized the region and led to an increase in terrorism.[11] Call Vladimir Putin a dictator if you may, but his idea of stabilizing the war and then calling for free, monitored elections seems saner to me than arming and training different factions of rebel groups and then having to fight the same groups you have armed with American lives.

[1] Clinton’s comments (on the air) upon hearing of Muamar Gaddafi’s brutal torture and murder.

[2] Jacobson, Louis, Donald Trump mischaracterizes NATO change and his role in it, Politifact, August 16, 2016

[3] Weiss, Michael, when Donald Trump was more anti-NATO than Vladimir Putin, The Daily Beast, November 4, 2016

[4] Cartalucci, Tony, The Mystery of ISIS’ Toyota Army Solved, New Eastern Outlook, 2016

[5] Mishgea, Syrian Madness: US Backed Rebels Fight US Special Forces, June 25, 2016, Mishtalk

[6] Putin Tells Everyone Who Created ISIS, Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQuceU3x2Ww

 

[7] Crooke, Alistair, U.S. Special Forces Officer: How the CIA armed and trained jihadists for war in Syria, Consortium News, September 29, 2016

[8] Bartlett, Eva, The Villages in Aleppo Ravaged by America’s “Moderate” Rebels, Global Research, September 29, 2016

[9] Sputnik, Militants detonated a tunnel under the western gate of the citadel, July 7, 2015, Sputnik International

[10] Lamb, Christina, The Australian, Rebels resisting Russian backed troops in Syria

[11] CBS News, Reality Check, Ted Cruz right that Middle East was better off with Hussein and Gaddafi.

THE DIRTY BUSINESS OF WAR

One of our most distinguished and highest ranking military men, Major General Smedley Butler said, “War is a racket.  It always has been.  It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.  It is the only one international in scope.  It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

vietnam

Since the protests of the Vietnam War, it has been “business as usual” under every government since the Reagan administration.  Besides the war in Iraq, which was based on one of the most massive deceptions in recent history for which nobody has been held accountable, and which can be said to be a self-fulfilling prophecy (we now have ISIS in Iraq and Al Qaeda in Iraq thriving where it did not exist before) we are seeing this business rear its ugly head in the conflicts in Syria and the buildup of NATO in Eastern Europe and military advice to the Ukraine, to fight the non-existent threat and fantasy of Russian aggression.

“Perception Management” was pioneered in the 1980’s under the Reagan administration in order to avoid the public opposition to future wars that was seen during the Vietnam War.[1]  The United States Department of Defense defines perception management as: “Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations, security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”

At the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, journalists were embedded with US troops as combat cameramen.  The reason for this was not to show what was happening in the war, but to present the American view of it.  Perception management was used to promote the belief that weapons of mass destruction were being manufactured in Iraq to promote its military invention, even though the real purpose behind the war was regime change. [2]

iraq

Alvin and Heidi Toffler cite the following as tools for perception management in their book, War and Anti-War:1) accusations of atrocities, 2) hyperbolic inflations, 3) demonization and dehumanization, 4) polarization, 5) claim of divine sanction, and 5) Meta-propaganda.

In 2001, the Rendon Group, headed by John Rendon, was secretly granted a $16 million contract to target Iraq with propaganda.[3]  Rendon, who had been hired by the CIA to help create conditions to removal Sadaam Hussein from power, is a leader in “perception management”.  Two months later, in December 2001, a clandestine operation performed by the CIA and the Pentagon produced false polygraph testimony of an alleged Iraqi civil engineer, who testified that he had helped Sadaam Hussein and his men hide tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.[4]  Of course, we now know that there were no weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq.

A study by Professor Phil Taylor reveals the differences between the US and global media over the coverage of the war to be: 1) Pro-war coverage in the US made US media “cheerleaders” in the eyes of a watchful, more scrutinous global media; 2) Issues about the war were debated more in countries not directly affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; 3) The non-US media could not see the link between the “war on terror” and the “axis of evil”, and 4) The US media became part of the information operations campaign, which weakened their credibility in the eyes of global media.

President Bush himself admitted in a televised interview with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News that, “One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”  Vice President Dick Cheney stated on Meet the Press, “If we’re successful in Iraq…we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11.”

Prior to 2002, the CIA was the Bush Administration’s main provider of intelligence on Iraq. In order to establish the connection between Iraq and terrorists, in 2002, the Pentagon established the “Office of Special Plans” which was, in reality, in charge of war planning against Iraq, and designated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to be the provider of intelligence on Iraq to the Bush Administration.  Its head, the Undersecretary of Defense, Douglas J. Feith, appointed a small team to review the existing intelligence on terrorist networks, in order to reveal their sponsorship states, among other things.  In 2002, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote a memo to Feith entitled, “Iraq Connections to Al-Qaida”, which stated that they were “not making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al-Qaida.” Peter w. Rodman, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, established a “Policy counter Terror Evaluation Group” (PCTEG) which produced an analysis of the links between Al-Qaida and Iraq, with suggestions on “how to exploit the connections.”[5]

“In February 2003, when former Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the U.N., he described “a sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al-Qaeda network,” stating that “Iraq today harbors a deadly network headed by Zarqawi’s forces, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden,” and that Zarqawi had set up his operations , including bioweapons training, with he approval of the Sadaam Hussein regime.  This has since been discredited as false.  However, in October 2004, due to the fact that the Iraqi insurgency was catching on as a cause in jihadist circles, Zarqawi pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda.  This was after his group had exploded a massive bomb outside a Shiite mosque in August 2003, killing one of Iraq’s top Shiite clerics and sparking warfare between the Shiite and Sunni communities.  The tipping point toward a full-blown civil war was the February 2006 attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, which is credited to Haythem Sabah al-Badri, a former member of Sadaam Hussein’s Republican Guard, who joined Al-Qaeda after the U.S. invasion.  This gave birth to the AQI, Al-Qaeda in Iraq[6]

General Wesley Clark, the former NATO Allied Commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Strategy and Policy, stated in his book, Winning Modern Wars, “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

In 2004, John Negroponte, who had served as ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, was appointed as ambassador to Iraq with the specific mandate of implementing the “Salvador Option”, a terrorist model of mass killings by US sponsored death squads.[7]

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld sent Colonel James Steele to serve as a civilian advisor to Iraqi Paramilitary special police commandos known as the “Wolf Brigade”.  Steele was a  counter-insurgency specialist who was a member of a group of US Special Forces advisors to the Salvadorian Army and trained counter-insurgency commandos in south America, who carried out extreme abuses of human rights.[8]  The Wolf Brigade was created and established by the United States and enabled the re-deployment of Sadaam Hussein’s Republican Guard.  The Brigade was later accused by a UN official of torture, murder and the implementation of death squads.[9]  The techniques used by these counter-insurgency squads were described as “fighting terror with terror”, which was previously done in other theaters, such as Vietnam and El Salvador.[10]

The use of death squads began in 2004 and continued until the winding down of combat operations in 2008.  In addition to the death squads, regular military units were often ordered to “kill all military age males” during certain operations; “dead-checking” or killing wounded resistance fighters; to call in air strikes on civilian areas; and 360 degree rotational fire on busy streets.  These extreme measures were justified to troops in Iraq by propaganda linking the people to terrorism.[11]

Colonel Steele, with the help of Col. James Hoffman, set up torture centers, dispatching Shia militias to torture Sunni soldiers to learn the details of the insurgency.[12]  This has been attributed as a major cause of the civil war which led to the formation of ISIS.[13]

The operation of death squads as counter-insurgency measures was also common knowledge at the time.     [14]

Private contractors, such as Steele, were often subject to different rules than the military forces they served and, in some cases, served with.  As of 2008, an estimated 155,286 private contractors were employed by the US on the ground in Iraq, compared to 152,275 troops.  The estimated annual cost for such contractors ballooned to $5 billion per year by 2010.[15]

In August 2006, four American soldiers from a combat unit in Iraq testified in an Article 32 hearing that they had been given orders by their commanding officer, Colonel Michael C. Steele, to “kill all military age males”.[16]

The “targeted killing” program that has been developed under President Obama’s watch is being hailed as the most effective tool against fighting terrorism.[17]  Unfortunately, no mention is made in the mainstream media of the innocent victims (collateral damage) caused by this assassination program, nor its lack of authority under international law.[18]  According to the journalist Glen Greenwald, all military age males in strike zones of the latest drone aircraft strike programs are considered militants unless it can be proved otherwise.  Some say that this has resulted in more civilian casualties than has been reported by the government.[19][20]

Kenneth Eade is a political novelist and author of “A Patriot’s Act” and “Beyond All Recognition”, both of which are available in bookstores and Amazon.com.

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[1] Parry, Robert (December 28, 2014) “The Victory of Perception Management” Consortium News

[2] Brigadier BM Kappor (2016) The Art of Perception Management in Information Warfare Today, USI of India

[3] Bamford, James (November 18, 2004) The Man Who Sold the War, Rolling Stone

[4] Brigadier BM Kappor (2016) The Art of Perception Management in Information Warfare Today, USI of India 2016

[5] Richelson, Jeffrey (February 20, 2014)  U.S. Special Plans: A History of Deception and Perception Management, Global Research

[6] Cruickshank, Peter and Paul (October 31, 2007) Al-Qaeda in Iraq: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy, Mother Jones

[7] Chossudovsky, Michel (November 17, 2013)  “The Salvador Option for Syria: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate ‘Opposition Forces’” Global Research

[8] Mass, Peter  (May 1, 2004) “The Way of the Commandos” New York Times

[9] Buncombe, Andrew (February 26, 2006) “Iraq’s Death Squads: On the Brink of Civil War” The Independent

Spencer, Richard (October 25, 2010) “WikiLeaks War Logs: Who are the Wolf Brigade?” The Daily Telegraph

Leigh, David (October 24, 2010) “The War Logs:  Americans handed over captives to Iraq torture squads” The Guardian

 

[10] Snodgrass Godoy, Angelina (2006) Popular Injustice: Violence, Community and Law in Latin America, Stanford University Press, pp. 175-180.

[11] Davies, Nicolas J. (November 20, 2014) Why Iraqis may see ISIL as Lesser Evil Compared to U.S. Backed Death Squads, AlterNet

[12] “US trained death squads organized torture sites across Iraq” Russia Today (April 8, 2013)

[13] Freeman, Colin (June 29, 2014) “Death Squads, ISIS and a new generation of fighters – Why Iraq is facing break-up”

[14] Cerny, Jakub (June 2006) “Death Squad Operations in Iraq, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom

[15] Dunigan, Molly (March 19, 2013) “A Lesson From Iraq War: how to outsource war to private contractors”, The Guardian

[16] Von Zielbauer, Paul (August 3, 2006) GI’s Say Officers Ordered Killing of Young Iraqi Men, New York Times

[17] Jaffe, Greg, “How Obama went from reluctant warrior to drone champion”, Washington Post, July 1, 2016

[18] ACLU, U.S. Releases Casualty Numbers and New Executive Order on Targeted Killing, ACLU Press Release July 1, 2016

[19] Greenwald, Glenn (May 29, 2012) Militants: Media Propaganda, Salon.com

[20] Obama’s Kill List –All males near strike zone are terrorists (May 30, 2012) RT America.

GMO’s Ukrainian Connection

Love

In late 2013, Victor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, rejected a European Union association agreement tied to a $17 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.  Instead, he chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a discount on Russian natural gas.  This decision led to his forcible removal from office in February 2014 and the current crisis and devastating civil war.    The present government of the Ukraine pursued the IMF loan and a European Union Association Agreement.

On July 28, 2014, the Oakland Institute released a report entitled “Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict,” which revealed that the World Bank and the IMF, under the terms of their $17 billion loan to Ukraine, would open the country to genetically-modified (GM) crops in agriculture.

Because of its rich soil, Ukraine has always been referred to as the “breadbasket of Europe.”      According to the Oakland Institute’s report, “Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed:  it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies.  There is no doubt that this provision meets the expectations of the agribusiness industry.  As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, ‘Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont’.”

The Oakland Institute also revealed that the terms of the World Bank/IMF loan to Ukraine have already led to “an increase in foreign investment, which is likely to result in further expansion of large-scale acquisitions of agricultural land by foreign companies and further corporatization of agriculture in the country.”

In May 2013, Monsanto announced plans to invest $140 million in a non-GMO corn seed plant in Ukraine, insisting that it would be working with conventional seeds only.  However, by November 2013, six large Ukrainian agriculture associations had prepared draft amendments to the Ukrainian law prohibiting GMOs, which called for “creating, testing, transportation and use of GMOs proposing the legalization of GM seeds,” citing that  genetically manufactured seeds had been tested as safe in the United States.  This is inaccurate, because GM seeds have never undergone independent safety testing in the United States, whose regulatory agencies such as the FDA, accept industry testing and considers them to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS.)

In December 2013, Monsanto Ukraine launched a “social development program” for the country, which it called “Grain Basket of the Future.”  The program provides grants to rural villagers so they can “start feeling that they can improve their situation themselves as opposed to waiting for a handout.”

In August 2011, WikiLeaks released U.S. diplomatic cables showing that the State Department had been lobbying worldwide for Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations like DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow.  It also released cables which showed that Petro Poroshenko, the current president of Ukraine, had been a U.S. informant.

On May 14, 2013, the United States- based non-profit organization “Food & Water Watch,” after reviewing these cables from 2005 through 2009, released its report entitled “Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda,”  which stated that the State Department has “lobbied foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operated a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology, and challenged commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules – even including opposing laws requiring the labeling of genetically-engineered (GE) foods.”

On the Russian side of the GMO coin, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated in April 2014:  “We don’t have a goal of developing GM products here or to import them.  We can feed ourselves with normal, common, not genetically modified products.  If the Americans like to eat such products, let them eat them.  We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.”

Recent efforts to speed up the annexation of Ukrainian agriculture have been documented by the Oakland Institute’s report.  Their fact sheet on the “Corporate Takeover of Ukrainian Agriculture” shows how the law firm of “Frishberg and Partners” found loopholes in a moratorium on Ukrainian agricultural land sales, and suggested a two-step approach to circumventing this moratorium, which remains in force until January 1, 2016.

The first step described by  Frishberg is to lease Ukrainian agricultural land instead of purchasing it.  This, when combined with legal purchases of industrial spaces adjoining the land, results in ownership.  The second step is to buy large amounts of shares in leading Ukrainian agribusinesses and then reform these companies from the inside. This is a strategy that international agribusiness giants such as Cargill, Monsanto and DuPont have employed. For example, in 2014 Cargill bought a five percent share in the largest land bank in Ukraine.

From the requirements such as those listed in the EU association agreement it is clear that Ukraine is not being set up for economic prosperity and independence, but for international exploitation.  While these develops, on the surface, may appear to be innocent, as
Big Ag  would prefer Ukrainian farmers and the civilian population to believe, the links between government organizations and agribusiness are clear.

The entry point into these connections can be found on the board of the US-Ukraine Business Council.       The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council’s Executive Committee contains representatives from Monsanto, John Deere, DuPont Pioneer, Eli Lilly, and Cargill. These companies are taking control of Ukraine’s agricultural sector with the aim of introducing their organizations are at the forefront of introducing GMO products.

For the past two years, thanks to the civil war, the news coming out of Ukraine has been providing these U.S. based argi-giants with the perfect cover to exploit Ukraine’s resources. Since the declaration of its independence in 1992, international companies have been colonizing Ukraine’s  agricultural sector.

The Council’s Senior Advisors include James Greene, the former Head of NATO’s Liason Office in Ukraine; Ariel Cohen, the Senior Research Fellow for The Heritage Foundation; Leonid Kozachenko, the President of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation; six former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine, and Oleh Shamshur, the former ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S.  Shamshur is also a senior advisor to PBN Hill + Knowlton Strategies – a unit of the PR giant Hill + Knowlton Strategies (H+K).

On April 15, 2014 Toronto’s “The Globe & Mail” newspaper published an op-ed by H+K assistant consultant Olga Radchenko, which criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and “Mr. Putin’s PR machine” and stated that “Last month, a group of Kiev-based PR professionals formed the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre, a voluntary operation aimed at helping to communicate Ukraine’s image and manage its messaging on the global stage.”

Dupont, Syngenta, Monsanto and other multinational companies have made their way into several key areas of Ukrainian agriculture, piecing together a multifaceted plan which will ultimately culminate in the implementation and monopoly of GMO products in Ukraine.

Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont have already have all already invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the construction of seed processing plants in Ukraine. Over the last twenty years, these companies have established a strong business foundation inside the country. This foundation has been laid so deep that international agribusiness companies are represented on the board of members of the national Ukrainian Seed Association.   This association, which includes Monsanto and DuPont, aims to “implement new technologies” and “the best new varieties and hybrids in Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian Seed Association also seeks to “take active part in the development of legislation of Ukraine concerning the improvement of seed market.” What this shows is that multinational agribusiness giants are able to not only introduce their technologies into Ukraine, but to also seek to change Ukrainian legislation to benefit themselves.

The key player in this corporate intervention into Ukrainian agriculture is none other than the United States Government, which is playing a central role in shaping the nation’s economy.   The ISAAA, which claims to be “small, responsive, non-bureaucratic, international network,” is sponsored directly by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USAID.   The ISAAA is instrumental in organizing the dissemination of biotechnology into “developing countries through public-private partnerships.”.”

Through its sponsoring of the ISAAA, which also has a board seat on the US-Ukraine Business Council and works to introduce GMO’s into Ukraine, the U.S. government is directly facilitating the corporate takeover of Ukraine’s agriculture.  Once the biotechnology and GMO laws are altered it will be too late for small farms and businesses to compete on a local scale, let alone an international one.

The ruining of  Ukraine’s unique soil is bad enough, but it also comes with the fact that the wealth of the country, which exists in this land, will be redistributed to a small percentage of oligarchs who, along with the multinational corporations, will control the entire country, with little to no benefit to the Ukrainian people themselves.

In March 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a bill recognizing Ukraine’s nationalist partisans, many of whom fought against both the Nazis as well as the Soviets during World War II and the postwar years, has created the biggest controversy.  This bill would recognize groups such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and Stepan Bandera’s so-called Banderite as legitimate combatants in World War II and as freedom fighters who fought for Ukrainian independence. Some of those partisan groups are believed to have participated in the ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews in Ukraine, as well as bombings and kidnappings against the country’s postwar Soviet government. If the bill were to become law, it would grant veterans of these groups social benefits and make them eligible for state awards. It would also make it illegal to deny the legitimacy of their actions.

Ukraine’s current nationalist elements such as the Right Sector strongly identify with Bandera and his fellow partisans, whom they say laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism. The Right Sector participated in the Euromaidan movement, as well as several  paramilitary brigades that have played roles in Ukraine’s fight against pro-Russian separatists in southeastern Ukraine. Critics of the Euromaidan movement alleged the nationalist presence was indicative of the fascist, anti-Russian principles of the movement and the pro-European government that came into power as a result of it.

Of course, the United States has more interests to promote in Ukraine than just GMO foods.  Its military industrial complex stands to benefit from the Ukrainian civil war, and the push to supply the country with lethal weapons will be to its benefit, while at the same time  creating a dangerous situation for the entire European continent.  The U.S. also favors a gas pipeline to Europe to bypass Russian gas.  In furtherance of the U.S. oil and gas industry’s interest in Ukraine, Hunter Biden, the Vice President’s son, has been appointed to the Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer, along with Devon Archer, a close friend of Secretary of State John Kerry to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer.  In a sign of direct intervention by the United States into Ukrainian government affairs, the U.S. State Department’s Natalie Jaresko has been appointed to the position of Ukraine’s Finance Minister.

Kenneth Eade is the author of “To Russia for Love,” a story about espionage, genetically engineered foods, and Ukraine.

My letter to President Obama about Ukraine

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to urge you, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, not to provide the much talked about military aid to the current government in the Ukraine and provoking World War III. This would be an act of aggression toward Russia and will lead to war in Europe; something that would make even Presidents Reagan and Nixon roll over in their graves. Against the interests and wishes of their constituents, the Congress has already authorized lethal aid to Ukraine. If US soldiers or weaponry are deployed in Ukraine, I have no doubt that Moscow will act swiftly and take Kiev. Then the US will repeat its rhetoric about “aggression” and it will escalate to a war between the two most heavily armed nuclear nations in the world.

Everybody with a brain knows this is about money, and that the American populous is too ignorant and uninformed to care. Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Ukraine are very clear and go back centuries; far beyond the Soviet Union. The threat of a Russian invasion and takeover of the Ukraine is ridiculous, but it will be very real if Russia is provoked and has to defend its interests. It would have already happened if it was going to happen, without much fanfare and with little or no resistance. The annexation of the Crimea was a logical result of the Washington backed coup of the Ukrainian government. The Crimea provides the strategic location of a Russian naval base on the Black Sea, established in Sevastopol, a city built by the Russian Empire in 1783, before the penning of the United States Constitution. It is this naval base that is the key to the Russia’s access to the Black Sea. The current base, before the annexation of Crimea to Russia, was under lease from the Ukrainian government to Russia. Unlike Crimea, Russia has no interest in annexing the Ukraine, a relatively poor country, which would only place a burden on Russia’s already heavily burdened social welfare system.

The current crisis in the Ukraine, orchestrated by the United States, only benefits the U.S. military industrial machine, U.S. oil and gas barons and the chemical industrial companies. Gas poor Europe, the primary potential customer, has thrown its hat in (as usual) with the United States and joined it in imposing economic sanctions against Russia, which have caused billions of dollars of damage to the Russian economy. These sanctions are tantamount to a declaration of economic war against Russia. The double speak supporting these sanctions is as hypocritical as your Peace Prize. The official reason cited is a response to Russia’s alleged military aggression in the Ukraine.

It is no secret that the United States is now at war in Syria, under the guise of fighting ISIS, but the real reason the U.S. in bombing Syria is the same reason that it bombed Iraq into oblivion. The real struggle is over oil and gas and its transmission to Europe in this critical region. Dominance of the area is critical to the U.S. energy barons and the continuing success and profit of the never ending U.S. military hardware and support industry. But to extend its reach into Russia’s rich and vast natural resources by attempting a “regime change” in Russia is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette.

Russia is not an aggressive nation. But, sure as Napoleon in the 19th century and Hitler in the 20th discovered, it does not take kindly to invasion, and every man and woman in Russia will join together to defeat any such attempt. It is in their blood. With all the experts on Russia in our government, why haven’t you consulted them on this? It is crazy for the United States to pick a fight with this nation. And to pick a fight with the strongest leader at the helm of the country since Joseph Stalin is even crazier. Despite all the efforts to chip away at Putin’s popularity, he remains popular with the people, and for just reason. Things are much better in Russia under his leadership. I know. I have seen it. Unemployment is down, pension payments are up, corruption is down, and the quality of life is significantly better than it was before.

Joe Biden may find European critics to Russian economic sanctions “annoying,” but the people of the United States have to realize that we are not threatened by this peaceful, but very powerful nation which occupies the largest land mass on earth. He has told Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” which seems to be throwing the gauntlet down, while at the same time he has installed his son onto the board of the largest privately owned gas company. At the same time, your administration is considering weaponizing the newly installed government, which has already established a history of ethnic cleansing, with hundreds to billions in military aid. Sitting right on the Russian border is no place to put a NATO presence, but the war hawks do not seem to care, and the people of the U.S. seem oblivious to it.

Please de-escalate the military escalation in Europe on Russia’s borders, and do not weaponize Ukraine. You are the only one now standing between peace and war. Please earn your Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. President.

Sincerely yours,

Kenneth Eade