Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Responsibility to Protect: Humanitarian Lies Are Paving the Road to Armageddon

The Road to Damascus...And On to Armageddon?
By Diana Johnstone
Originally published in Counterpunch
February 13, 2012
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Paris: What if pollsters put this question to citizens of the United States and the European Union :

“Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?”

I’ll bet that there might be a majority for avoiding World War III.

But of course, the question is never framed like that.

That would be a “realistic” question, and we Westerners from the heights of our moral superiority have no time for vulgar “realism” in foreign policy (except the eccentric Ron Paul, crying out in the wilderness of Republican primaries).

Because, in the minds of our political ruling class, the United States has the power to “make reality”, we need pay no attention to the remnants of whatever reality we didn’t invent ourselves.

Our artificial reality is coming into collision with the reality perceived by most or at least much of the rest of the world.  The tenants of these conflicting views of reality are armed to the teeth, including with nuclear weapons capable of leaving the planet to insects.

Theoretically, there is a way to deal with this dangerous situation, which has the potential of leading to World War.  It is called diplomacy.  People capable of grasping unfamiliar ideas and understanding viewpoints other than their own, examine the issues underlying conflict and use their intelligence to work out solutions that may not be ideal but will at least prevent things from getting worse.

There was even an organizational structure created for this: the United Nations.

But the United States has decided that as sole superpower it doesn’t really need to stoop to diplomacy to get what it wants, and the United Nations has been turned into the instrument of US policy. The clearest evidence of this was the failure of the UN Security Council to block the NATO powers’ abuse of the ambiguous and contested Responsibility to Protect (“R2P”) doctrine to overthrow the Libyan government by force.

Early this year, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rejoiced that: “The world has embraced the Responsibility to Protect – not because it is easy, but because it is right. We therefore have a moral responsibility to push ahead.”  Morality trumps the basic UN principle of national sovereignty. Ban Ki-moon suggests that pushing ahead with R2P is no less than the “next test of our common humanity”, and announces: “That test is here – in Syria.”

So, the Secretary General of the UN considers the “moral responsibility” of R2P his main guideline to the crisis in Syria.

In case there was any doubt, the Libyan example demonstrated what that means.

A country whose rulers do not belong to the Western club made up of NATO countries, Israel, the emirs of the Gulf states and the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, is wracked by opposition demonstrations and armed rebellion, with the mix of the two making it difficult to sort out which is which.  Western mainstream media hasten to tell the story according to a standard template:

The ruler of the country is a “dictator”.  Therefore, the rebels want to get rid of him simply in order to enjoy Western-style democracy.  Therefore, the people must all be on the side of the rebels. Therefore, when the armed forces proceed to repress the armed rebellion, what is happening is that “the dictator is killing his own people”.  Therefore, it is the Responsibility 2 Protect of the international community (i.e. NATO) to help the rebels in order to destroy the country’s armed forces and get rid of (or kill) the dictator.

The happy ending comes when Hillary Clinton can shout gleefully, “We came, we saw, he died!”

Thereupon, the country sinks into chaos, as armed bands rove, prisoners are tortured, women are put in their place, salaries are unpaid, education and social welfare are neglected, but oil is pumped and the West is encouraged by its success to go on to liberate another country.

That at least was the Libyan model.

Except that in the case of Syria, things are more complicated.

Unlike Libya, Syria has a fairly strong army.  Unlike Libya, Syria has a few significant friends in the world. Unlike Libya, Syria is next door to Israel. And above all, the diversity of religious communities within Syria is much greater and more potentially explosive than the tribal divisions of Libya.  The notion that “the people” of Syria are unanimously united in the desire for instant regime change is even more preposterous.

Electoral democracy is a game played on the basis of a social contract, a general consensus to accept the rule that whoever gets the most votes gets to run the country.  But there are societies where that consensus simply does not exist, where distrust is too great between different sectors of the population. That could very well be the case in Syria, where certain minorities, including notably the Christians and Alawites, have reason to fear a Sunni majority that could be led by Islamists who make no secret of their hostility to other religions.  Still, perhaps the time has come to overcome that distrust and build an electoral democracy with safeguards for minorities.  However, the one sure way to set back such a move toward democracy is a civil war, which is certain to revive and exacerbate hatred and distrust between communities.

Last month, on this site Aisling Byrne called attention to results of a public opinion poll funded by no less than the Qatar Foundation, which cannot be suspected of working for the Assad regime, given the Qatar royal family’s lead position in favor of overthrowing that regime. The key finding was that “while most Arabs outside Syria feel the president should resign, attitudes in the country are different. Some 55% of Syrians want Assad to stay, motivated by fear of civil war – a specter that is not theoretical as it is for those who live outside Syria’s borders. What is less good news for the Assad regime is that the poll also found that half the Syrians who accept him staying in power believe he must usher in free elections in the near future.”

This indicates a very complex situation.  Syrians want free elections, but they prefer to have Assad stay in power to organize them.  This being the case, the Russian diplomatic efforts to try to urge the Assad regime to speed up its reforms appear to be roughly in harmony with Syrian public opinion.

While the Russians are urging President Assad to speed up reforms, the West is ordering him to stop the violence (that is, order his armed forces to give up) and resign.  Neither of these exhortations are likely to be obeyed.  The Russians would almost certainly like to stop the escalation of violence, for their own good reasons, but that does not mean they have the power to do so.  Their attempts to broker a compromise, decried and sabotaged by Western support to the opposition, merely put them in line to be blamed for the bloodshed they want to avoid.  In a deepening civil war situation, the regime, any regime, is most likely to figure it has to restore order before doing anything else.  And restoring order, under these circumstances, means more violence, not less.

The order to “stop killing your own people” implies a situation in which the dictator, like an ogre in a fairy tale, is busily devouring passive innocents.  He should stop, and then all the people would peacefully go about their business while awaiting the free elections that will bring the blessings of harmony and human rights. In reality, if the armed forces withdraw from areas where there are armed rebels, that means turning those areas over to the rebels.

And who are these rebels?  We simply do not know.  Someone who may know better than we do is Osama bin Laden’s successor as head of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is seen on a video urging Muslims in Turkey and neighboring Arab states to back the Syrian rebels.

Excuse me gentlemen, we need to know, are you guys democracy activists?
With uncontrolled armed groups fighting for control, the insistent Western demand that “Assad must step down” is not really even a call for “regime change”.  It is a call for regime self-destruction.

As in Libya, the country would de facto be turned over to rival armed groups, with those groups that are being armed covertly by NATO via Turkey and Qatar having an advantage in hardware.  However, the likely result would be a multi-sided civil war much more horrific than the chaos in Libya, thanks to the country’s multiple religious differences.  But for the West, however chaotic, regime self-destruction would have the immediate advantage of depriving Iran of its potential ally on the eve of an Israeli attack.  With both Iraq and Syria neutralized by internal religious conflict, the strangulation of Iran would be that much easier – or so the Western strategists obviously assume.

At least initially, the drive to destroy the Assad regime relies on subversion rather than outright military attack as in Libya.  A combination of drastic economic sanctions and support to armed rebels, including fighters from outside, notably Libya (whoever they are), reportedly already helped by special forces from the UK and Qatar, is expected to so weaken the country that the Assad regime will collapse.  But a third weapon in this assault is propaganda, carried on by the mainstream media, by now accustomed to reporting events according to the pattern: evil dictator killing his own people.  Some of the propaganda must be true, some of it is false, but all of it is selective.  The victims are all victims of the regime, never of the rebels.  The many Syrians who fear the rebels more than the present government are of course ignored by the mainstream media, although their protests can be found on the internet. A particular oddity of this Syrian crisis is the way the West, so proud of its “Judeo-Christian” heritage, is actively favoring the total elimination of the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East.  The cries of protest that Syrian Christians rely for protection on the secular government of Assad, in which Christians participate, and that they and other minorities such as the Alawites may be forced to flee if the West gets its way, fall on deaf ears.

The story line of dictators killing their own people is intended primarily to justify harsh Western measures against Syria. As in Bosnia, the media are arousing public indignation to force the US government to do what it is in fact already doing: arm Muslim rebels, all in the name of “protecting civilians”.

Last December, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said that the “end of the Assad regime would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran”.  The “protection of civilians” is not the only concern on the minds of US officials.  They do think of such things as the balance of power, in between their prayer breakfasts and human rights speeches.  However, concern with the balance of power is a luxury denied less virtuous powers such as Russia and China. Surely the shift in the balance of power in the region cannot be limited to a single country, Iran.  It is meant to increase the power of Israel, of course, but also the United States and NATO.  And to decrease the influence of Russia.  Thrusting Syria into helpless chaos is part of the war against Iran, but it is also implicitly part of a drive to reduce the influence of Russia and, eventually, China.  In short, the current campaign against Syria, is clearly in preparation for an eventual future war against Iran, but also, obscurely, a form of long term aggression against Russia and China.

The recent Russian and Chinese veto in the Security Council was a polite attempt to put a brake on this process. The cause of the veto was the determination of the West to push through a resolution that would have demanded withdrawal of Syrian government forces from contested areas without taking into consideration the presence of armed rebel groups poised to take over. Where the Western resolution called on the Assad regime to “withdraw all Syrian military and armed forces from cities and towns, and return them to their original home barracks”, the Russians wished to add: “in conjunction with the end of attacks by armed groups against State institutions and quarters and towns.”  The purpose was to prevent armed groups from taking advantage of the vacuum to occupy evacuated areas (as had happened in similar circumstances in Yugoslavia during the 1990s).  Western refusal to rein in armed rebels was followed by the Russian and Chinese veto on February 4.

The veto unleashed a torrent of insults from the Western self-styled “humanitarians”.  In an obvious attempt to foster division between the two recalcitrant powers, US spokespersons stressed that the main villain was Russia, guilty of friendship with the Assad regime.

Seminal text critiquing Humanitarian War
Russia is currently the target of an extraordinary propaganda campaign centered on demonizing Vladimir Putin as he faces an lively campaign for election as President.  A prominent New York Times columnist attributed Russian support to Syria to an alleged similarity between Putin and Assad.  As we saw in Yugoslavia, a leader elected in free multi-party elections is a “dictator” when his policies displease the West. The pathetically alcoholic Yeltsin was a Western favorite despite shooting at his parliament.  The reason was obvious: he was weak and easily manipulated.  The reason the West hates Putin is equally and symmetrically obvious: he seems determined to defend his country’s interests against Western pressure.

The European Union has become the lapdog of the United States. This week the European Union is continuing to impoverish the Greek people in order to squeeze out money, among other things, lent by German and French banks to pay for expensive modern weaponry sold to Greece by Germany and France.  Democracy in Europe is being undermined by subservience to a dogmatic monetary policy.  Unemployment and poverty threaten to destabilize more and more member states.  But what is the topic of the European Parliament’s main monthly political debate this week?  “The situation in Russia.”  One can count on orators in Strasbourg to lecture the Russians on “democracy”.

American pundits and cartoonists have totally interiorized their double standards, so that Russia’s comparatively modest arms deliveries to Syria can be denounced as cynical support to dictatorship, whereas gigantic US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are never seen as relevant to the autocratic nature of those regimes (at most they may be criticized on the totally fictitious grounds of being a threat to Israel).  To be “democratic”, Russia is supposed to cooperate in its own subservience to Washington, as the United States pursues construction of a missile shield which would theoretically give it a first-strike nuclear capability against Russia, arms Georgia for a return war against Russia over South Ossetia, and continues to encircle Russia with military bases and hostile alliances.

Western politicians and media are not yet fighting World War III, but they are talking themselves into it. And their actions speak even louder than words… notably to those who are able to understand where those actions are leading.  Such as the Russians. The West’s collective delusion of grandeur, the illusion of the power to “make reality”, has a momentum that is leading the world toward major catastrophe.  And what can stop it?

A meteor from outer space, perhaps?

Editors' suggestions for additional resources:

League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria, "Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission" (2012)
Bricmont, Jean, "The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy" (2012)
Johnstone, Diana, "NATO's Humanitarian Trigger" (1999)
Johnstone, Diana, "Humanitarian Intervention Challenged" (2009 video interview)
Schoenman, Ralph, "West Uses UN Cover to Wage Wars" (2012 Press TV interview)
Teil, Julian (Director), The Humanitarian War (2011)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why Love Putin's Russia? ...Cause it's All We Got!

Anti-Putin "blogger" Alexei Navalny makes the cover of Esquire's Russian language magazine?  Gosh what day is it?  Must be close to another election in Russia... 

Why Washington Wants 'Finito' With Putin
By F. William Engdahl
Originally published in Boiling Frogs Post
January 9, 2012
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya--enough!.  Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, thinking, "what the hell is she up to now?"
On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fueling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”[1]

Putin went on to claim that Clinton’s premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton’s comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a “signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State.” [2]

Pussy Riot: one of many clench-fisted youth mobs that might be used this Winter to help solve Washington's 'Putin problem' in Russia. 
Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of  his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.

Democracy or something else?

No mistake, Putin is not a world champion practitioner of what most consider democracy. His announcement some months back that he and current President Medvedev had agreed to switch jobs after Russia’s March 4 Presidential vote struck even many Russians as crass power politics and backroom deal-making. That being said, what Washington is doing to interfere with that regime change is more than brazen and interventionist. The same Obama Administration which just signed into law measures effectively ripping to shreds the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution for American citizens[3] is posing as world supreme judge of others’ adherence to what they define as democracy.

Let’s examine closely Putin’s charge of US interference in the election process. If we look, we find openly stated in their August 2011 Annual Report that a Washington-based NGO with the innocuous name, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is all over the place inside Russia.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is financing an International Press Center in Moscow where some 80 international NGOs can hold press briefings on whatever they choose. They fund numerous “youth advocacy” and leadership workshops to “help youth engage in political activism.” In fact, officially they spent more than $2,783,000 in 2010 on dozens of such programs across Russia. Spending for 2011 won’t be published until later in 2012. [4]

western election monitors always find "irregularities"...that's what their paid to do ....duh....template!
The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian “independent” polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties “GOLOS.” According to the NED Annual Report the funds went “to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections.”[5]

Moscow-based Levada Center
In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian “independent” polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED’s own website Levada, another recipient of NED money, [6] had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled “the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of ‘managed democracy’ that has been established over the last decade.”

One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He is also “advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov” according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. [7]

Nemtsov, one of the most prominent figures of the Putin opposition today is also co-chairman of Solidarnost, a name curiously enough imitated from the Cold War days when the CIA financed the Polish Solidarnosc workers’ opposition of Lech Walesa. More on Nemtsov later.

And on December 15, 2011, again in Washington, just as the series of US-supported protests were being launched against Putin, led by Solidarnost and other organizations, the NED held another conference titled, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference? The featured speaker was Tamirlan Kurbanov, who according to the NED, “most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he was involved in developing and expanding the capacities of political and civic organizations; promoting citizen participation in public life, youth engagement in particular.” [8] The National Democratic Institute is an arm of the NED.

The Shady History of The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Creative destruction: the main specialty of the NED
Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed “Color Revolutions” in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting “human rights” in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China’s oil-rich Xinjiang province. [9] 

As careful analysts of the 2004 Ukraine “Orange revolution” and the numerous other US-financed color revolutions discovered, control of polling and ability to dominate international media perceptions, especially major TV such as CNN or BBC is an essential component of the Washington destabilization agenda. The Levada Center would likely be in a crucial position in this regard to issue polls showing discontent with the regime.

By their description, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.”[10]

Allen Weinstein
It couldn’t sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980’s CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington’s global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of “privatizing” US intelligence to make their work more “effective.” Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”[11] Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.

The NED was created during the Reagan Administration to function as a de facto CIA, privatized so as to allow it more freedom of action. NED board members are typically drawn from the Pentagon and US intelligence community. It has included retired NATO General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of Serbia in 1999. Key figures linked to clandestine CIA actions who served on NED’s board have included Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Henry Cisneros and Elliot Abrams. The Chairman of the NED Board of Directors in 2008 was Vin Weber, founder of the ultraconservative organization, Empower America, and campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Current NED chairman is John Bohn, former CEO of the controversial Moody’s rating agency which played a nefarious role in the still-unraveling US mortgage securities collapse. As well today’s NED board includes neo-conservative Bush-era ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad.[12]

Putin’s well-rehearsed opposition

Alexei Navalny
It’s also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition “poster boy” favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled LiveJournal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin’s jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, “I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia’s Presidential home-w.e.) right now…”[13]

Western establishment media is infatuated with Navalny. England’s BBC  described Navalny as "arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years," and US Time magazine called him "Russia's Erin Brockovich," a curious reference to the Hollywood film starring Julie Roberts as a researcher and legal activist. However, more relevant is the fact that Navalny went to the elite American East Coast Yale University, also home to the Bush family, where he was a “Yale World Fellow.” [14] 

The charismatic Navalny however is also or has been on the payroll of Washington’s regime-destabilizing National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a posting on Navalny’s own blog, LiveJournal, he was supported in 2007-2008 by the NED. [15] [16]

Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7 million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. [17]
CS First Boston bank also paid for Nemtsov's trips to the very expensive Davos World Economic Forum. When Nemtsov became a member of the cabinet, his protégé Brevnov was appointed the chairman of the Unified Energy System of Russia JSC. Two years later in 2009 Boris Nemtsov, today’s “Mr anti-corruption,” used his influence reportedly to get Brevnov off the hook for charges of embezzling billions from assets of Unified Energy System. [18]

Boris Nemtsov and his Western cohort
Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,”  US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov. [19]

Nemtsov’s close crony, Vladimir Ryzhkov of Solidarnost is also closely tied to the Swiss Davos circles, even founding a Siberian Davos. According to Russian press accounts from April 2005, Ryzhkov formed a Committee 2008 in 2003 to “draw” funds of the imprisoned Khodorkovsky along with soliciting funds from fugitive oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky and western foundations such as the Soros Foundation. The stated aim of the effort was to rally “democratic” forces against Putin. On May 23, 2011 Ryzhkov, Nemtzov and several others filed to register a new Party of Peoples’ Freedom to ostensibly field a presidential candidate against Putin in 2012.[20] 

Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a "non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security." Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate “objectionable people” while Yukos vice-president. [21]

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel (center left) and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov (right) stand with Berel Rodal (center right), vice chairman of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), one of the central organizations within Washington's multifaceted "regime change" operational infrastructure.
In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia’s opposition to Putin at the US President’s personal invitation at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.  Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: “If the White House agrees to Putin’s suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak,” he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.[22]

Ryzhkov, Nemtzov, Navalty and Putin’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin were all involved in organizing the December 25th Moscow Christmas anti-Putin rally which drew an estimated 120,000.[23]

Why Putin?

The salient question is why Putin at this point? We need not look far for the answer.

I would prefer not to
Washington and especially Barack Obama’s Administration don’t give a hoot about whether Russia is democratic or not. Their concern is the obstacle to Washington’s plans for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet that a Putin Presidency will represent. According to the Russian Constitution, the President of the Russian Federation head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office in the Russian Federation. He will take direct control of defense and foreign policy.

We must ask what policy? Clearly strong countermeasures against the blatant NATO encirclement of Russia with Washington’s dangerous ballistic missile installations around Russia will be high on Putin’s agenda. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” will be in the dustbin if it is not already. We can also expect a more aggressive use of Russia’s energy card with pipeline diplomacy to deepen economic ties between European NATO members such as Germany, France and Italy, ultimately weakening the EU support for aggressive NATO measures against Russia. We can expect a deepening of Russia’s turn towards Eurasia, especially with China, Iran and perhaps India to firm up the shaky spine of resistance to Washington’s New World Order plans.

It will take more than a few demonstrations in sub-freezing weather in Moscow and St. Petersburg by a gaggle of corrupt or shady opposition figures such as Nemtsov or Kasparov to derail Russia. What is clear is that Washington is pushing on all fronts—Iran and Syria, where Russia has a vital naval port, on China, now on Russia, and on the Eurozone countries led by Germany. It has the smell of an end-game attempt by a declining superpower.

The United States today is a de facto bankrupt nuclear superpower.  The reserve currency role of the dollar is being challenged as never since Bretton Woods in 1944. That role along with maintaining the United States as the world’s unchallenged military power have been the basis of the American Century hegemony since 1945.

Weakening the role of the dollar in international trade and ultimately as reserve currency, China is now settling trade with Japan in bilateral currencies, side-stepping the dollar. Russia is implementing similar steps with her major trade partners. The primary reason Washington launched a full-scale currency war against the Euro in late 2009 was to preempt a growing threat that China and others would turn away from the dollar to the Euro as reserve currency. That is no small matter. In effect Washington finances its foreign wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere through the fact that China and other trade surplus nations invest their surplus trade dollars in US government Treasury debt. Were that to shift significantly, US interest rates would rise substantially and the financial pressures on Washington would become immense.

Faced with growing erosion of her unchallenged global status as sole superpower, Washington appears now to be turning increasingly to raw military force to hold that. For that to succeed Russia must be neutralized along with China and Iran. This will be the prime agenda of whoever is next US President.     

F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, He may be reached via his website at 


[1] Alexei Druzhinin, Putin says US encouraging Russian opposition, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 8, 2011
[2] Ibid.
[3] Jonathan Turley, The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty,, 2 January 2012, accessed in
[4] National Endowment for Democracy, Russia, from NED Annual Report 2010, Washington, DC, published in August 2011, accessed in
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] NED, Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives, September 14, 2011, accessed in
[8] NED, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference?, December 15, 2011, accessed in
[9] F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, 2010, edition. Engdahl press. The book describes in detail the origins of the NED and various US-sponsored “human rights” NGOs and how they have been used to topple regimes not friendly to a larger USA geopolitical agenda.
[10] National Endowment for Democracy, About Us, accessed in
[11] David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September-6 October,1991, 24-25.
[12] F. William Engdahl, Op. Cit., p.50.
[13] Yulia Ponomareva, Navalny and Kudrin boost giant opposition rally, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 25, 2011.
[14] Yale University, Yale World Fellows: Alexey Navalny, 2010, accessed in
[15] Alexey Navalny, emails between Navalny and Conatser, accessed in Russian (English summary provided to the author by on
[16] Ibid.
[17] Business Week Russia, Boris Nemtsov: Co-chairman of Solidarnost political movement, Business Week Russia, September 23, 2007, accessed in
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Russian, Vladimir Ryzhkov: Co-chairman of the Party of People's Freedom, accessed in
[21] Russian, Garry Kasparov: The leader of United Civil Front, accessed in
[22] The OtherRussia, Obama Will Meet With Russian Opposition, July 3, 2009, accessed in
[23] Yulia Ponomareva, op. Cit.