2/3/17, "Trump Bends to Neocon Pressures," Consortium News, Andrew Spannaus
"President Trump’s calls for reorienting American foreign policy look
to be disintegrating in his first two weeks in office as he embraces the
neoconservative hostilities toward Iran and Russia....
The Trump Administration’s goal of de-escalating tensions with Russia
is meeting stiff resistance in Eastern Europe where many reject the
notion that a diplomatic solution can be reached over the issues of
Ukraine and NATO expansion.
This reality was on clear display at the 10th Europe-Ukraine Forum
held in Rzeszow, Poland, from Jan. 27 to 29, which brought together over
900 government officials, politicians and analysts from across Europe,
to discuss how to respond to the new political situation in the United
States while continuing to provide support to Kiev’s efforts to bind
itself closer to the West.
The atmosphere at the Forum – an annual event organized by the
Eastern Institute of Warsaw – was more muted than last year, as the
reality of the “realpolitik” likely to be adopted by President Trump’s
administration sinks in.
The previous forum in 2016 was opened by the American neoconservative
Philip Karber, president of the Potomac Foundation, who lamented the
“sophistic” reasoning of those who argue against providing military
assistance to Ukraine and said he couldn’t wait for the next
presidential administration to arrive (when it appeared likely it would
be headed by Hillary Clinton or a traditional Republican). Karber noted
that President Barack Obama had refused to fully arm the Ukrainians in
their battle against Russia.
This wasn’t just idle talk coming from Karber, as we found out a few
months later in 2016, thanks to leaks published by The Intercept last
July. It appears that Karber had gone repeatedly to the front lines of
the fight in Ukraine to draw up his own – inflated – intelligence
reports regarding Russian intervention. He sent the reports to General
Philip Breedlove, at the time the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe,
who in turn used Karber’s figures to challenge the lower estimates drawn
up by official intelligence agencies.
General Breedlove then went a step further, seeking to mobilize
pressure on President Obama to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine.
Despite enlisting the help of prominent individuals such as former
Secretary of State Colin Powell and one of Breedlove’s predecessors at
NATO, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Breedlove’s efforts proved ineffective.
Although President Obama continued to direct harsh criticism at Russia
in public, behind the scenes his message to the General was: “do not get
me into a war.”
Harlan Ullman, senior adviser to the Atlantic Council, wrote to
Breedlove about his attempt to “leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the
U.S. to react” to Russia: “Given Obama’s instruction to you not to
start a war, this may be a tough sell.”
The hope for a more aggressive stance against Russia by the future
U.S. administration obviously didn’t take into account the possibility
that the next President would be Donald Trump. In January 2016, few gave
Trump any chance to actually win the election, and thus the assumption
was that by this time, Hillary Clinton or a Republican such as Marco
Rubio or Jeb Bush would be occupying the White House.
Trump’s election seemed to upend the U.S. establishment’s push for a
more aggressive stance towards Russia that has been on full display
since last fall in particular. The news media and political class have,
in fact, focused almost hysterically on alleged Russian intervention
into the U.S. elections, despite crucial gaps in the evidence presented
to the public and the question of whether Russian President Putin would
have taken such a risk when it appeared Clinton was a shoo-in to win.
The WikiLeaks disclosures – primarily confirming Clinton’s close ties
to Wall Street and the Democratic National Committee’s help in
undermining Bernie Sanders’s campaign – were not initially considered a
major factor in Clinton’s defeat, which she principally blamed on FBI
Director James Comey’s last-minute reopening and re-closing of the
investigation into her use of a private email server for State
Department business. No one has suggested that Putin was behind Comey’s
actions or Clinton’s server decision.
The early Trump administration has sent mixed signals regarding
relations with Russia. Trump’s initial comments indicated that the U.S.
would seek a diplomatic deal to reduce tensions around Ukraine,
including by potentially recognizing the pro-Russian referendum in
Crimea, in exchange for a broader deal with Russia involving cooperation
against terrorism or nuclear arms reduction. However, Trump’s United
Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday vowed to continue sanctions
against Russia until it surrendered Crimea.
At the Europe-Ukraine Forum, the earlier expectation of reduced
tensions with Russia was grudgingly accepted by some, but outright
rejected by most. Many speakers called for an even more aggressive
stance on NATO expansion to include not only Ukraine, but also Sweden,
Finland and any other country in Russia’s neighborhood.
Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State of the Polish Ministry of
National Defense, also said Poland would volunteer to lead a group of
nations in creating a first-response network, ready to organize
out-of-area military missions in response to Russian aggression. Other
officials agreed with the idea of creating an alliance between a group
of countries going from the Baltics down through Eastern Europe, to put
pressure on the European Union and the United States to head off any
potential diplomatic accords with Putin.
The fear among these participants was that Ukraine would lose out in
any U.S.-Russian diplomatic accord. They argued further that if nothing
is done to counter Putin’s alleged expansionism then Russia will
inevitably move into Eastern Europe in order to restore its former
However, this view is based on the assumption that the conflict in
Ukraine broke out simply because the Russian president woke up one
morning and decided it was time to expand Russian military power again.
It ignores what the West did up to 2014, such as expanding NATO towards
Russia’s borders and providing support through both official sources and
numerous NGOs to “pro-democracy” groups, some of which wanted regime
change not only in Kiev but in Moscow.
A prominent example is the head of the U.S. taxpayer-funded National
Endowment for Democracy (NED), Carl Gershman. As journalist Robert Parry
NED funded scores of “democracy promotion” projects in Ukraine,
contributing to undermining the previous elected government and touching
off the civil war between Ukrainian nationalists from the west and
ethnic Russians from the east. Gershman also has called for the overthrow of Vladimir Putin in Russia. ["Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded
National Endowment for Democracy, explained the plan in a [Washington] Post op-ed on
Sept. 26, 2013. Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an
important interim step toward toppling Putin."]
A False Narrative
Although the West’s propaganda narrative has obscured the
circumstances around the ouster of Ukrainian President Yanukovych on
Feb. 22, 2014, the violent putsch has been called the “most blatant coup
in history” by George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor and
Geopolitical Futures. At the time of the coup, a diplomatic deal had
been struck for new elections by the end of the year, but far-right
militia groups stepped in to seize control of the government
institutions and the coup regime was quickly declared “legitimate” by
the U.S. government and its allies.
A key player in the change in power was U.S. Undersecretary of State
for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who was recorded in a pre-coup
phone call saying “Fuck the EU” with regard to Europe’s role as a
mediator for a diplomatic solution, and also hand-picking the person who
would become the new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, with the
comment “Yats is the guy.”
This direct intervention by the West provoked a predictable reaction
from Russia, which moved quickly to ensure that Crimea would not end up
under the NATO umbrella and then provided support to ethnic Russian
rebels in the east of Ukraine who battled Ukrainian troops spearheaded
by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and other ultra-nationalist militias.
The intensity of the conflict in Ukraine decreased considerably after
a ceasefire agreement was hammered out in early 2015.
However, on Jan.
28, barely a week into the Trump administration, new fighting broke out
around the city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. Staunchly anti-Russian
media outlets and politicians immediately tried to leverage the
situation to block any moves by President Trump to press ahead with a
However, at the Forum in Rzeszow, there were at least some voices
calling for a recognition of the new reality ushered in by the change in
approach in Washington. In private discussions several government
officials noted that with further NATO expansion probably off the table
at this point, there is no alternative to dialogue.
A few speakers, such as Markku Kangaspuro of Finland and former
Ukrainian government official Oleksandr Chalyi, admitted publicly that
there cannot be total war with Russia, and that at this point a
political solution seems to be the only way forward. The most that can
be done, from the standpoint of those who aim to counter Russia’s
influence as much as possible, is to try to limit and mitigate a
potential deal between Trump and Putin."
"Andrew Spannaus is a freelance journalist and strategic
analyst based in Milan, Italy. He is the founder of Transatlantico.info,
that provides news, analysis and consulting to Italian institutions and
businesses. His book on the U.S. elections Perchè vince Trump (Why Trump is Winning) was published in June 2016."
US must break up the military-industrial machine or it will never be free of its economic and spiritual drain. The machine must abandon business models they've used since WWII:
February 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm
The very foundation and strength of today’s neo-con
element rests on a well funded and politically organized
Military-Industrial complex (MIC). Unless the general public confronts
the MIC’s with, what I refer to as the “Ma-Bell-AT and T” break-up
plan, our nation will NEVER be free of both the economic and spiritual
drain we have been subjected to since the end of World War Two. These
“mega” warmongering corporations such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems,
Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and many others,
have business portfolio’s that belong in the PAST. A PAST that stood
against a truly functioning Soviet Union CCCP, with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot
and other mass murderers. That our government somehow, managed to self-
appoint a policing role that ruled over all the planets’ tyrants? mind
boggling to say the least! That said, back in 1982, Judge Harold Green
broke up one of the biggest Telephone monopolies. AT and T ; recall that
it was financially supported and operated by our federal government,
dare I say, just as the MIC’s of today are. CONSORTIUMNEWS readers
should take time, review the flood of tax dollars provided since 1945
and re-examine the whole “revolving door policy” between the legislative
branch and corporate CEO’s already mentioned herein. A mass petition?,
by the citizenry at large?, perhaps even a state-by-state, referendum
vote (California Style) can be applied towards this “AT and T plan”…..First, by approaching mega-war corporations and request a voluntary,
dissolution into smaller parts. By redirecting corporate efforts away
from manufacture, towards more R and D. For example; exotic weapons
systems- that could be quickly manufactured, from partial-assembly?
during times of extreme crises. That remaining portion referred to as
“finished product” weaponry, would be reserved for defensive/offensive
conflicts in outer space, since that’s where it all (techno-wars) seems
to be headed anyway. National indebtedness would decline and losses from
government subsidies (U.S. arms sales) would be given over to our
major allies. In exchange for these new markets they would reciprocate
by allowing the USA to evolve into a political role, such as the highest
recognized Court of Peaceable Arbitration, instead of the worlds’
My comment: Trump sold out his voters after only two weeks. We were ready. Deep State 1, American slaves, zero.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Et tu, Brute? Trump gives in to neocons after only two weeks in office. Trump could but won't stop the Deep State machine that has bled this country economically and spiritually since World War II-Consortium News, Andrew Spannaus, 'Trump Bends to Neocon Pressures'
Posted by susan at 10:30 PM