Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Like Vladimir Putin, Stephen Lendman speaks Straight Talk, a language
Washington needs to learn.
Putin says what he means and means what he says. His style is forthright. He follows through on what he says.
Obama is polar opposite – an inveterate serial liar with no credibility whatever. He says one thing and does another.
On the occasion of Ramadan, he duplicitously extended "warmest greetings” to world Muslims he’s been systematically mass slaughtering since day one in office with no letup.
If he really cared for their rights and welfare, he’d immediately order all US direct and proxy wars of aggression ended. He’d stop destabilizing Muslim countries and end persecuting Islamic people at home and abroad.
He’d end the charade about a so-called Iranian nuclear weapons program that the whole world knows doesn’t exist.
He’d cease all US financial, political and military support for Israel until it recognizes Palestinian statehood within June 1967 borders and ends its illegal occupation once and for all – both unconditionally.
He’d stop pursuing regime change in one independent country after another. He’d put Wall Street and other corporate crooks in prison where they belong – plus CIA torturers for their high crimes.
He’d end punishing austerity and go all-out to increase social benefits – including replacing corporate controlled Obamacare with universal healthcare for all Americans.
He’d dismantle America’s police state apparatus and repressive laws. He’d support fair and equitable trade, not what benefits corporate predators at the expense of consumers.
He’d end Big Brother spying on everyone without just cause. He’d obey international, constitutional and US statute laws instead of breaching them consistently. He’d serve all Americans equitably – not just the rich and powerful.
Putin participated in a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) plenary meeting panel discussion.
He answered questions forthrightly. He had much to say worth hearing. He justifiably blamed Washington for pursuing Cold War 2.0.
"Not military conflicts but global decisions like the US unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) lead to a Cold War,” Putin explained.
"This more in fact pushes us to a new round of the arms race, because it changes the global security system.”
Washington lied claiming ABM withdrawal was to counter threats from North Korea and Iran. No such threats exist. Both countries want normal relations with America and other Western nations. Instead they’re bashed for maintaining sovereign independent rights.
The Bush administration ended ABM to install anti-missile systems intended to negate Russia and China’s strategic nuclear forces. Obama pursues the same belligerent policy.
"The problem is that Washington is constantly trying to impose its standards and decisions on us with no regard to our interests,” said Putin.
"In essence the "exceptional” country says,’we are better’ as if the US knows better what is good for us. Well, let us decide for ourselves what our interests and needs are as dictated by our history and culture.”
Putin accused Washington of irresponsibly meddling in Russia’s internal affairs, which is the same way Washington operates globally, a nuclear-armed bully throwing its weight around.
"There is no dialogue,” Putin explained. Instead "an unacceptable ultimatum. Don’t speak the language of ultimatums with us,” he stressed.
"Russia does not claim some sort of hegemony. Russia does not claim some kind of ephemeral superpower status. We want relations based on equality with all members of the international community.”
Russia will go all-out to defend its interests, Putin explained. It’s not about to roll over and obey US diktats – nor should it or any other nation.
After the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Washington began aggressively expanding east using enlarged NATO as a dagger targeting Russia’s heartland.
"I’m completely convinced that after the so-called bipolar system ceased to exist, after the Soviet Union disappeared off the political map, several of our partners in the West, including the United States first and foremost, fell into euphoria and instead of setting up good neighborly and partner relations, they began grabbing geopolitical space as they saw fit,” said Putin.
Confrontation substituted for normalized relations. Nothing in prospect suggests change.
"We are not the root cause of crisis in Ukraine,” Putin explained. Europe "shouldn’t have supported Washington’s anti-state and anti-constitutional coup, the armed seizure of power that eventually ignited a tough confrontation and de facto civil war in that country.”
Multi-world polarity is the new way of things Putin stresses often. Instead of accepting it and building good relations, US-dominated NATO expanded east in violation of what Washington pledged not to do.
"Quite possibly, some of our partners might have gotten an illusion that a global center like the Soviet Union had existed in the postwar world order and now that it was gone, vacuum appeared and it was to be filled urgently,” Putin said. "I actually think that’s an erroneous approach to the solution of the problem.”
Kiev must shift from "manipulations to practical work”–including constitutional reform, accepting Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics’ special status, decentralization, a new law on municipal elections, amnesty as agreed on, and full implementation of Minsk ceasefire terms.
So far, nothing constructive was accomplished. Aggression on Donbass continues. No dialogue is in prospect to end it – or efforts made by the West to afford its residents their legitimate rights.
"If the current Ukrainian authorities think that the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics are Ukraine’s territory and there live Ukrainians who enjoy the right to be provided with disability benefits or pensions and who have earned them working in accordance with the Ukrainian law, then the Ukrainian authorities cannot deny payments of these benefits. By not paying Kiev is violating the Ukrainian constitution,” Putin explained.
Given lunatics running the asylum in Washington, the possibility of East/West confrontation is greater than any time during the Cold War.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.