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NSA 'Totalitarian,' Says Ex-Staffer to German Parliament

A former NSA technical chief has told Germany's parliament that the US agency has become a "totalitarian" mass collector of data. German public broadcasters say the NSA targets individuals who use encryption services.

Deutsche Welle

July 3, 2014

Former NSA technical head William Binney described the US National Security Agency in Berlin on Thursday as an entity that had abandoned every rule-of-law principle and breached the democratic freedoms of citizens.

Binney was the first American insider to testify to the German Bundestag's newly formed NSA inquiry committee, which is pursuing three questions, including whether German intelligence services had worked with the NSA.

Testifying, Binney accused the NSA of having a "totalitarian mentality" and wanting "total information control" over citizens in breach of the US constitution. It was an approach that until now the public had only seen among dictators, he added.

Read more . . .

Blackwater's Top Manager Threatened Life of U.S. Govt Chief Investigator in Iraq

And got away with it, as he told the investigator he knew he would

The New York Times


June 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”

Read more . . .

Fourth of July Militarist Bunkum

Paul Craig Roberts

July 3, 2014

By Paul Craig Roberts

Did you know that 85 to 90 percent of war’s casualties are non-combatant civilians? That is the conclusion reached by a nine-person research team in the June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The deaths of soldiers who are fighting the war are a small part of the human and economic cost. Clearly, wars do not protect the lives of civilians. The notion that soldiers are dying for us is false. Non-combatants are the main victims of war.

Keep that in mind for July 4th, which is arriving tomorrow.

July 4th is America’s most important national holiday celebrating American independence from Great Britain. On July 4th, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer colonies but an independent country in which the Rights of Englishmen would prevail for all citizens and not only for King George’s administrators. (Actually, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2, and historians debate whether the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4 or August 2.)

In this American assertion of self-determination citizens of Great Britain were not allowed to vote. Therefore, according to Washington’s position on the votes in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine–the former Russian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk–America’s Declaration of Independence was “illegitimate and illegal.”

On July 4th all across America there will be patriotic speeches about our soldiers who gave their lives for their country. To an informed person these speeches are curious. I am hard pressed to think of any examples of our soldiers giving their lives for our country. US Marine General Smedley Butler had the same problem. He said that his Marines gave their lives for United Fruit Company’s control of Central America. “War is a racket,” said General Butler, pointing out that US participation in World War I produced 21,000 new American millionaires and billionaires.

When General Butler said “war is a racket,” he meant that war is a racket for a few people getting rich on the backs of millions of dead people. According to the article in the American Journal of Public Health, during the 20th century 190 million deaths could be directly and indirectly related to war. 190 million is 60 million more than the entire US population in the year that I was born.

Although the British did manage to burn down the White House in the “War of 1812,” the only real war fought on US territory was the war against Southern Secession. In this war Irish immigrants fresh off the boat gave their lives for American Empire. As soon as the South was conquered, the Union forces were set loose on the Plains Indians and destroyed them as well.

Empire over life. That has always been Washington’s guiding principle.

America’s wars have always been fought elsewhere–Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Philippines, Japan, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Somalia. Washington even attacks countries with which the US is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen, and engages in proxy wars. The article cited above reports: “The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Not a single one of these wars and military operations had anything whatsoever to do with defending the US population from foreign threats.

Not even Japan and Germany posed a threat to the US. Neither country had any prospect of invading the US and neither country had any such war plans.

Let’s assume Japan had conquered China, Burma, and Indonesia. With such a vast territory to occupy, Japan could not have spared a single division with which to invade the US, and, of course, any invasion fleet would never have made it across the Pacific. Just as was the fate of the Japanese fleet at Midway, an invasion fleet would have been sitting ducks for the US Navy.

Assume Germany had extended its conquests over Europe to Great Britain, Russia and North Africa. Germany would have been unable to successfully occupy such a vast territory and could not have spared a single soldier to send to invade America. Even the US superpower was unable to successfully occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, countries with small land areas and populations in comparison.

Except for its wars against the South, the Plains Indians, Haiti, Spain, Panama, Grenada, and Mexico, the US has never won a war. The Southern Confederates, usually outnumbered, often defeated the Union generals. Japan was defeated by its own lack of military resources. Germany was defeated by the Soviet Union. The allied invasion of Normandy did not occur until June 6, 1944, by which time the Red Army had ground up the Wehrmacht.

When the allies landed in Normandy, three-fourths of the German Army was on the Russian front. The allied invasion was greatly helped by Germany’s shortage of fuel for mobilized units. If Hitler had not allowed hubris to lead him into invading the Soviet Union and, instead, just sat on his European conquests, no allied invasion would have been possible. Today Germany would rule all of Europe, including the UK. The US would have no European Empire with which to threaten Russia, China, and the Middle East.

In Korea in the 1950s, General Douglas MacArthur, victorious over Japan, was fought to a standstill by third world China. In Vietnam American technological superiority was defeated by a third world army. The US rolled up mighty Grenada in the 1980s, but lost its proxy war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

Is there anyone so foolish as to think that Grenada or the Sandinistas were a threat to the United States, that North Korea or North Vietnam comprised threats to the United States? Yet, the Korean and Vietnam wars were treated as if the fate of the United States hung in the balance. The conflicts produced voluminous dire predictions and strategic debates. The communist threat replaced the Hitler threat. The American Empire was at risk from third world peoples. Dominoes would fall everywhere.

Currently Washington is at work overturning President Reagan’s accomplishment of ending the Cold War. Washington orchestrated a coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and installed a stooge government. Washington’s stooges began issuing threats against Russia and the Russian speaking population in Ukraine. These threats resulted in those parts of Ukraine that were formerly part of Russia declaring their independence. Washington blames Russia, not itself, and is stirring the pot, demonizing Russia and recreating the Cold War with military deployments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe. Washington needs to reinvent the Cold War in order to justify the hundreds of billions of dollars that Washington annually feeds the military/security complex, some of which recycles in political campaign donations. In contrast to Washington’s propaganda, an honest view of the events in Ukraine can be found here:

In the United States patriotism and militarism have become synonyms. This July 4th find the courage to remind the militarists that Independence Day celebrates the Declaration of Independence, not the American Empire. The Declaration of Independence was not only a declaration of independence from King George III but also a declaration of independence from unaccountable tyrannical government. The oath of office commits the US officeholder to the defense of the US Constitution from enemies ”foreign and domestic.”

In the 21st century Americans’ worst enemies are not al Qaeda, Iran, Russia, and China. America’s worst enemies are our own presidents who have declared repeatedly that the orchestrated “war on terror” gives them the right to set aside the civil liberties guaranteed to every citizen by the US Constitution. Presidential disrespect for the US Constitution is so extreme that Obama has nominated David Barron to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Barron is the Justice (sic) Department official who wrote the memos fabricating a legal justification for the Office of President to murder US citizens without due process of law.

Having stripped US citizens of their civil liberties, executive branch agencies are now stocking up vast amounts of ammunition, and the Department of Agriculture has placed an order for submachine guns. The Department for Homeland Security has acquired 2,717 mine-resistant armored personnel carriers. Congress and the media are not interested in why the executive branch is arming itself so heavily against the American people.

During the entirely of the 21st century–indeed, dating from the Clinton regime at the end of the 20th century–the executive branch has declared its independence from law (both domestic and international) and from the Constitution, Congress, and the Judiciary. The executive branch, with the help of the Republican Federalist Society, has established that the office of the executive is a tyranny unaccountable to law as long as the executive declares a state of war, even a war that is not conducted against another country or countries but a vague, undefined or ill-defined war against a vague stateless enemy such as “al Qaeda,” with which the US is currently allied against Syria.

Al Qaeda now has a dual role. Al Qaeda is Washington’s agent for overthrowing the elected Assad government in Syria and al Qaeda is the evil force against which US civil liberties must be sacrificed.

The illegitimate power asserted by the Office of the President is not only a threat to every American but also to every living being on planet earth. As the article cited above reports: “Approximately 17,300 nuclear weapons are presently deployed in at least 9 countries, many of which can be launched and reach their targets within 45 minutes.”

It only takes one fool–and Washington has thousands of fools–and all life on earth terminates in 45 minutes. The neoconservative belief that the United States is the exceptional, indispensable country chosen by history to rule the earth is a belief full of the arrogance and hubris that lead to war.

Keep your likely fate in mind as you watch the military bands and marches on July 4th and listen to the hot air of militarism.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2014

About Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments and his Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Japan PM Abe Guts Article 9 of the Constitution

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Hawaii Political Info introduction: The Japan Times gives us a look from inside Japan at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent announcement of the skirting of the anti-war provision of the Japanese constitution. This is more interesting than reading some non-Japanese newspaper's version of the event by a reporter who most likely can't read Japanese.

Article 9 of the Japanese constitution renounces war. The Japanese people were vehemently anti-war after their disastrous defeat in WWII. General Douglas MacArthur, who headed occupied Japan immediately after the end of WWII, instructed that the new constitution explicitly renounce war.

MacArthur headed occupied Japan soon after its defeat until he was relieved by President Truman on April 11, 1951. He was remembered by many Japanese who lived through those post-War years with affection and gratitude for his benevolence in his treatment of the defeated country.

The Constitution, modeled on that of the U.S., but renouncing war, was established on May 3, 1947, less that two years after Japan's August 15, 1945 surrender.


The Japan Times


July 2, 2014

The Abe administration, in a Cabinet decision made on Tuesday — the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Self-Defense Forces — changed the government’s longstanding interpretation of the Constitution so that Japan can exercise the right to collective self-defense. The decision not only effectively undermines the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9 — which has prevented Japan from being involved in international military conflicts in the postwar period — but also violates the principles of rule of law under the Constitution.

The Cabinet decision, pending related changes to relevant laws, paves the way for the SDF to use force overseas to defend Japan’s allies even if Japan itself is not under attack. In other words, it allows Japan to take part in conflicts abroad, potentially putting SDF members in harm’s way.

The Abe administration’s new interpretation of the Constitution also does not rule out Japan’s participation in United Nations-led collective security operations, which are mainly aimed at punishing countries that breach international peace — a concept different from self-defense. This contradicts what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated at a news conference following Tuesday’s Cabinet decision: “Japan will never take part in fighting such as has taken place in the Gulf War or the Iraq War.” Abandoning the traditional “defense-only defense” position, the administration’s move marks a clear departure from the postwar Japan’s basic defense posture.

Read more . . .


Article 9 in Japanese and English [Wikipedia]

East Ukraine Village Bombed by Airstrike, Seven Dead

Published on YouTube Jul 3, 2014

At least seven people have been killed by army air raids on Kondrashovka, including a five-year old child. And it's feared that number will rise. RT's Maria Finoshina managed to get to the village right after the attack. READ MORE

Hanabusa and Schatz Debate the Issues on Kauai

The primary race between fellow Democrats Colleen Hanabusa and Brian Schatz is the best show in town. Whoever wins the primary on August 9 will from that point on more than likely cruise to victory in the general election. At this point there appear to be no other strong candidates for the U.S. Senate position that Schatz now holds.

Schatz was appointed, not elected, to replace the late Senator Dan Inouye who passed away in December 2012 while in office. He has a lot of support, including financial. Fellow Jew Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, flew to Hawaii the day after he left office in January to headline a fundraiser for Schatz at the posh Kahala home of developer Duncan MacNaughtan. Bloomberg is ranked 16th wealthiest person in the world by Forbes. While in office, the mayor outraged many who believe in the spirit of freedom represented by our U.S. Constitution by trying to ram a limitation on the size of sugary drinks served by New York City restaurants, feeling that too many people left to their own devices don't have the brains to take care of their health, so smart people like the humble mayor should do it for them. The regulation was struck down by the New York Court of Appeals last week.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is giving Schatz strong competition. She's backed by many former Senator Inouye supporters, including his wife Irene. At this point it's hard to predict who the winner will be on primary election night.

Honolulu Civil Beat covered the debate on Kauai last night and has come through in providing an audio of the entire session.

Read the wrap-up by political reporter Chad Blair and listen to the full debate on audio here.


Schatz top contributors [Project Vote Smart]

Schatz top contributors [Open Secrets]

Hanabusa top contributors [Project Vote Smart]

Hanabusa top contributors [Open Secrets]

Voter Registration Deadline for Hawaii Primary Is July 10

How to get your registration form

Caution: The voter registration form can be downloaded electronically, but it can't be filed on the Internet. It must be mailed and postmarked by July 10 or delivered in person.

Hawaii residents who are U.S. citizens have until Thursday, July 10, 2014, to register for the primary election. If you are already registered but have changed your name or your address, you must re-register.

More information is available at the Office of Elections website. You may print out the voter registration form from the website, then fill it out and mail it in.

You may also register for permanent absentee voting, which allows you to receive your ballot in the mail and to vote by mail.

Get the instructions (easy and fast) and form directly from the Hawaii State Elections website.

Questions? Call the appropriate elections office number listed at the bottom left-hand corner of the page on the Hawaii State Elections website (click either of the above links).

Full Text of Putin’s Address to Russian Diplomatic Corps

Paul Craig Roberts

July 2, 2014

Paul Craig Roberts introduction: Below is President Putin’s complete address to the Russian diplomatic corps. It reveals Putin to be a person well aware of the threats that US unilateralism poses to the entire world. Washington’s belief that the US is exceptional and indispensable results in dictatorial behavior toward other countries and the overriding of their legitimate national interests. From such arrogance, wars are launched. Putin’s remarks show him to be a leader of restraint who responds to provocations with reason and not with anger and who is working to avoid conflict and war. Putin is well aware that he is getting no help from Washington or EU leaders. Putin’s address shows that he is, without question, the most important leader on the world scene at this time.

I have put a few passages in bold typeface and added two remarks of my own in [brackets].


Conference of Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives

July 1, 2014, 15:45 Moscow

Meetings with the diplomatic corps have become a tradition. We need this direct conversation to make an overall assessment of the situation in the world, to set current and long-term foreign policy objectives and on that basis to more effectively coordinate the work of our missions abroad.

I would like to begin by saying that the Foreign Ministry and our embassies are under a lot of pressure; we see this, we are aware of this, but this pressure will not be reduced. It will only increase, just as the requirement to show efficiency, precision and flexibility in our actions to ensure Russia’s national interests.

You know how dynamic and unpredictable international developments may sometimes be. They seem to be pressed together and unfortunately are not all of a positive nature. The potential for conflict is growing in the world, old contradictions are growing ever more acute and new ones are being provoked. We come across such developments, often unexpectedly, and we observe with regret that international law is not working, the most basic norms of decency are not complied with and the principle of all-permissiveness is gaining the upper hand. [Putin is referring to Washington placing its unilateral action above US law, the US Constitution, and International Law.]

We are observing this in Ukraine as well. We need to understand clearly that the events provoked in Ukraine are the concentrated outcome of the notorious deterrence policy. As you may know, its roots go deep into history and it is clear that unfortunately, this policy did not end with the end of the Cold War.

In Ukraine, as you may have seen, at threat were our compatriots, Russian people and people of other nationalities, their language, history, culture and legal rights, guaranteed, by the way, by European conventions. When I speak of Russians and Russian-speaking citizens I am referring to those people who consider themselves part of the broad Russian community, they may not necessarily be ethnic Russians, but they consider themselves Russian people.

What did our partners expect from us as the developments in Ukraine unfolded? We clearly had no right to abandon the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol to the mercy of nationalist and radical militants; we could not allow our access to the Black Sea to be significantly limited; we could not allow NATO forces to eventually come to the land of Crimea and Sevastopol, the land of Russian military glory, and cardinally change the balance of forces in the Black Sea area. This would mean giving up practically everything that Russia had fought for since the times of Peter the Great, or maybe even earlier – historians should know.

I would like to make it clear to all: this country will continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire range of available means – from political and economic to operations under international humanitarian law and the right of self-defense.

I would like to stress that what happened in Ukraine was the climax of the negative tendencies in international affairs that had been building up for years. We have long been warning about this, and unfortunately, our predictions came true.

You know about the latest efforts to restore, to maintain peace in Ukraine. Foreign Ministry staff and the Minister himself took an active part in this. You know about the numerous telephone conversations we had on this subject.

Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has resolved to resume military action, and we failed – when I say ‘we’, I mean my colleagues in Europe and myself – we failed to convince him that the road to a secure, stable and inviolable peace cannot lie through war.

So far Mr Poroshenko was not directly linked to the orders to begin military action, and only now did he take full responsibility, and not only military, but political as well, which is much more important.

We also failed to agree to make public the statement approved by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine on the need to maintain peace and search for mutually acceptable solutions.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that after the ceasefire was declared, no substantive, as you say, negotiations on the settlement of the situation ever began. Virtually, a disarmament ultimatum was given. However, even the ceasefire was not bad overall, though not enough to settle the situation on a long-term basis in a way that would be acceptable to all the people living in the country, including those in its southeast.

A constitution was made public, but it was never discussed. Even within Ukrainian society there is a discussion of whether it is good or bad, but nobody definitely ever discussed it with the east.

Of course, everything that is going on in Ukraine is the internal affair of the Ukrainian state. It pains us to see people dying, especially civilians. As you may know, the number of refugees in the Russian Federation is growing. We will of course provide assistance to all those who need it. However, killing journalists is unacceptable. I reminded the Ukrainian President of this yesterday yet again.

In my view, we are observing a focused effort to liquidate all media representatives. This applies to both Russian and foreign journalists. Who could be afraid of fair reporting? Probably those, who are committing crimes. We strongly hope that the Ukrainian authorities act on their promises to carefully investigate the crimes.

More new hotspots are appearing on the world map. There is a deficit of security in Europe, in the Middle East, South-East Asia, in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. The global economic, financial and trade systems are becoming unbalanced, and moral and spiritual values are being washed out.

There is hardly any doubt that the unipolar world order did not come to be. Peoples and countries are raising their voices in favour of self-determination and civilizational and cultural identity, which conflicts with the attempts by certain countries to maintain their domination in the military sphere, in politics, finance, the economy and in ideology.

I know this has no direct bearing on us, however what is being done to the French banks can cause nothing but indignation in Europe in general and here as well. We are aware of the pressure our American partners are putting on France to force it not to supply Mistrals to Russia. We even know that they hinted that if France does not deliver the Mistrals, the sanctions will be quietly lifted from their banks, or at least they will be significantly minimized.

What is this if not blackmail? Is this the right way to act on the international arena? Besides, when we speak of sanctions, we always assume that sanctions are applied pursuant to Article 7 of the UN Charter. Otherwise, these are not sanctions in the true legal sense of the word, but something different, some other unilateral policy instrument.

In the past 20 years, our partners have been trying to convince Russia of their good intentions, their readiness to jointly develop strategic cooperation. However, at the same time they kept expanding NATO, extending the area under their military and political control ever closer to our borders. And when we rightfully asked: “Don’t you find it possible and necessary to discuss this with us?” they said: “No, this is none of your business.” Those who continue insisting on their exclusivity strongly dislike Russia’s independent policy. The events in Ukraine prove this. They also prove that a model of relations full of double standards does not work with Russia.

Nevertheless, I hope pragmatism will eventually prevail. We need to get rid of ambitions, of attempts to establish a ‘world barracks’ and arrange everybody by rank, or to impose single rules of behavior and life, and to finally begin building relations based on equality, mutual respect and concern for mutual interests. It is time we admit each other’s right to be different, the right of every country to live its own life rather than to be told what to do by someone else.

Colleagues, in its foreign policy Russia has been consistently proceeding from the notion that solutions to global and regional conflicts should be sought not through confrontation, but through cooperation and compromise. We advocate the supremacy of international law while supporting the UN’s leading role.

International law should be mandatory for all and should not be applied selectively to serve the interests of individual select countries or groups of states, and most importantly, it should be interpreted consistently. It is impossible to interpret it in one way today, and in a different way tomorrow to match the political goals of the day.

World development cannot be unified. However, we can look for common issues, see each other as partners rather than competitors, and establish cooperation between states, their associations and integration structures.

These are the principles we were guided by in the past, and they continue to guide us now as we promote integration within the CIS. Strengthening close friendly ties and developing mutually advantageous economic cooperation with our neighbours is the key strategic priority of Russia’s long-term foreign policy.

The driving force behind Eurasian integration is the trio of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed in Astana on May 29, symbolises a qualitatively new step in our relations. A powerful centre of economic development that attracts business and investors, a common market is being formed in Eurasia. That is why our CIS partners show a strong interest in this union. I hope that very soon, Armenia will become a full-fledged member of this union. Negotiations with Kyrgyzstan are at an advanced stage. We are open to other Commonwealth states as well.

As we promote the Eurasian integration project, we are in no way trying to separate ourselves from the rest of the world; we are ready to consider prospects for creating free trade zones both with individual states and with regional associations and unions, primarily the European Union, of course.

Europe is our natural and most significant trade and economic partner. We strive to find new opportunities to expand our business cooperation, to open up new prospects for mutual investment and to lift trade barriers. This requires an upgrade of the legal contractual base of our cooperation and the stability and predictability of ties, primarily in such strategically important areas as energy. Stability on the entire territory of Eurasia and sustainable development of the EU economies and Russia depend on well-coordinated cooperation based on consideration for mutual interests.

We have always held high our reputation of a reliable supplier of energy resources and invested in the development of gas infrastructure. Together with European companies, as you may know, we have built a new gas transportation system called Nord Stream under the Baltic Sea. Despite certain difficulties, we will promote the South Stream project, especially since ever more European politicians and businessmen are coming to understand that someone simply wants to use Europe in their own interests, that it is becoming a hostage of someone’s near-sighted ideologized approaches.

If we return to Ukraine, the violation by Ukraine of its commitments regarding the purchase of our natural gas has become a common problem. Kiev refuses to pay on its debt. This is absolutely unacceptable. They have not paid for November-December of last year, though there were no arguments whatsoever then.

Our partners are using blatant blackmail – this is what it is. They demand an ungrounded reduction of prices on our goods, though the agreement was signed in 2009, and the parties complied with it in good faith. Now, as you may know, the court in Kiev has lifted all accusations against Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, who signed the contract. Thus, the Kiev court authorities admit that they have done everything right not only by international law, but by Ukrainian law as well. But they do not wish to comply, or to pay for the product already received.

As of June 16, as you may know, we have transferred Ukraine to a pre-payment system, so they will get exactly the amount of gas they pay for. Today they do not pay; therefore, they are not getting anything – only in the so-called reverse mode. We know all about this reverse mode: it is a fake; there is no reverse mode. How can you supply gas two ways along the same pipeline? One does not have to be a gas transportation expert to understand that this is impossible. They are playing tricks with some of their partners: in fact, they are getting our gas and paying some western partners in Europe who are not receiving their volume. We are quire aware of this.

We are not taking any action at this point only because we do not want the situation to deteriorate. However, everyone should draw the proper conclusions from the situation. The main thing is that honest gas consumers and suppliers should not suffer from the actions of Ukrainian politicians and bureaucrats.

Generally, all of us – Ukraine, our European partners, and we – should seriously consider how to reduce the probability of any type of political or economic risks or force majeure situations on the continent.

In this connection, I would like to remind you that in August 2015 we will be marking 40 years of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This anniversary is a good reason not only to turn to the basic principles of cooperation on the continent that were laid back in 1975, but also to jointly make them work, to help them take root in practical European politics.

We have to work consistently to rule out any unconstitutional coups in Europe, any interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the use of blackmail or threats in international relations or the support of radical and neo-Nazi forces.

All of us in Europe need a sort of safety net to make sure that Iraqi, Libyan or Syrian – and unfortunately, I have to say also Ukrainian – precedents do not become contagious. This is especially dangerous for the post-Soviet area, because the states have yet not gained political or economic strength, they do not have a stable political system. It is very important that the constitutions of these states be treated with great care and respect. [Washington does not respect the US Constitution, so why would it respect constitutions of other countries?]

Why is this important – and not only on the post-Soviet area, but all over Europe? Because even in those countries of Western and Eastern Europe where things seem to be going fine, there are quite a few hidden ethnic and social contradictions that may become acute any moment, may serve as ground for conflicts and extremism, and may be used by external forces to rock the social and political situation to achieve an illegitimate undemocratic change of power with all the negative consequences.

Firm guarantees of indivisible security, stability, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs should become the basis that we can use to build a common space for economic and humanitarian cooperation that would spread from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean – I already spoke of this as a single space from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

I would like to ask the Foreign Ministry to draft a set of proposals in this respect, with special focus on the inadmissibility of any attempts to influence internal political processes from the outside. The job is to work the traditional principle of non-interference into the modern European realities and initiate a serious international discussion on the subject.

We also need to continue strengthening the eastern vector of our diplomacy, to more intensively use the impressive potential of the Asia-Pacific region in the interests of the further development of our country, primarily, of course, of Siberia and the Far East. We should continue to direct Russia’s policy in Asia and the Pacific at maintaining the security of our eastern borders and at supporting peace and stability in the region. The coming leadership of Russia in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the SCO and BRICS summits to be held in Ufa in the summer of 2015 work to support this.

We need to strengthen overall partnership and strategic cooperation with the People’s Republic of China. We can say that a strong Russian-Chinese connection has taken shape on the international arena. It is based on a coincidence of views on both global processes and key regional issues. It is of primary importance that Russian-Chinese friendship is not directed against anyone: we are not creating any military unions. On the contrary, this is an example of equal, respectful and productive cooperation between states in the 21st century.

We intend to further develop our relations with our traditional partners in this area of the world: with India and Vietnam, who are playing an ever-greater role in the world; with Japan and other countries, including the ASEAN states. We intend to further use the potential of the growing markets in Latin America and Africa and the great experience of political and humanitarian relations with the countries there.

Our contacts with the United States of America are of great importance for the whole world. We do not intend to shut down our relations with the USA. True, bilateral relations are not in their best shape, but – I would like to stress this – not through Russia’s fault. We have always tried to be predictable partners and conduct our affairs on the basis of equality. However, in return, our lawful interests were often ignored.

Now over to various types of international meetings. If we are assigned the observer role without a decisive vote on key issues that are of vital importance to us, then such meetings are of little interest to us. We should not sacrifice our vital interests just for the sake of being able to sit and observe. I hope our partners will eventually come to understand this obvious fact. So far, we have been hearing ultimatums or mentoring. Nevertheless, we are ready for dialogue, but I would like to stress that this should be an equal dialogue.

Colleagues, the complicated and unpredictable situation in the world places great demands on Russian diplomats’ professional level. The Foreign Ministry’s staff in Moscow and the Russian embassies abroad worked effectively and in coordinated fashion during the serious situation with Crimea and Ukraine, and I want to thank you for this. I particularly note the work done by the heads and staff of Russia’s representative missions at the UN and other key international organizations.

We must continue working with just such energy and dignity, in a spirit of tact, restraint and sense of measure of course. Our position must be based on clear and unshakeable principles of international law and legal and historical justification, on truth, justice, and the strength of moral superiority.
For my part, I can say that our country’s leadership will continue to do everything necessary to give you good conditions for your professional activity. As you know, I have signed presidential executive orders raising the wages of Foreign Ministry staff. Wages of people working at the central office will increase 1.4-fold on average.

Pensions for diplomatic personnel taking their retirement after January 1, 2014, will increase 3.5-fold on average. Pay for the heads of foreign diplomatic missions will increase four-fold on average in ruble equivalent. Pension top-ups for ambassadors and permanent envoys going into retirement have also increased considerably.

Wages in rubles for personnel at diplomatic missions abroad will be increased a bit later, from January 1, 2016, but this will be a four-fold increase. I hope that these steps will help to boost the Foreign Ministry’s human resources potential and thus make us more effective in carrying out our foreign policy.

I also ask the Government to speed up the decision on providing additional guarantees for personnel from other agencies and administrative and technical personnel working at Russian missions abroad, especially in situations where there are terrorist threats.

The Foreign Ministry has raised the question of giving diplomatic service the official legal status as a special type of civil service in Russia. We will examine this proposal.

This concludes my opening remarks.

I thank the members of the media for the attention they have given our work.


Roberts' comments and additions copyrighted © Paul Craig Roberts 2014

About Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments and his Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost


PM Abe Bypasses Japanese Constitution to Send Troops Overseas

Hawaii Political Info introduction: Having been defeated in war, the Japanese know from actual experience just what hell war is, particularly when one's country is on the losing end. But almost all the Japanese who were adults during WWII and remember those miserable times are gone now. Japan, once the most warmongering nation on earth, surpassing even the U.S., is starting to move in the direction of war again. It does it by taking a leaf from American dictators . . . er, presidents, and violating its own constitution.

Listening to the broadcast, we soon learn it's the U.S. that's behind this move, strong evidence that Japan is a U.S. puppet.

Russia Today introduction: Japan's ruling parties have agreed to lift a self-imposed ban on overseas military operations for the first time since the second world war. This decision to change the constitution provoked a wave of protests.


Article 9, Japanese Constitution (peace clause)

MSM Ignores Palestinian Deaths, Plays Up Israeli Deaths

Russia Today introduction: Deaths of [3] Israeli teens grabbed the headlines. Meanwhile the killing of a Palestinian teen, abducted and slaughtered overnight in East Jerusalem in a suspected revenge attack has gone largely unnoticed. As well as the killing of an 18-year-old Palestinian by Israeli troops in the West Bank.

Published on YouTube July 2, 2014

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