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그리고 그 인형사가 결국은 자신이라는 것이 확인될 때,
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남들이 다하는 불로그 놀이를 뒤늦게 시작해봤습니다.

누추하지만, 즐거운 방문이 되기를 바랍니다.

2008.5.22

by 인형사 | 2016/12/31 12:51 | 인형사 찾기 | 트랙백(6) | 덧글(10)

Sami Al-Arian is Deported from U.S. - Glenn Greenwald

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/05/sami-al-arian-charged-terrorism-never-convicted-deported-today-u-s/


Exclusive Interview: Sami Al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, is Deported from U.S.

In 2003, Sami Al-Arian was a professor at the University of South Florida, a legal resident of the U.S. since 1975, and one of the most prominent Palestinian civil rights activists in the U.S. That year, the course of his life was altered irrevocably when he was indicted on highly controversial terrorism charges by then Attorney General John Ashcroft. These charges commenced a decade-long campaign of government persecution in which Al-Arian was systematically denied his freedom and saw his personal and professional life effectively destroyed.

Despite the personal harm he suffered and the intense surveillance to which he had been subjected since as early as 1993, the government ultimately failed to produce any evidence of Al-Arian’s involvement in terrorist activities, instead relying at trial overwhelmingly on the pro-Palestinian writing and speaking he had done over the years.

His ordeal finally ended last night, 12 years after it began, as Al-Arian was deported yesterday at midnight (EST) from the United States to Turkey. His deportation was part of a 2006 plea bargain to which he acquiesced in order, he told The Intercept last night while at the airport preparing to leave the U.S., to “conclude his case and bring an end to his family’s suffering.” Al-Arian added: “I came to the United States for freedom, but four decades later, I am leaving to gain my freedom.”

A 2003 Justice Department investigation led by Ashcroft allegedly implicated Al-Arian and 8 other men in supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a group which had been designated a terrorist organization under the Clinton administration for carrying out bombings and other attacks in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories. Ironically, Al-Arian had been a prominent supporter of Clinton, and even met Clinton in the White House. He once remarked to The Intercepthat the multiple occasions when he stood in very close proximity to the U.S. President should, by itself, demonstrate how ludicrous were the “terrorist” allegations. In 2000, he supported the Bush campaign (after Bush denounced racial profiling).

Al-Arian, while a Professor at the University of South Florida, was indicted on multiple counts of providing “material support” to the group and fundraising on their behalf in the United States. In the press conference announcing the indictment, Ashcroft claimed that Al-Arian and his co-defendants “financed, extolled and assisted acts of terror,” and praised the recently passed Patriot Act as being instrumental to helping bring about the charges.

The charges were part of a broader post-9/11 campaign to by the U.S. Government to criminalize aid and support to Palestinians, as exemplified by the successful prosecution of five officials of what had been the largest Muslim charity in the U.S., the Holy Land Foundation. Those charity officials are now serving decades in prison for sending money to Palestinians which, it was alleged, made its way to designated terror groups in the Occupied Territories.

For most of the three years after his arrest, Al-Arian was kept in solitary confinement awaiting trial. During this time, he was regularly subjected to strip-searches, denied normal visitation rights with his family, and allegedly abused by prison staff. Amnesty International denounced the circumstances of his detention as “gratuitously punitive” and in violation of international standards on the treatment of prisoners.

When Al-Arian’s case did finally reach trial after years of harsh imprisonment, prosecutors failed to convict Al-Arian on even one charge brought against him. Jurors voted to acquit him on the most serious counts he faced and deadlocked on the remainder of the indictments.

The outcome was hugely embarrassing for the U.S. Government. Despite having amassed over 20,000 hours of phone conversations and hundreds of fax messages from over a decade of surveilling Al-Arian, the DOJ – even with all the advantages they enjoyed in terrorism cases in 2003 (and continue to enjoy today) – was unable to convince a jury Al-Arian was the arch-terrorist they had very publicly proclaimed him to be.

Indeed, instead of producing evidence that Al-Arian was involved in actual “terrorism,” the government attempted to use as evidence copies of books and magazines Al-Arian had owned in a failed effort to convince the jury to convict him of apparent thought crimes.

This effort failed and a jury ruled to acquit Al-Arian on 8 out of 17 charges while failing to come to a verdict on the remainder.

Al-Arian agreed to a plea bargain on the remaining charges by pleading guilty to one count of providing “contributions, goods or services” to PIJ, a decision he says he undertook out of a desire to end the government’s ongoing persecution of him and win his release from prison. 

Despite this plea, Al-Arian was not released from prison.

Instead, in 2007, shortly before he expected to leave jail and begin likely deportation proceedings, the government brought a new set of charges against him for refusing to testify in another trial against a Virginia-based Islamic think tank. Among several reasons he provided for refusing to testify against the group, he stated his belief that the organization was innocent of terrorism charges and, according to his lawyer, Jonathan Turley, “he doesn’t want them to be persecuted the way he was.” His lawyers also worried that any testimony he gave in that other case would allow the DOJ to bring wholly new charges against him for perjury.

For his refusal to testify, Al-Arian was sentenced to an additional 18 months in prison on civil contempt charges, the maximum allowed by law. Al-Arian served this added time only to be charged at the end of his sentence once again with additional criminal contempt charges stemming from the same case.

In Al-Arian’s description, these charges were in contravention of the plea deal he had previously agreed to with the government. As he told The Intercept, “They reneged on their end of the deal when they brought me to Virginia to try to force me to testify in another, unrelated case. It was a perjury trap. I refused to testify, so they charged me with criminal contempt.”

During the course of his imprisonment Al-Arian undertook a hunger strike to protest his ongoing persecution, losing 53 pounds in the process and being reduced to a state in which he was no longer able to walk or speak in a normal cadence. In court appearances, observers were shocked by his physical appearance, with representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service publicly vowing to subject him to force-feeding if his hunger strike if his condition continued to visibly deteriorate.

After his indictment for criminal contempt, a federal judge eventually ordered that Al-Arian to spend the duration of the court proceedings under house arrest. But the judge then proceeded to hold, rather than rule on, his motion to dismiss the indictment, freezing the case in place for years as he was consigned to house arrest. There he languished, confined to his small family apartment as his court case took years to work its way through the system.

In 2014, the federal government quietly and unceremoniously dropped all of their charges against Al-Arian. After 11 years of persecution which left his once-promising career in academia and public advocacy in shambles, Al-Arian was “free” to be deported from the country where he had spent 40 years of his life and raised his family. As a stateless Palestinian, he was forced to find another country where he could go, and ultimately was able to leave for Turkey, where he was expected to arrive today.

Speaking to The Intercept, Al-Arian said that he harbored no resentment despite his ordeal and that he now feels “at peace” with the conclusion of his legal ordeal.

Describing his visceral, firsthand experience of America’s eroding democratic values Al-Arian said, “I came to the United States because I valued living as a free person, one who is able to advocate in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been turning into a less free society, a police and surveillance state, especially after 9/11.”

“However, I’m very encouraged by the millions of Americans who are pushing back against the forces of intolerance and exclusionary politics. I leave hopeful that the tide is turning because as history has seen, when the truth is made known to them, Americans do not support oppression and discrimination.”

by 인형사 | 2015/02/07 23:27 | 인형사 찾기 | 트랙백 | 덧글(0)

The Fallujah Option for East Ukraine - MIKE WHITNEY

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/06/the-fallujah-option-for-east-ukraine/

Weekend Edition February 6-8, 2015
The Real Reason Washington Feels Threatened by Moscow

The Fallujah Option for East Ukraine

by MIKE WHITNEY

“I want to appeal to the Ukrainian people, to the mothers, the fathers, the sisters and the grandparents. Stop sending your sons and brothers to this pointless, merciless slaughter. The interests of the Ukrainian government are not your interests. I beg of you: Come to your senses. You do not have to water Donbass fields with Ukrainian blood. It’s not worth it.”

— Alexander Zakharchenko,  Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic

Washington needs a war in Ukraine to achieve its strategic objectives. This point cannot be overstated.

The US wants to push NATO to Russia’s western border. It wants a land-bridge to Asia to spread US military bases across the continent.  It wants to control the pipeline corridors from Russia to Europe to monitor Moscow’s revenues and to  ensure that gas continues to be denominated in dollars. And it wants a weaker, unstable Russia that is more prone to regime change, fragmentation and, ultimately, foreign control. These objectives cannot be achieved peacefully, indeed, if the fighting stopped tomorrow,  the sanctions would be lifted shortly after, and the Russian economy would begin to recover. How would that benefit Washington?

It wouldn’t. It would undermine Washington’s broader plan to integrate China and Russia into the prevailing economic system, the dollar system. Powerbrokers in the US realize that the present system must either expand or collapse. Either China and Russia are brought to heel and persuaded to accept a subordinate role in the US-led global order or Washington’s tenure as global hegemon will come to an end.

This is why hostilities in East Ukraine have escalated and will continue to escalate. This is why the U.S. Congress  approved a bill for tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy sector and lethal aid for Ukraine’s military. This is why Washington has sent military trainers to Ukraine and is preparing to provide  $3 billion in  “anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees, and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire.” All of Washington’s actions are designed with one purpose in mind, to intensify the fighting and escalate the conflict. The heavy losses sustained by Ukraine’s inexperienced army and the terrible suffering of the civilians in Lugansk and Donetsk  are of no interest to US war-planners. Their job is to make sure that peace is avoided at all cost because peace would derail US plans to pivot to Asia and remain the world’s only superpower. Here’s an except from an article in the WSWS:

“The ultimate aim of the US and its allies is to reduce Russia to an impoverished and semi-colonial status. Such a strategy, historically associated with Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, is again being openly promoted.

In a speech last year at the Wilson Center, Brzezinski called on Washington to provide Kiev with “weapons designed particularly to permit the Ukrainians to engage in effective urban warfare of resistance.” In line with the policies now recommended in the report by the Brookings Institution and other think tanks calling for US arms to the Kiev regime, Brzezinski called for providing “anti-tank weapons…weapons capable for use in urban short-range fighting.”

While the strategy outlined by Brzezinski is politically criminal—trapping Russia in an ethnic urban war in Ukraine that would threaten the deaths of millions, if not billions of people—it is fully aligned with the policies he has promoted against Russia for decades.” (“The US arming of Ukraine and the danger of World War III“, World Socialist Web Site)

Non-lethal military aid will inevitably lead to lethal military aid, sophisticated weaponry, no-fly zones, covert assistance, foreign contractors, Special ops, and boots on the ground. We’ve seen it all before. There is no popular opposition to the war in the US, no thriving antiwar movement that can shut down cities, order a general strike or disrupt the status quo. So there’s no way to stop the persistent drive to war. The media and the political class have given Obama carte blanche, the authority to prosecute the conflict as he sees fit. That increases the probability of a broader war by this summer following the spring thaw.

While the possibility of a nuclear conflagration cannot be excluded, it won’t effect US plans for the near future. No one thinks that Putin will launch a nuclear war to protect the Donbass, so the deterrent value of the weapons is lost.

And Washington isn’t worried about the costs either.   Despite botched military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and half a dozen other countries around the world; US stocks are still soaring, foreign investment in US Treasuries is at record levels,, the US economy is growing at a faster pace than any of its global competitors, and the dollar has risen an eye-watering 13 percent against a basket of foreign currencies since last June. America has paid nothing for decimating vast swathes of the planet and killing more than a million people. Why would they stop now?

They won’t, which is why the fighting in Ukraine is going to escalate. Check this out from the WSWS:

“On Monday, the New York Times announced that the Obama administration is moving to directly arm the Ukrainian army and the fascistic militias supporting the NATO-backed regime in Kiev, after its recent setbacks in the offensive against pro-Russian separatist forces in east Ukraine.

The article cites a joint report issued Monday by the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and delivered to President Obama, advising the White House and NATO on the best way to escalate the war in Ukraine….

According to the Times, US officials are rapidly shifting to support the report’s proposals. NATO military commander in Europe General Philip M. Breedlove, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey all supported discussions on directly arming Kiev. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is reconsidering her opposition to arming Kiev, paving the way for Obama’s approval.” (“Washington moves toward arming Ukrainian regime“, World Socialist Web Site)

See what’s going on? The die is already cast. There will be a war with Russia because that’s what the political establishment wants. It’s that simple. And while previous provocations failed to lure Putin into the Ukrainian cauldron, this new surge of violence–a spring offensive– is bound to do the trick. Putin is not going to sit on his hands while proxies armed with US weapons and US logistical support pound the Donbass to Fallujah-type rubble.  He’ll do what any responsible leader would do. He’ll protect his people. That means war. (See the vast damage that Obama’s proxy war has done to E. Ukraine here: “An overview of the socio – humanitarian situation on the territory of Donetsk People’s Republic as a consequence of military action from 17 to 23 January 2015“)

Asymmetrical Warfare: Falling Oil Prices

Keep in mind, that the Russian economy has already been battered by economic sanctions, oil price manipulation, and a vicious attack of the ruble. Until this week, the mainstream media dismissed the idea that the Saudis were deliberately pushing down oil prices to hurt Russia. They said the Saudis were merely trying to retain “market share” by maintaining current production levels and letting prices fall naturally. But it was all bunkum as the New York Times finally admitted on Tuesday in an article titled: “Saudi Oil Is Seen as Lever to Pry Russian Support From Syria’s Assad”. Here’s a clip from the article:

“Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to abandon his support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, using its dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government is reeling from the effects of plummeting oil prices…

Saudi officials say — and they have told the United States — that they think they have some leverage over Mr. Putin because of their ability to reduce the supply of oil and possibly drive up prices….Any weakening of Russian support for Mr. Assad could be one of the first signs that the recent tumult in the oil market is having an impact on global statecraft…..

Saudi Arabia’s leverage depends on how seriously Moscow views its declining oil revenue. “If they are hurting so bad that they need the oil deal right away, the Saudis are in a good position to make them pay a geopolitical price as well,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a Middle East specialist at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service (“Saudi Oil Is Seen as Lever to Pry Russian Support From Syria’s Assad“, New York Times)

The Saudis “think they have some leverage over Mr. Putin because of their ability” to manipulate prices?

That says it all, doesn’t it?

What’s interesting about this article is the way it conflicts with previous pieces in the Times. For example, just two weeks ago, in an article titled “Who Will Rule the Oil Market?”  the author failed to see any political motive behind the Saudi’s action.  According to the narrative, the Saudis were just afraid that “they would lose market share permanently” if they cut production and kept prices high. Now the Times has done a 180 and joined the so called conspiracy nuts who said that prices were manipulated for political reasons.  In fact, the  sudden price plunge had nothing to do with deflationary pressures, supply-demand dynamics, or any other mumbo-jumbo market forces. It was 100 percent politics.

The attack on the ruble was also politically motivated, although the details are much more sketchy. There’s an interesting interview with Alistair Crooke that’s worth a read for those who are curious about how the Pentagon’s “full spectrum dominance” applies to financial warfare. According to Crooke:

“…with Ukraine, we have entered a new era: We have a substantial, geostrategic conflict taking place, but it’s effectively a geo-financial war between the US and Russia. We have the collapse in the oil prices; we have the currency wars; we have the contrived “shorting” — selling short — of the ruble. We have a geo-financial war, and what we are seeing as a consequence of this geo-financial war is that first of all, it has brought about a close alliance between Russia and China.

China understands that Russia constitutes the first domino; if Russia is to fall, China will be next. These two states are together moving to create a parallel financial system, disentangled from the Western financial system. ……

For some time, the international order was structured around the United Nations and the corpus of international law, but more and more the West has tended to bypass the UN as an institution designed to maintain the international order, and instead relies on economic sanctions to pressure some countries. We have a dollar-based financial system, and through instrumentalizing America’s position as controller of all dollar transactions, the US has been able to bypass the old tools of diplomacy and the UN — in order to further its aims.

But increasingly, this monopoly over the reserve currency has become the unilateral tool of the United States — displacing multilateral action at the UN. The US claims jurisdiction over any dollar-denominated transaction that takes place anywhere in the world. And most business and trading transactions in the world are denominated in dollars. This essentially constitutes the financialization of the global order: The International Order depends more on control by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve than on the UN as before.” (“Turkey might become hostage to ISIL just like Pakistan did“,  Today’s Zaman)

Financial warfare, asymmetrical warfare, Forth Generation warfare, space warfare, information warfare, nuclear warfare, laser, chemical, and biological warfare. The US has expanded its arsenal well beyond the  traditional range of conventional weaponry. The goal, of course, is to preserve the post-1991 world order (The dissolution up of the Soviet Union) and maintain full spectrum dominance. The emergence of a multi-polar world order spearheaded by Moscow poses the greatest single threat to Washington’s plans for continued domination.  The first significant clash between these two competing world views will likely take place sometime this summer in East Ukraine. God help us.

NOTE:  The Novorussia Armed Forces (NAF) currently have 8,000 Ukrainian regulars surrounded in Debaltsevo, East Ukraine.  This is a very big deal although the media has been (predictably) keeping the story out of the headlines.

Evacuation corridors have been opened to allow civilians to leave the area.  Fighting could break out at anytime.  At present, it looks like a good part of the Kiev’s Nazi army could be destroyed in one fell swoop.  This is why Merkel and Hollande have taken an emergency flight to Moscow to talk with Putin.  They are not interested in peace. They merely want to save their proxy army from annihilation.

I expect Putin may intervene on behalf of the Ukrainian soldiers, but I think commander Zakharchenko will resist.   If he lets these troops go now, what assurance does he have that they won’t be back in a month or so with high-powered weaponry provided by our war-mongering congress and White House?

Tell me; what choice does Zakharchenko really have? If his comrades are killed in future combat because he let Kiev’s army escape, who can he blame but himself?

There are no good choices.

Check here for updates:  Ukraine SITREP: *Extremely* dangerous situation in Debaltsevo

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

by 인형사 | 2015/02/07 02:35 | 인형사 찾기 | 트랙백 | 덧글(0)

Putin Prefers a Bad Peace - ISRAEL SHAMIR

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/05/putin-prefers-a-bad-peace/

February 05, 2015
From Syria to Donbass, Russians Endorse Peace, Americans Push for War

Putin Prefers a Bad Peace

by ISRAEL SHAMIR

Moscow.

In February, it is a long way to the spring, lamented Joseph Brodsky. Indeed, snow still falls heavily in Moscow and Kiev as well as in the rolling steppes that form Russian-Ukrainian borderlands, but there it is tinted with red. Soldiers are loth to fight in the winter, when life is difficult anyway in these latitudes, but fighting already flared up in war-torn Donbass, and the US prepares to escalate by supplying sophisticated weapons to Kiev. Tired by the siege and by intermittent shelling, the rebels disregarded snow and took the strategic Donetsk airport. This airport with its Stalin-built tunnels, a symbol of solid Soviet defence work, presented a huge challenge for underequipped militia. Its many-leveled underground facilities were built to sustain a nuclear attack; still, the rebels, after months of fighting, flushed the enemy out and took it.

In a bigger offensive, they trapped Kiev’s troops in Debaltsevo pocket, and Kiev already sued for a cease-fire. The rebels hope to dislodge the enemy from their lands altogether; as now they hold only about one third of Donbass; but Russia’s president still gropes for brakes. He prefers a bad peace to a good war. For him, the Ukraine is important, but not a sine qua non, the only problem in the world. This attitude he shares with the American leader. There is a big difference: Russia wants peaceful Ukraine, Americans prefer one at war.

Russia would prefer to see Ukraine united, federal, peaceful and prosperous. The alternative of splitting Donbass is not very tempting: Donbass is strongly connected to the rest of Ukraine, and it is not easy to switch its ties. The war already had sent millions of refugees from Donbass and from rump Ukraine to Russia and overloaded its systems. Putin can’t cut off and forget about Donbass – his people would not allow him anyway. A cautious man, he does not want to go to an open-ended war. So he has to navigate towards some sort of peace.

I had a meeting with a well-informed and highly-placed Russian source who shared with me, for your benefit, some inner thoughts on condition of his anonymity. Though the West is certain that Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union, actually the Russian president did everything he could to save the Ukraine from disintegration, said the source. That’s what Russia did in order to bring peace to Ukraine:

* Russia supported the West-brokered agreement of February 21, 2014, but the US still pushed for the next day (February 22) coup, or “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine” , in Obama’s words.

* After the coup, the South-East Ukraine did not submit to the new Kiev regime and seceded. Still, Moscow asked the Donbass rebels to refrain from carrying out their May referendum. (They disregarded Putin’s appeal).

* Moscow recognised the results of sham May elections carried out by Kiev regime after the coup, and recognised Poroshenko as the president of the whole Ukraine – though there were no elections in the South East and opposition parties were banned from participating.

* Moscow did not officially recognise the results of November elections in Donbass, to the chagrin of many Russian natoinalists.

These steps were quite unpopular in Russian society, but Putin made them to promote a peaceful solution for Ukraine. Some warlike Donbass leaders were convinced to retire. In vain: Putin’s actions and intentions were disregarded by the US and EC. They encouraged the ‘war part‎y’ in Kiev. “They never found a fault with Kiev, whatever they do”, said the source.

Peace in Ukraine can be reached through federalisation, my source told me. That’s why two most important parameters of Minsk accords (between Kiev and Donetsk) were those we never hear about: constitutional and socio-economic reforms. Russia wants to secure territorial integrity of the Ukraine (minus Crimea) but it can be achieved only through federalisation of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy being given to its regions. Its west and east speak different languages, worship different heroes, have different aspirations. They could manage together, just, if the Ukraine were a federal state, like the US or Switzerland or India.

In Minsk, the sides agreed to establish a joint commission for constitutional reforms, but Kiev regime reneged on it. Instead, they created a small and secretive constitutional committee of the Rada (Parliament). This was condemned by the Venice Commission, a European advisory body on constitutional matters. Donetsk people wouldn’t accept it, either, and it is not what was agreed upon in Minsk.

As for integration, it was agreed in Minsk to reintegrate Donbass within Ukraine. This was disappointing for Donbass, but they accepted it, – while Kiev laid siege to Donbass, cut off its banks, ceased buying Donbass coal, stopped to pay pensions. Kiev troops daily shell Donetsk, a city of a million inhabitants (in peaceful times!). Instead of amnesty for rebels, as agreed in Minsk, there are more government troops pouring eastwards.

The Russians did not give up on Minsk accords. The Minsk agreements could bring peace, but they have to be implemented. Perhaps president Poroshenko of Kiev would like to, but Kiev war party with its western support will unseat Poroshenko if he goes too far. Paradoxically, the only way to force him to peace is war, – though Russia would prefer the West to put pressure on its clients in Kiev. The rebels and their Russian supporters used warfare to force him to sign Minsk accords: their offensive on Mariupol on the Black Sea was hugely successful, and Poroshenko preferred to go to Minsk in order to keep Mariupol. Since then, Kiev and Donetsk had a few cease-fires, they exchanged POWs, but Kiev refuses to implement constitutional and socio-economic demands of Minsk accord.

It does not make sense to cease fire, if Kiev uses it to regroup and attack again. Cease fire should lead to a constitutional reform, said my source, a reform negotiated in an open and transparent dialogue of the regions and Kiev. Without a reform, Donbass (or Novorussia) will go to war. So the Debaltsevo operation can be considered as a way to force Poroshenko to sue for peace.

Russia does not intend to take part in the war, or in peace negotiations, said the source. The Russians are adamant to stay out, while the Americans are equally adamant to present Russia as a side to conflict.

Meanwhile, the Russian-American relations were moved forty years back to Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974 by the Ukraine Freedom [Support Act of 2014]. The US Secretary of State John Kerry considered this act an unfortunate development, but a temporary one. The Russians are not that optimistic: for them, the Act codified anti-Russian sanctions. The US tries to turn other states against Russia, with some success. In one sweep the German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel eliminated all organisations, structures and ties built between Germany and Russia for many years. Every visit of Joe Biden causes a conflagration.

The Russians are upset with the story of the Malaysian Boeing. In every high-level encounter with the Americans, they remind of the hysterical accusations and claims that the liner was downed by the rebels using Russian missiles. Six months passed since the tragedy; still the Americans did not present a single proof of Russian and/or rebel involvement. They did not present photos of their satellites, nor records of their AWACS aircraft hovering over Eastern Europe. My source told me that the American high-ranking officials do not insist anymore that Russians/rebels are involved, but they stubbornly refuse to apologise for their previous baseless accusations. They never say they are sorry.

Still the Americans want to play  ball. They insist that they do not seek Russian ‘surrender’, that they find the confrontation costly and unwelcome, while the US needs Russian support for dealing with Iranian nuclear programme, with removal of Syrian chemical weapons, with Palestinian problem. The Russians retort they have heard it all during the Libyan affair and aren’t impressed.

Differences of opinion between Russia and the US are big in practically every area. There is one common feature: from Syria to Donbass, Russians endorse peace, Americans push for war. Now the Russians invited some opposition figures and the government representatives from Syria for talks in Moscow. They came, talked, went away and will come again. They could probably settle but the US representatives say that they will never reconcile to Bashar Assad presidency and will fight to the last Syrian for his dismissal. It makes sense for them: every war on the globe supports the US dollar and invigorates Dow Jones, as capital seeks safe haven and finds it in the US.

They do not think about fate of Syrians who flee to Jordan – or of Ukrainians who escape to Russia in ever increasing numbers. What a shame for two wonderful countries! Syria was peaceful and prosperous, the diamond of the Middle East until ruined by the US-supported islamists; the Ukraine was the wealthiest part of the USSR, until being ruined by the US-supported far-right and oligarchs. Joseph Brodsky bitterly predicted in 1994, as the Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, that the shifty Ukrainians will evoke their Russian poetry in their mortal hour. This prophesy is about to be fulfilled.

Israel Shamir can be reached on adam@israelshamir

by 인형사 | 2015/02/06 09:24 | 인형사 찾기 | 트랙백 | 덧글(0)

Scholars at Odds on Ukraine

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/arts/scholars-at-odds-on-ukraine.html?src=me&_r=2

Scholars at Odds on Ukraine

Since the crisis in Ukraine began, the Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen has cast himself in the role of the unbowed dissenter, whose sharp criticisms of America’s foreign policy in the region have earned him denunciations as “Putin’s American toady,” as The New Republic put it, and worse.

But Mr. Cohen is also a man of means, whose wife’s charitable foundation has donated large amounts of money to support Russian studies, which have been hard hit by declining government funding.

Now, his largess and his divisive reputation have collided, opening a rift in the main scholarly association covering the post-Soviet world and spurring charges that the polarizing politics of the Ukraine crisis are stifling free speech and compromising the group’s scholarly mission.

The affair began amicably enough two years ago, when Mr. Cohen and his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of The Nation, began discussions with the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, about ways to support research.

Ms. vanden Heuvel’s Kat Charitable Foundation had previously funded a dissertation prize named jointly for Mr. Cohen and his mentor, the eminent political scientist Robert C. Tucker, who died in 2010.

Last spring, the couple hit on the idea of creating the Stephen F. Cohen-Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Fellowship Program. They committed an initial $413,000 to support up to 18 projects over three years, with potentially millions more to come for a permanent endowment.

The gift would have almost entirely replaced key State Department grants that had ended in 2013, to broad dismay in the field. But in September, the couple canceled the gift after some association members objected to having Mr. Cohen’s name on the fellowships.

After a board meeting and other last-minute efforts at compromise, the conflict broke into broader view last week, when a long, indignant letter by Mr. Cohen recounting his version of events began leapfrogging across colleagues’ email inboxes. It was soon followed by a letter in support of Mr. Cohen, signed by more than 60 scholars and sent to the association’s leaders on Monday, calling the apparent politicization of the group “a profound embarrassment.”

“This thing has really snowballed,” said David Ransel, a retired historian at Indiana University, who drafted the letter of protest. “What has happened is really unfortunate.”

The association, which includes some 3,000 members around the world, has often been divided by sharp debate since its founding in 1948. But the Ukraine crisis, scholars say, has prompted especially intense divisions.

And standing at the center is Mr. Cohen, 76, a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University who regularly airs his views in the pages of The Nation — “Distorting Russia,” read one headline — and in television and radio interviews.

“Steve Cohen is singular,” said Ronald G. Suny, a historian at the University of Michigan. “He’s not only a scholar of note, but a very controversial public intellectual whose views often rub people who are hostile to Russia the wrong way.”

That didn’t seem to worry the association initially. On Aug. 11, Ms. vanden Heuvel signed a memorandum of agreement on the planned gift, and received an email describing the board’s reaction as “unanimously positive.”

But a week later, the couple received another message lamenting that “every action is being viewed through an ideological lens,” given the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, and saying approval would be postponed until the board’s annual meeting in November.

It remains unclear who objected to the gift as proposed. Stephen Hanson, the group’s president at the time, declined in an interview to confirm any threatened resignations, or to identify any individuals who raised questions. But he said that proceeding would have risked “serious splits” within the group.

“It’s no secret that there were swirling controversies surrounding Professor Cohen,” said Mr. Hanson, the vice provost for international affairs at the College of William and Mary. “In that context, consulting with a wider community of scholars was the prudent thing to do.”

After being informed of the delay, Mr. Cohen and Ms. vanden Heuvel withdrew the gift offer, protesting what Mr. Cohen summed up as the “intolerant politics” involved.

“It’s an obscenity,” Mr. Cohen said in an interview. “This wasn’t just about me, or even primarily about me. These people were doing something very, very wrong. If I didn’t withdraw, this would fester and get worse.”

At the November meeting, the board voted to approach the couple about reinstating the gift offer, under what Mr. Hanson called a “compromise name.” To some, that proposal smacks of censorship. In an email to the association on Jan. 13, Ms. vanden Heuvel rejected what she characterized as the demand to drop Mr. Cohen’s name, calling it a “political act” that violated “free journalistic and scholarly inquiry.”

The letter signed by the 60-plus scholars said that the treatment of Mr. Cohen “reeks of a censuring of public discourse.”

But some scholars questioned any claims of censorship. Yoshiko M. Herrera, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said while she would have voted to support the gift, submitting it to board review was part of a necessary democratic process.

“I think it’s unreasonable for a donor to say, ‘You cannot subject my gift to approval by the full board,’ ” Ms. Herrera said. She added: “What’s happening is that people who disagree have essentially voted against him.”

Serhii Plokhii, the director of Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Center, said he had been unaware of the incident until last week, but that the association leadership was right to worry about splits in the group.

“The frustration caused by Stephen Cohen’s pieces and statements on television is deep and quite serious,” Mr. Plokhii said. “The concerns are not so much about politics per se, as about the partisan nature of his interventions, the way he just blames one side.”

Mr. Cohen rejected that characterization, saying his intent has been to give “a balanced picture” by offering a “factually, historically correct” account of the Russian perspective on Ukraine. “That doesn’t make me pro-Russian,” he said.

Others defended Mr. Cohen’s scholarship, if not his conclusions. “I don’t agree with many of Cohen’s recent positions on Ukraine,” said Michael David-Fox, a professor at Georgetown, who signed the letter. “It’s precisely because he is in a minority that this is an especially important case.”

by 인형사 | 2015/02/01 17:09 | 인형사 찾기 | 트랙백 | 덧글(0)

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