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Why Washington is opposed to Vladimir Putin
election as Russian President
|by K. Gajendra Singh|
There seems to be no limit to Washington’s idiocy in international relations, when clearly as a premier economic power US is declining fast and like a seriously diseased patient, on drip, just about surviving. Yes, it spends over $ 700 billion on defense at the behest of military and energy combine underpinned by corrupt financiers and bankers, who benefit. American people be damned. Like a rogue beast it goes around damaging nations and threatening everyone around the world. Yes, it still has great destructive power with Iran in its sights since 2003. But US and Israel would not remain unscathed of the terrible consequences. It is not 1945 and WE or Israel would not get away using nukes against a non-nuke state. Not only would the Muslim world including Saudi Street, the whole world not tolerate such an action.
US debt equals its GDP and has a trade deficit of $500 billion and survives only by increasing its debt to other nations including China, whom it treats as an adversary with regular menaces. To counter the US a financial bully, because the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement made US dollar the reserve currency by mid 1950s, which Washington is manipulating and exploiting with IMF and the World Bank help guard US interests, many nations like China, Russia, Iran, India, Brazil, Venezuela among others are making arrangements for settlement of bilateral trade in their own currencies thus avoiding the use of US dollar as reserve currency. Apart from Iraq’s oil which Washington coveted, Saddam Hussein’s decision not to sell oil in US dollars was an unforgivable act for US loot to continue, so the illegal US invasion of Iraq and its destruction. Not that US has been able to exploit Iraq oil.
USA has destroyed international law and Human rights and Geneva conventions, beginning with George Bush who soon after election tore up more international treaties and disregarded more UN conventions than the rest of the world in past 20 years. Former president Billy Carter, a respected elder statesman moaned in the Washington Post as early as September 2002 that, "formerly admired almost universally as the pre-eminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life." Since then US along with poodle England and now Sarkozy have broken innumerable treaties and conventions.
Caught in the Iraqi quagmire, US had to withdraw its forces from Iraq. It had little choice. Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, decorated Marine Col Murtha had said in end 2005 that the US army in Iraq was 'broken, worn out' and would be withdrawn. It is not an exact parallel but the people of USSR and its military had destroyed 80% of Nazi war machine, but the Anglo-Saxons by false narratives and helped by propaganda and films like ‘The longest day’ ,’Gen Patton’ etc., have fooled the people that US alone won the war. It is lie.
It is the people of Iraq and their resistance against the occupation which brought the US ground forces to its knees and leading to the withdrawal of US troops. For history of Iraq invasion and brutal occupation see here.
As for the situation in Afghanistan, where US wants to hang on to the bases in non-Pashtun areas , likely to come under the control of the former Northern Alliance, the backbone of president Hamid Karzai’s power base, Washington is now pathetically dependent to supply its troops in Afghanistan via northern routes i.e. central Asian republics, whose leaders do not trust Washington. It is to be seen how the fundamental differences in an unequal marriage between Washington and Islamabad, would be resolved for supplies to Afghanistan, now under suspension. A peaceful solution will and can come about only by the consent of all stakeholders, specially the countries in the region.
Faced with terrible economic and other fundamental problems the suffering people of America are protesting daily all over America, but the Nobel Peace (?) Prize Laureate president Obama is now obsessed with his re-election, as the nominee of the corporate interests, who have brought US to this miserable state and finance all presidential candidates. What a galaxy of candidates? The American people deserve better. A busy and humming armament industry US suits the corporate interests. French president Sarkozy also believes and is following US leadership and macho military behavior, in his re-election campaign.
Post Balkan Wall Fall Eurasia
After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumphant US led capitalist West went about dismantling the Union of Socialist Republics and ‘induced’ Moscow’s erstwhile allies in Europe to join NATO. US & NATO forces dismembered the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual Slav and orthodox Yugoslavia, which with religious and ethnic affinities was strategically closer to Russia.
Using the pretext the 9/11 attacks on US symbols of economic and military might in New York and Washington, which more and more people are now coming round to believe was an inside job or at best allowed to happen like "Pearl Harbor" which brought US into WWII, Washington, instead of attacking Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from where most of the hijackers originated, first bombed Afghanistan, coercing ally Pakistan into joining it or get bombed to stone age and installed a former UNOCOL consultant Hamid Karzai as the new ruler in Kabul after the Taliban leadership disappeared into Pakistan and northern Alliance marched into Kabul. Then on flimsy grounds US illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 for its oil.
Taking advantage of the unraveling of USSR into many states now in utter disarray, under the pretext of US led 'War on terror' in Afghanistan, Washington acquired bases in the heart of central Asia; in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the last adjoining China’s turbulent Turkic speaking Uighur province of Xinjiang.
Washington then organized US franchised (like McDonalds, KFC outlets) street revolutions financed by US non-governmental fronts and organizations, CIA and Washington’s envoys in former Russian allies in Europe and in Moscow’s near abroad. It succeeded in Serbia (from which Montenegro was detached making it landlocked), Georgia and Ukraine, but failed in Belarus. In Uzbekistan, where the regime change was attempted a few weeks after Kyrgyzstan regime change in March 2005, feisty Islam Karimov expelled the US forces from its base. In Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, US puppets were replaced. Georgia was bashed up 3 years ago. Washington is now begging the central Asian states to let supplies go to Afghanistan for its troops.
How West organizes its Franchised Revolutions
“Elections are a moment of triumph,” gloated USA Today after the so called Orange Revolution. It added that “the potential is clear: Ukraine's Orange Revolution was fueled by young voters in Kiev, who created Web sites and wrote rap songs to inspire voters. They ate at the McDonald's off Independence Square and lined up at Coca-Cola kiosks for drinks. The Orange Revolution is the latest in what appears to be a slow trend toward more democracy among the former Soviet republics and satellite states, including Georgia in 2003, Serbia in2000 and years earlier in the Czech Republic and Poland.
Yes, the same tactics were applied by the US triumphantly in Serbia in 2000 to topple Slobodan Milosevic. Michael Kozak, the US ambassador in Minsk, then sought to emulate the success in elections in Belarus against the authoritarian Alexander Lukashenko, but failed.
There were many write ups in Guardian, Global search and other websites which have documented western agencies’ support to such revolutions. According to New Statesman Yushchenko was supported covertly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House and George Soros' Open Society Institute, the very entities, which had helped oust Shevardnadze last year. The NED has four affiliate institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise(CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS).They” provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide."
“In Ukraine, the NED and its constituent organizations funded Yushchenko's party Nasha Ukraine (Our Ukraine), as well as the Kiev Press Club. Freedom House, along with “The Independent Republican Institute (IRI)“ were involved in assessing the "fairness of elections and their results". IRI had its staff in "poll watching" in 9 districts, and local staff in all 25districts. "There are professionals outside election monitors from bodies such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups. ... They also organized exit polls which gave Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed."
Of course, western media and governments are committed to the "Freedom of the Press". They organize exit polls and then feed disinformation into the Western news chain, create and fund "pro-Western", "pro-reform" student groups, who then organize mass displays of civil disobedience. (Read Traynor, in Guardian) “In the Ukraine, the Pora Youth movement ("Its Time") funded by the Soros Open Society Institute is part of that process with more than 10,000 activists. Supported by the Freedom of Choice Coalition of Ukrainian NGOs, Pora is modeled on Serbia's Otpor and Georgia's Kmara. The Freedom of Choice Coalition acts as an Umbrella organization. It is directly supported by the US and British embassies in Kievas well as by Germany, through the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (a foundation linked to the ruling Social Democrats). For full Ukraine Elections Confirm Rollback of US Hegemony.
Russia’s Putin a major obstacle against Western domination.
Vladimir Putin remains a major obstacle in US led western policy to continue and lengthen their dominance over the rest of the world. Russia in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to Western hegemony and law of the jungle (beasts–are more considerate in destruction than say US and UK in Iraq).
So the standard lies and propaganda against Putin
USA with blatant political and financial support tried to organize street revolutions (as discussed above) in Russia against the recent parliament polls in which Putin’s party did badly. But basically these were aimed at stopping Putin becoming president again in March, 2012. Dr. William Engdahl, a world reputed independent journalist, historian and economist, has a very perceptive, detailed and documented essay on the subject below;
Why Washington Wants ‘Finito’ with Putin
The Shady National Endowment for Democracy & The Prime Agenda of ‘Whoever’ is Next US President
By F. William Engdahl
January 10, 2012 "BFP" – Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! Or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough! Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.
On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fuelling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”
Putin went on to claim that Clinton’s premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton’s comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a “signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State.” 
Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
Democracy or something else?
No mistake, Putin is not a world champion practitioner of what most consider democracy. His announcement some months back that he and current President Medvedev had agreed to switch jobs after Russia’s March 4 Presidential vote struck even many Russians as crass power politics and backroom deal-making. That being said, what Washington is doing to interfere with that regime change is more than brazen and interventionist. The same Obama Administration which just signed into law measures effectively ripping to shreds the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution for American citizens is posing as world supreme judge of others’ adherence to what they define as democracy.
Let’s examine closely Putin’s charge of US interference in the election process. If we look, we find openly stated in their August 2011 Annual Report that a Washington-based NGO with the innocuous name, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is all over the place inside Russia.
The NED is financing an International Press Center in Moscow where some 80 international NGOs can hold press briefings on whatever they choose. They fund numerous “youth advocacy” and leadership workshops to “help youth engage in political activism.” In fact, officially they spent more than $2,783,000 in 2010 on dozens of such programs across Russia. Spending for2011 won’t be published until later in 2012. 
The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian “independent” polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties “GOLOS.” According to the NED Annual Report the funds went “to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections.”
In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian “independent” polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED’s own website Levada, another recipient of NED money,  had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled “the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of ‘managed democracy’ that has been established over the last decade.”
One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He is also “advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov” according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. 
Nemtsov, one of the most prominent of the Putin opposition today is also co-chairman of Solidarnost, a name curiously enough imitated from the Cold War days when the CIA financed the Polish Solidarnost workers’ opposition of Lech Walesa. More on Nemtsov later.
The shady history of NED
Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed “Color Revolutions” in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting “human rights” in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China’ soil-rich Xinjiang province. 
As careful analysts of the 2004 Ukraine “Orange revolution” and the numerous other US-financed color revolutions discovered, control of polling and ability to dominate international media perceptions, especially major TV such as CNN or BBC is an essential component of the Washington destabilization agenda. The Levada Center would likely be in a crucial position in this regard to issue polls showing discontent with the regime.
By their description, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.”
It couldn’t sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980’s CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington’s global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of “privatizing” US intelligence to make their work more “effective.” Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.
The NED was created during the Reagan Administration to function as a de facto CIA, privatized so as to allow it more freedom of action. NED board members are typically drawn from the Pentagon and US intelligence community. It has included retired NATO General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of Serbia in 1999. Key figures linked to clandestine CIA actions who served on NED’s board have included Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Henry Cisneros and Elliot Abrams. The Chairman of the NED Board of Directors in 2008 was Vin Weber, founder of the ultraconservative organization, Empower America, and campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Current NED chairman is John Bohn, former CEO of the controversial Moody’s rating agency which played a nefarious role in the still-unraveling US mortgage securities collapse. As well today’s NED board includes neo-conservative Bush-era ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad.
Putin’s well-rehearsed opposition
It’s also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition “poster boy” favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled Live Journal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin’s jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, “I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia’s Presidential home-w.e.) right now…”
Western establishment media is infatuated with Navalny. England’s BBC described Navalny as “arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years,” and US Time magazine called him “Russia’s Erin Brockovich,” a curious reference to the Hollywood film starring Julie Roberts as a trade union organizer. However, more relevant is the fact that Navalny went to the elite American East Coast Yale University, also home to the Bush family, where he was a “Yale World Fellow.”
The charismatic Navalny however is also or has been on the payroll of Washington’s regime-destabilizing National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a posting on Navalny’s own blog, Live Journal, he was financed in 2007-2008 by the NED. His Washington NED contact person was Frank Conatser. A facsimile of an email exchange between Navalny and Conatser from November 17, 2007 is partially reproduced here.
Subject: NED Agreements No. 2006-576 & No. 2007-688
Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. 
CS First Boston bank also paid for Nemtsov’s trips to the very expensive Davos World Economic Forum. When Nemtsov became a member of the cabinet, his protégé Brevnov was appointed the chairman of the Unified Energy System of Russia JSC. Two years later in 2009 Boris Nemtsov, today’s “Mr. anti-corruption,” used his influence reportedly to get Brevnov off the hook for charges of embezzling billions from assets of Unified Energy System.
Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,” US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov.
Nemtsov’s close crony, Vladimir Ryzhkov of Solidarnost is also closely tied to the Swiss Davos circles, even founding a Siberian Davos. According to Russian press accounts from April 2005, Ryzhkov formed a Committee 2008 in 2003 to “draw” funds of the imprisoned Khodorkovsky along with soliciting funds from fugitive oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky and western foundations such as the Soros Foundation. The stated aim of the effort was to rally “democratic” forces against Putin. On May 23, 2011 Ryzhkov, Nemtzov and several others filed to register a new Party of Peoples’ Freedom to ostensibly field a presidential candidate against Putin in 2012.
Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a “non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security.” Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate “objectionable people” while Yukos vice-president. 
In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia’s opposition to Putin at the US President’s personal invitation at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: “If the White House agrees to Putin’s suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak,” he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.
Ryzhkov, Nemtzov, Navalty and Putin’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin were all involved in organizing the December25th Moscow Christmas anti-Putin rally which drew an estimated 120,000.
The salient question is why Putin at this point? We need not look far for the answer. Washington and especially Barack Obama’s Administration don’t give a hoot about whether Russia is democratic or not. Their concern is the obstacle to Washington’s plans for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet that a Putin Presidency will represent. According to the Russian Constitution, the President of the Russian Federation head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office in the Russian Federation. He will take direct control of defense and foreign policy.
We must ask what policy? Clearly strong countermeasures against the blatant NATO encirclement of Russia with Washington’s dangerous ballistic missile installations around Russia will be high on Putin’s agenda. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” will be in the dustbin if it is not already. We can also expect a more aggressive use of Russia’s energy card with pipeline diplomacy to deepen economic ties between European NATO members such as Germany, France and Italy, ultimately weakening the EU support for aggressive NATO measures against Russia. We can expect a deepening of Russia’s turn towards Eurasia, especially with China, Iran and perhaps India to firm up the shaky spine of resistance to Washington’s New World Order plans.
It will take more than a few demonstrations in sub-freezing weather in Moscow and St. Petersburg by a gaggle of corrupt or shady opposition figures such as Nemtsov or Kasparov to derail Russia. What is clear is that Washington is pushing on all fronts—Iran and Syria, where Russia has a vital naval port, on China, now on Russia, and on the Eurozone countries led by Germany. It has the smell of an end-game attempt by a declining superpower.
The United States today is a de facto bankrupt nuclear superpower. The reserve currency role of the dollar is being challenged as never since Bretton Woods in 1944. That role along with maintaining the United States as the world’s unchallenged military power have been the basis of the American Century hegemony since 1945.
Weakening the role of the dollar in international trade and ultimately as reserve currency, China is now settling trade with Japan in bilateral currencies, side-stepping the dollar. Russia is implementing similar steps with her major trade partners. The primary reason Washington launched a full-scale currency war against the Euro in late 2009 was to preempt a growing threat that China and others would turn away from the dollar to the Euro as reserve currency. That is no small matter. In effect Washington finances its foreign wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere through the fact that China and other trade surplus nations invest their surplus trade dollars in US government Treasury debt. Were that to shift significantly, US interest rates would rise substantially and the financial pressures on Washington would become immense.
Faced with growing erosion of her unchallenged global status as sole superpower, Washington appears now to be turning increasingly to raw military force to hold that. For that to succeed Russia must be neutralized along with China and Iran. This will be the prime agenda of whoever is next US President.
F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He may be contacted through his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net where this article was originally published.
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