• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 21 maart 2015

Netanyahu The Extremist 11

After Netanyahu Wins Israel Vote With Racism and Vow of Permanent Occupation, How Will World Respond?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00 By Amy Goodman and Juan GonzálezDemocracy Now! | Video Interview 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a surprise election victory, putting him on course for a fourth term in office. Netanyahu's Likud Party is poised to control 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Zionist Union opposition placed second with 24 seats. A united list of Arab parties came in third with 13 seats. Netanyahu closed out his campaign with a vow to oppose a Palestinian state, reneging on his nominal endorsement of a two-state solution in 2009. Netanyahu also vowed to expand the illegal West Bank settlements and issued a last-minute plea to supporters denouncing a high turnout of Arab voters. The Zionist Union, Netanyahu's chief rival, also ran on a platform for Israel to keep the major Israeli settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, the home of any future Palestinian state. Likud says Netanyahu intends to form a new government in the coming weeks. Talks are already underway with a number of right-wing parties. To discuss the election, we are joined by two guests: Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset and chair of Balad party, which is part of the Joint List of Arab parties; and Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz in the occupied Palestinian territories.
TRANSCRIPT:
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We're going to move on now to Israel, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party has won a surprise victory, putting him on a course for a fourth term in office. With 99.5 percent of the votes counted, Likud won 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Zionist Union opposition placed second with 24 seats. A united list of Arab parties came in third. Exit polls had showed Likud and the Zionist Union in a close tie, but in the final days of the campaign, Netanyahu stressed his right-wing positions. He visited the Har Homa settlement and vowed to ramp up the construction of more settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. And he unequivocally ruled out allowing a Palestinian state, thus reneging on his nominal 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution. On Election Day, he railed against Israel's Arab voters.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in mass to the polling stations. Left-wing nonprofit organizations are bringing them in buses. Go out to the polling station, bring your friends and family, and vote Likud, in order to close the gap between us and the Labor Party. With your help and God's help, we will form a national government and protect the state of Israel.
AMY GOODMAN: In a statement, Likud said Netanyahu intended to form a new government within weeks, with negotiations already underway with a number of parties, including the pro-settler Jewish Home party and ultra-Orthodox groups.
Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Zionist Union and the son of a former Israeli president, conceded defeat, saying he had called Netanyahu to congratulate him. The Zionist Union also ran on a platform for Israel to keep major settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, keep Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided" capital, and block the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
On Tuesday, Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, responded to the election results.
SAEB EREKAT: Well, I think there is also, the Israeli elections indicate business as usual. It seems to me that Mr. Netanyahu will form the next government in Israel. And we all heard what he said yesterday. He said if he is re-elected as the prime minister in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu said, he will not allow a Palestinian state. He will continue with settlement activities and dictations. I believe he was not campaigning in the elections. I believe he was honest, and he specified his truth. Mr. Netanyahu has done nothing in his political life but to destroy the two-state solution. And I believe now it's up to the international community to stop treating this prime minister as a prime minister that's above the laws of man. And he should be held accountable. And he should—the international community should not cover him or give him impunity. Impunity will mean more conflict, more complicities, and it will not make peace. Justice will make peace.
AMY GOODMAN: Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
To talk more about the Israeli election, we're joined by two guests. Joining us from Tel Aviv, Jamal Zahalka, he is an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, chair of the political bloc of Arab parties known as the Joint List, which took third place in Tuesday's election, winning 13 seats. He has served as a member of the Knesset since 2003. Here in New York, we're joined by the Israeli journalist Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz in the occupied Palestinian territories. She's based in Ramallah. She's the only Israeli Jewish journalist to have spent more than 20 years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank. Her book, Diary of Bergen-Belsen: 1944-1945, written by her mother, Hanna Lévy-Hass, with her own afterword and introduction, is also just out in paperback this week.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Let's begin with you, Amira Hass. Your reaction? Would you call this a surprise victory of—
AMIRA HASS: Not at all, not at all. The whole campaign was not about the real issues of war, of occupation, of Israeli continued colonization. The cosmetic differences between the Labor, which is now called the Zionist Alliance or the Zionist Camp, and Likud were minor, did not attract people's real enthusiasm. What Netanyahu has been offering for the past years continues to be a winning horse for most of the people. That means the nonexistent welfare state in Israel proper now exists by the occupied territory in the forms of colonies, well-pampered colonies, so it is always an option for Israelis to move to the occupied territory to improve their conditions. Inside Israel, his policies guarantee that there will be continued the discriminated—the policy which discriminates Palestinians, Israeli citizens, from their—against the Israeli Jews. With a combination of support of the right-wing parties—of the religious parties, I think his position was guaranteed. The change would have been only in the puzzle—I mean, if he would get 28 seats and not 30 seats. So, for me, I didn't expect much more.
And when people say that it is because he promised now not to have a Palestinian state, to do everything against a Palestinian state, his actions have done everything possible to prevent this from happening anyway. So it's not about statements that the people fall to. I mean, it's the reality that he's established for the past—and not only he, other parties as well. So it's not about the last-moment statements, I think, that—what guaranteed his position. Labor—anyway, the two-state solution that people, that other parties, like the Labor Party, advocate, I call it the 10-state solution or the seven-, eight- solutions, which doesn't see Gaza in a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian state itself is a bunch of bantustans inside the West Bank.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what about the impact on the international community of Netanyahu's last-minute veering even more to the right on many of these issues and his attacks on Arab citizens within Israel?
AMIRA HASS: Yeah, sure, sure.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: What's going to be the long-term impact.
AMIRA HASS: This has to be seen, because, I mean, we always expect, you know—we feel that each, every time Israel is crossing a red line, and now is the moment for the world to react, and there it doesn't react, the world. So still we want to see it reacting. We thought that the war on Gaza was a red line that was crossed again, and good relationships with Europe, with America continue. So, of course, we want to hope that something will change, and not only among rank-and-file and grassroots levels, but also among the political echelons in their decisions. But so far, as long as Israel is considered part of the enlightened, democratic West, and Israelis are welcome, and Israeli support teams are welcome everywhere in the world, and scientists, etc., Israel is seen as part of this world.
AMY GOODMAN: We're going to go to break, and when we come back, we'll go to Tel Aviv, as well, to get response from Dr. Jamal Zahalka, who is a Knesset member for more than a decade and chair of the Joint List. This is Democracy Now! We'll be back in a minute.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ

Juan González co-host's Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. González has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years and a staff columnist at the New York Daily News since 1987. He is a two-time recipient of the George Polk Award.

AMY GOODMAN

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its "Pick of the Podcasts," along with NBC's Meet the Press.

Israel's Nuclear Threat 2


It’s Official: The Pentagon Finally Admitted That Israel Has Nuclear Weapons, Too

(FEMA)
While the Washington press corps obsessed over Hillary Clinton’s e-mails at the State Department, reporters were missing a far more important story about government secrets. After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America’s.
Early last month the Department of Defense released a secret report done in 1987 by the Pentagon-funded Institute for Defense Analysis that essentially confirms the existence of Israel’s nukes. DOD was responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Grant Smith, an investigative reporter and author who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy. Smith said he thinks this is the first time the US government has ever provided official recognition of the long-standing reality.
It’s not exactly news. Policy elites and every president from LBJ to Obama have known that Israel has the bomb. But American authorities have cooperated in the secrecy and prohibited federal employees from sharing the truth with the people. When the White House reporter Helen Thomas asked the question of Barack Obama back in 2009, the president ducked. “With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate,” Obama said. That was an awkward fib. Obama certainly knows better, and so do nearly two-thirds of the American people, according to opinion polls.
In my previous blog, “What about Israel’s Nuclear Bomb?” I observed that the news media focused solely on Iran’s nuclear ambitions but generally failed to note that Israel already had nukes. That produced a tip about the Pentagon release in early February.
Yet the confirmation of this poorly kept secret opens a troublesome can of worms for both the US government and our closest ally in the Middle East. Official acknowledgement poses questions and contradictions that cry out for closer inspection. For many years, the United States collaborated with Israel’s development of critical technology needed for advanced armaments. Yet Washington pushed other nations to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires international inspections to discourage the spread of nuclear arms. Israel has never signed the NPT and therefore does not have to submit to inspections.
Washington knew all along what the inspectors would find in Israel. Furthermore, as far back as the 1960s, the US Foreign Assistance Act was amended by concerned senators to prohibit any foreign aid for countries developing their own nukes. Smith asserts that the exception made for Israel was a violation of the US law but it was shrouded by the official secrecy. Since Israel is a major recipient of US aid, American presidents had good reason not to reveal the truth.
The newly released report—“Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations”—describes Israel’s nuclear infrastructure in broad terms, but the dimensions are awesome. Israel’s nuclear research labs, the IDA researchers reported, “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” Indeed, the investigators observed that Israel’s facilities are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”
The IDA team visited Israeli labs, factories, private companies and government research centers in Israel and relevant NATO nations (details on NATO allies were redacted from the released version). On Israel, the tone of the report was both admiring and collegial. “The SOREQ center,” it said, for instance, “runs the full nuclear gamut of activities from engineering, administration and non-destructive testing for electro-optics, pulsed power, process engineering and chemistry and nuclear research and safety. This is the technology base required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication.”
The IDA team added: “It should be noted that the Israelis are developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.” So far, The IDA estimated, Israel scientists were about where the US had been in the 1950s in understanding fission and fusion processes.
The report does not include a single declarative sentence that directly states the taboo—Israel has nukes—but the meaning is obvious. For many years, scholars and other experts have estimated that Israel has at least 100 to 200 bombs, possibly more.
Some of the IDA’s observations seem to hint at a copy-cat process in which the US government either actively helped or at least looked the other way while Israel borrowed or purloined technologies to establish a parallel nuclear system that looks a lot like America’s. The IDA document does not say anything, one way or the other, on the history of how this happened. But critics of Israel and advocates for banning all nuclear weapons have harbored suspicions for decades.
The Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, Smith said, is pushing another FOIA request aimed at the CIA, hoping to pry open long-secret intelligence investigations about how Israel managed to get the bomb in the first place. The institute is seeking disclosure of a CIA study that supposedly investigated how quantities of uranium were leaked or allegedly smuggled by Israeli agents from a Pennsylvania defense plant to provide seed corn for the Israel bomb.
Smith and others suspect that elements of the US government knew what happened back then or may even have assisted the stealthy transfer. That particular mystery was a hot issue back in the 1970s. It seems likely to get renewed interest now that the pretense of official ignorance has been demolished by release of the 1987 report.
However, the IDA’s most powerful message may not be what it says about Israel’s nukes but what it conveys about the US-Israel relationship. It resembles a technological marriage that over decades transformed the nature of modern warfare in numerous ways. The bulk of the report is really a detailed survey of Israel’s collaborative role in developing critical technologies—the research and industrial base that helped generate advanced armaments of all sorts. Most Americans, myself included, are used to assuming the US military-industrial complex invents and perfects the dazzling innovations, then shares some with favored allies like Israel.
That’s not altogether wrong but the IDA report suggests a more meaningful understanding. The US and Israel are more like a very sophisticated high-tech partnership that collaborates on the frontiers of physics and other sciences in order to yield the gee-whiz weaponry that now define modern warfare. Back in the 1980s, the two nations were sharing and cross-pollinating their defense research at a very advanced level.
Today we have as a result the “electronic battlefield” and many other awesome innovations. Tank commanders with small-screen maps that show where their adversaries are moving. Jet pilots who fire computer-guided bombs. Ships at sea that launch missiles over the horizon and hit targets 1,000 miles away.
I had to read the report several times before I grasped its deeper meaning. The language is densely technological and probably beyond anyone (like myself) who is not a physicist or engineer. The researchers reported on the state of play in electronic optical systems, plasma physics, laser-guided spacecraft, obscure communication innovations and many other scientific explorations that were underway circa 1987.
Finally, it dawned on me. These experts were talking in the 1980s about technological challenges that were forerunners to the dazzling innovations that are now standard. I saw some of these new war-fighting devices in the late 1990s when I wrote a short book on the post-Cold War military struggling to redefine itself when it no longer had the Soviet Union as an enemy (Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequence of Peace).
While reporting on numerous military bases—land, sea and air—I saw some of the early attempts at battlefield communications and guidance systems. A lot of the new stuff didn’t work very well. Soldiers and commanders sometimes had to put it aside or work around it. Drones at that stage were still on the drawing boards, known as UAV’s—“unmanned aerial vehicles.”
The Middle East wars became the live-fire testing ground where new systems were perfected. The consequences of peace were brushed aside by the terror of 9-11. War became America’s continuous preoccupation.
Israel participated importantly in developing groundwork for some of the wonder weapons and, as the IDA survey makes clear, Israeli physicists or engineers were sometimes a few steps ahead of their American counterparts. To be sure, the Israelis were junior partners who brought “technology based on extrapolations of US equipment and ideas.” But the report also observed: “Much Israeli fielded electronic warfare and communications [is] ahead of US fielded equipment.”
On several occasions, the research team spoke of “ingenious” or “Ingeniously clever” solutions that Israeli technologists have found for mind-bending problems of advanced physics. The IDA team also suggested opportunities for American researchers to piggy-back on what Israel had discovered or to team up with one of their R&D centers. Yale’s Office of Naval Research, IDA suggested, should collaborate with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“Scientists at RAFAEL [another Israeli center] have come up with an ingenious way of using the properties of a glow discharge plasma to detect microwave and millimeter waves,” the report said. “The attractiveness of the project lies in the ability of the discharge to withstand nuclear weapons effects.”
This observation gave a me a chill because the earnest defense scientists have yet to find a way for human beings “to withstand nuclear weapons effects.”
It would be good to keep in mind that these extraordinary breakthroughs in technology have one purpose—fighting wars—and are intended to give still greater advantage to advanced nations like the US and Israel that dwarf more primitive adversaries. Many of the new technologies, it is true, will find commercial applications that improve everyday lives (some already have). Yet it is also true that our advances in high-tech killing power have not subdued all the enemies.
They find irregular ways to fight back. They blow the legs off our soldiers. They plant home-made bombs in crowded restaurants. They recruit children to serve as their guided missiles. They capture and slaughter innocent bystanders, while our side merely bombs the villages from high altitude. The victims do not see our way as pristine or preferable. Their suffering becomes their global recruiting.
The highly successful partnership of American and Israeli military science is one more reason it will be most difficult to disentangle from the past and turn the two countries in new directions, either together or separately. But many people are beginning to grasp that lopsided wars—contests between high-tech and primitive forms of destruction—do not necessarily lead to victory or peace. They have led the United States into more wars.

Israel's Nuclear Threat


It's Official: The Pentagon Finally Admitted That Israel Has Nuclear Weapons, Too
03/20/2015 The Nation
by William Grieder
 
   
 Full story:http://www.thenation.com/blog/202129/its-official-pentagon-finally-admitted-israel-has-nuclear-weapons-too?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

While the Washington press corps obsessed over Hillary Clinton's emails at the State Department, reporters were missing a far more important story about government secrets. After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America's.

Early last month the Department of Defense released a secret report done in 1987 by the Pentagon funded Institute for Defense Analysis that essentially confirms the existence of Israel's nukes. DOD was responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Grant Smith, an investigative reporter and author who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy. Smith said he thinks this is the first time  the US government has ever provided official recognition of the longstanding reality.

Full story: http://t.co/wYjiuQKX8b
 
   
 

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Israel lobbying organizations were at the forefront of the push for U.S. attacks on Iraq.  Most have now set their sights on Iran. Since Israel's founding, the United States has provided unprecedented military, financial and diplomatic support to Israel.  Many in Israel and the lobby expect the United States to unconditionally support anything Israel does, from illegal settlement expansion to flouting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While many attribute Israel's influence over the U.S. to Israel's value as an ally, others point to American lobbying organizations, such as AIPAC.  But just how powerful are they?  How many are there, and what do they really do?  Are they good for the U.S.?  Are they good for Israel? 
Join us on April 10 from 8AM to 5PM for an unprecedented, frank and overdue look at the power of the Israel lobby in the United States.  Speakers include:
amani
Amani Alkhatahtbeh is the founding editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.net, a blog aimed at eliminating stereotypes surrounding Islam and promoting the place of Muslim women in Western societies. She ran into trouble with The Daily Targum, Rutgers University's daily newspaper, and trustees, which decided criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. In June 2014, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee named Alkhat its media relations specialist.
falk

Richard Anderson Falk is professor 
emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes, including Achieving Human Rights, Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East with Howard Friel, and The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order after Iraq.
levy
Gideon Levy is a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz and a member of its editorial board. Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.

dima

Dima Khalidi is the founder and Director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLS), and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Her work includes providing legal advice to activists, engaging in advocacy to protect their rights to speak out for Palestinian rights, and educating activists and the public about their rights.
rosenberg

M.J. Rosenberg is a writer, primarily on matters relating to Israel. He is a regular contributor to 
The Nation and Huffington Post, with his writing widely reprinted throughout the world. He has special expertise on the Israel Lobby, having been employed by several pro-Israel organizations between 1973 and 1975 and 1982 and 1986. His last post was as editor of AIPAC’s Near East Report and as senior adviser to then-Executive Director Thomas Dine.
pillar

Dr. Paul Pillar is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. Earlier he served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including chief of CIA analytic units, covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia.

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Conference organizers are the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. 

Robert Parry 24

A Family Business of Perpetual War

Exclusive: Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan have a great mom-and-pop business going. From the State Department, she generates wars and – from op-ed pages – he demands Congress buy more weapons. There’s a pay-off, too, as grateful military contractors kick in money to think tanks where other Kagans work, writes Robert Parry.

Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia – and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats.
This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks.
Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)
Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)
Not only does the broader community of neoconservatives stand to benefit but so do other members of the Kagan clan, including Robert’s brother Frederick at the American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly, who runs her own shop called the Institute for the Study of War.
Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (which doesn’t disclose details on its funders), used his prized perch on the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Friday to bait Republicans into abandoning the sequester caps limiting the Pentagon’s budget, which he calculated at about $523 billion (apparently not counting extra war spending). Kagan called on the GOP legislators to add at least $38 billion and preferably more like $54 billion to $117 billion:
“The fact that [advocates for more spending] face a steep uphill battle to get even that lower number passed by a Republican-controlled Congress says a lot — about Republican hypocrisy. Republicans may be full-throated in denouncing [President Barack] Obama for weakening the nation’s security, yet when it comes to paying for the foreign policy that all their tough rhetoric implies, too many of them are nowhere to be found. …
“The editorial writers and columnists who have been beating up Obama and cheering the Republicans need to tell those Republicans, and their own readers, that national security costs money and that letters and speeches are worse than meaningless without it. …
“It will annoy the part of the Republican base that wants to see the government shrink, loves the sequester and doesn’t care what it does to defense. But leadership occasionally means telling people what they don’t want to hear. Those who propose to lead the United States in the coming years, Republicans and Democrats, need to show what kind of political courage they have, right now, when the crucial budget decisions are being made.”
So, the way to show “courage” – in Kagan’s view – is to ladle ever more billions into the Military-Industrial Complex, thus putting money where the Republican mouths are regarding the need to “defend Ukraine” and resist “a bad nuclear deal with Iran.”
Yet, if it weren’t for Nuland’s efforts as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, the Ukraine crisis might not exist. A neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, Nuland gained promotions under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and received backing, too, from current Secretary of State John Kerry.
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.
Confirmed to her present job in September 2013, Nuland soon undertook an extraordinary effort to promote “regime change” in Ukraine. She personally urged on business leaders and political activists to challenge elected President Viktor Yanukovych. She reminded corporate executives that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” and she literally passed out cookies to anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square.
Working with other key neocons, including National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and Sen. John McCain, Nuland made clear that the United States would back a “regime change” against Yanukovych, which grew more likely as neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias poured into Kiev from western Ukraine.
In early February 2014, Nuland discussed U.S.-desired changes with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (himself a veteran of a “regime change” operation at the International Atomic Energy Agency, helping to install U.S. yes man Yukiya Amano as the director-general in 2009).
Nuland treated her proposed new line-up of Ukrainian officials as if she were trading baseball cards, casting aside some while valuing others. “Yats is the guy,” she said of her favorite Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Disparaging the less aggressive European Union, she uttered “Fuck the EU” – and brainstormed how she would “glue this thing” as Pyatt pondered how to “mid-wife this thing.” Their unsecure phone call was intercepted and leaked.
UkraineRegime Change
The coup against Yanukovych played out on Feb. 22, 2014, as the neo-Nazi militias and other violent extremists overran government buildings forcing the president and other officials to flee for their lives. Nuland’s State Department quickly declared the new regime “legitimate” and Yatsenyuk took over as prime minister.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been presiding over the Winter Olympics at Sochi, was caught off-guard by the coup next door and held a crisis session to determine how to protect ethnic Russians and a Russian naval base in Crimea, leading to Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia a year ago.
Though there was no evidence that Putin had instigated the Ukraine crisis – and indeed all the evidence indicated the opposite – the State Department peddled a propaganda theme to the credulous mainstream U.S. news media about Putin having somehow orchestrated the situation in Ukraine so he could begin invading Europe. Former Secretary of State Clinton compared Putin to Adolf Hitler.
As the new Kiev government launched a brutal “anti-terrorism operation” to subdue an uprising among the large ethnic Russian populations of eastern and southern Ukraine, Nuland and other American neocons pushed for economic sanctions against Russia and demanded arms for the coup regime. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]
Amid the barrage of “information warfare” aimed at both the U.S. and world publics, a new Cold War took shape. Prominent neocons, including Nuland’s husband Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century which masterminded the Iraq War, hammered home the domestic theme that Obama had shown himself to be “weak,” thus inviting Putin’s “aggression.”
In May 2014, Kagan published a lengthy essay in The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” in which Kagan castigated Obama for failing to sustain American dominance in the world and demanding a more muscular U.S. posture toward adversaries.
According to a New York Times article about how the essay took shape and its aftermath, writer Jason Horowitz reported that Kagan and Nuland shared a common world view as well as professional ambitions, with Nuland editing Kagan’s articles, including the one tearing down her ostensible boss.
Though Nuland wouldn’t comment specifically on her husband’s attack on Obama, she indicated that she held similar views. “But suffice to say,” Nuland said, “that nothing goes out of the house that I don’t think is worthy of his talents. Let’s put it that way.”
Horowitz reported that Obama was so concerned about Kagan’s assault that the President revised his commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of the criticism and invited Kagan to lunch at the White House, where one source told me that it was like “a meeting of equals.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’”]
Sinking a Peace Deal
And, whenever peace threatens to break out in Ukraine, Nuland jumps in to make sure that the interests of war are protected. Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande hammered out a plan for a cease-fire and a political settlement, known as Minsk-2, prompting Nuland to engage in more behind-the-scenes maneuvering to sabotage the deal.
In another overheard conversation — in Munich, Germany — Nuland mocked the peace agreement as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” according to the German newspaper Bild, citing unnamed sources, likely from the German government which may have bugged the conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel and then leaked the details.
Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel, another U.S. official called the Minsk-2 deal the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”
Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.” According to the Bild story, Nuland also laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis.
“We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.
NATO Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending more weapons to the Ukrainian government would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.” Nuland interjected to the U.S. politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”
Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel-Hollande peace initiative even though it was arranged by two major U.S. allies and was blessed by President Obama. And, this week, the deal seems indeed to have been blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who inserted a poison pill into the legislation to implement the Minsk-2 political settlement.
The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a clause that, in effect, requires the rebels to first surrender and let the Ukrainian government organize elections before a federalized structure is determined. Minsk-2 had called for dialogue with the representatives of these rebellious eastern territories en route to elections and establishment of broad autonomy for the region.
Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, Kiev refused to talks with rebel leaders and insisted on establishing control over these territories before the process can move forward. If the legislation stands, the result will almost surely be a resumption of war between military forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a very dangerous development for the world. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Poison Pill for Peace Talks.”]
Not only will the Ukrainian civil war resume but so will the Cold War between Washington and Moscow with lots of money to be made by the Military-Industrial Complex. On Friday, Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan, drove home that latter point in the neocon Washington Post.
The Payoff
But don’t think that this unlocking of the U.S. taxpayers’ wallets is just about this one couple. There will be plenty of money to be made by other neocon think-tankers all around Washington, including Frederick Kagan, who works for the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and his wife, Kimberly, who runs her own think tank, the Institute for the Study of War [ISW].
Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War.
Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War.
According to ISW’s annual reports, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a host of national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.
Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded U.S. forces in those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War.”]
In other words, the Family Kagan has almost a self-perpetuating, circular business model – working the inside-corridors of government power to stimulate wars while simultaneously influencing the public debate through think-tank reports and op-ed columns in favor of more military spending – and then collecting grants and other funding from thankful military contractors.
To be fair, the Nuland-Kagan mom-and-pop shop is really only a microcosm of how the Military-Industrial Complex has worked for decades: think-tank analysts generate the reasons for military spending, the government bureaucrats implement the necessary war policies, and the military contractors make lots of money before kicking back some to the think tanks — so the bloody but profitable cycle can spin again.
The only thing that makes the Nuland-Kagan operation special perhaps is that the whole process is all in the family.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.