American Double Standards On Display In Ukraine

Last week, two prominent Ukrainian opposition figures were gunned down in broad daylight. They join as many as ten others who have been killed or committed suicide under suspicious circumstances just this year. These individuals have one important thing in common: they were either part of or friendly with the Yanukovych government, which a US-backed coup overthrew last year. They include members of the Ukrainian parliament and former chief editors of major opposition newspapers.

While some journalists here in the U.S. have started to notice the strange series of opposition killings in Ukraine, the U.S. government has yet to say a word.

Compare this to the U.S. reaction when a single opposition figure was killed in Russia earlier this year. Boris Nemtsov was a member of a minor political party that was not even represented in the Russian parliament. Nevertheless, the U.S. government immediately demanded that Russia conduct a thorough investigation of his murder, suggesting the killers had a political motive.

As news of the Russian killing broke, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) did not wait for evidence to blame the killing on Russian president Vladimir Putin. On the very day of Nemtsov’s murder, Royce told the US media that, “this shocking murder is the latest assault on those who dare to oppose the Putin regime.”

Neither Royce, nor Secretary of State John Kerry, nor President Obama, nor any U.S. government figure has said a word about the series of apparently political murders in Ukraine.

On the contrary, instead of questioning the state of democracy in what looks like a lawless Ukraine, the Administration is sending in the U.S. military to help train Ukrainian troops!

Last week, just as the two political murders were taking place, the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade landed in Ukraine to begin training Ukrainian national guard forces — and to leave behind some useful military equipment. Though the civil unrest continues in Ukraine, the U.S. military is assisting one side in the conflict — even as the U.S. slaps sanctions on Russia over accusations it is helping out the other side!

As the ceasefire continues to hold, though shakily, what kind of message does it send to the US-backed government in Kiev to have U.S. troops arrive with training and equipment and an authorization to gift Kiev with some $350 million in weapons? Might they not take this as a green light to begin new hostilities against the breakaway regions in the east?

The Obama administration is so inconsistent in its foreign policy. In some places, particularly Cuba and Iran, the administration is pursuing a policy that looks to diplomacy and compromise to help improve decades of bad relations. In these two cases, the administration realizes that the path of confrontation has led nowhere. When the president announced his desire to see the end of Cuba sanctions, he stated very correctly that, “…we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new.”

So while Obama is correctly talking about sanctions relief for Iran and Cuba, he is adding more sanctions on Russia, backing Saudi Arabia’s brutal attack on Yemen, and pushing ever harder for regime change in Syria. Does he really believe the rest of the world does not see these double standards? A wise consistency of non-interventionism in all foreign affairs would be the correct course for this and future US administrations. Let us hope they will eventually follow Obama’s observation that, “it’s time to try something new.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

America Rising Releases New Hillary Video: ‘Trustworthy?’

This ad by America Rising highlights Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the debunked tale of the former first lady arriving under sniper fire in Bosnia, and other scandals.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Putin Threatens Nuclear War – Are We Listening?

Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com  Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the security forces surrounding him have their eyes on the Baltics. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia were once part of the Soviet Union and an important access point for the Russian navy to the Baltic Sea. In fact, Russia still maintains control of a small territory next to the Baltics, Kaliningrad.

With the Russian involvement in Ukraine and the invasion of Crimea, NATO has been extremely worried that the Baltics are next. The alliance has been parading American armor across Eastern Europe in response to the Russian threat. NATO promises to not station alliance forces permanently along the border states with Russia; however, these new forces are to be “rotated” to get around this restriction.

NATO believes that Russia no longer deserves this consideration since they have actively invaded their neighbor in Ukraine.

It seems the Russian military and political establishment wants the West to know that forces stationed in the Baltics are a no-no. The Independent reports,

Russia has threatened to use “nuclear force” to defend its annexation of Crimea and warned that the “same conditions” that prompted it to take military action in Ukraine exist in the three Baltic states, all members of Nato.

According to notes made by an American at a meeting between Russian generals and US officials – and seen by The Timesnewspaper – Moscow threatened a “spectrum of responses from nuclear to non-military” if Nato moved more forces into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Russians told the meeting, which took place in Germany last month, that an attempt to return Crimea to Ukraine would be met “forcefully including through the use of nuclear force.”

The Russian military still cannot compete with NATO conventionally. Nuclear weapons are another story. Russia relies on its nuclear offensive and deterrent capability and is now rattling that saber in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

The problem for the United States and our NATO allies is that our president does not care about Europe. It’s not on his radar.

He’s much more concerned about allowing the Muslim caliphate to flourish in the Middle East. Hence the snubbing of the NATO ambassador recently in Washington. We are in dangerous times indeed.  

Photo credit: Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Repeal, Don’t Reform, The IMF!

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A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between $17 and $40 billion to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the U.S. government.

Since the IMF receives most of its funding from the United States, it is hardly surprising that it would tailor its actions to advance the U.S. government’s foreign policy goals. The IMF also has a history of using the funds provided to it by the American taxpayer to prop up dictatorial regimes and support unsound economic policies.

Some may claim the IMF does promote free markets by requiring that countries receiving IMF loans implement some positive economic reforms, such as reducing government spending. However, other conditions imposed by the IMF, such as that the country receiving the loan deflate its currency and implement an industrial policy promoting exports, do not seem designed to promote a true free market, much less improve the people’s living standards by giving them greater economic opportunities.

The problem with the IMF cannot be fixed by changing the conditions attached to IMF loans. The fundamental problem with the IMF is that it is funded by resources taken forcibly from the private sector. By taking resources out of private hands and giving them to IMF bureaucrats, government distorts the marketplace, harming both American taxpayers and the citizens of the countries receiving the IMF loans. The idea that the IMF is somehow better able to allocate capital than are private investors is just as flawed as every other form of central planning. The IMF must be repealed, not reformed.

The IMF is not the only U.S. institution that manipulates the global economy. Over the past several years, a mysterious buyer, identified only as “Belgium,” so named because the buyer acts through a Belgian-domiciled account, has become the third-largest holder of Treasury securities. Belgium’s large purchases always occur at opportune times for the U.S. government, such as when a foreign country sells a large amount of Treasuries. “Belgium” also made large purchases in the months just after the Fed launched the quantitative easing program. While there is no evidence this buyer is working directly with the U.S. government, the timing of these purchases does raise suspicions.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Federal Reserve is involved in these purchases. The limited audit of the Federal Reserve’s actions during the financial crisis that was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act revealed that the Fed actively intervenes in global markets.

What other deals with foreign governments is the Fed making? Is the Fed, like the IMF, working to bail out Greece and other EU countries? Is the Fed working secretly to aid U.S. foreign policy as it did in the early 1980s, when it financed loans to then-U.S. ally Saddam Hussein? The lack of transparency about the Fed’s dealings with overseas central banks and foreign governments is one more reason why Congress needs to pass the audit the fed bill.

By taking money from American taxpayers to support economically weak and oftentimes corrupt governments, the IMF distorts the market, enriches corrupt governments, and harms both the American taxpayer and the residents of the counties receiving IMF “aid.” It is past time to end the IMF along with all instruments of American interventionist foreign policy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

World War III Inches Closer As US House Votes To Arm Ukraine

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Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to urge the President of the United States to arm Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The United States needs to be very careful here.

I travel to Ukraine often. I travel to Moscow often. Ukraine has a long, tortured history with Russia that most Americans don’t understand.

How can we effectively deal with a war like this when we may not have a full understanding of the situation and the history that has driven the conflict in East Ukraine to where it is today?

Slavic society started in Ukraine. After the tribes of Kievan Rus were overrun by the Golden Horde from the East almost nine hundred years ago, the princes moved to Moscow and started a new Slavic kingdom which became known as Russia.

The Russian Orthodox Church started in Kiev. Ukraine holds a special place in the Russian Slavic heart.

I am for democracy and for the right of people to determine their own destiny. I have to say I am torn with this situation.  It is not as easy as to say “ok, let’s just go kill Russians in Ukraine and make the world a better place.”

There will be serious consequences from Russia. Russia is bristling with modern nuclear weaponry and nationalist xenophobia.

I am concerned that arming Ukraine will fall right into Putin’s trap. Now, he will have a real enemy to keep his population’s eyes off the coming economic misery.

Let me say that NATO countries should be the absolute red line. There should already be multiple armored brigades in Eastern Europe to show America’s intent to defend the alliance and her allies.

However, I think we have to be much more clever in Ukraine. It seems to me there has to be some other way to stop the Russian advance in the East than for America to directly provide weapons. For instance, we could easily just provide funds secretly for the Ukrainians to arm themselves.

This is a serious situation and could easily lead to a world war which could go nuclear quickly. Russian President Vladimir Putin has often told the West to not forget that Russia has nuclear weapons. The problem is, he is willing to use them.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom