Russia Archives - Accuracy.Org

Are False Stories About Russia/Afghanistan Pushing for War?

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Independent investigative reporter Gareth Porter just published the piece “How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to U.S. intelligence agencies” at The Grayzone, which summarizes his findings thus: “Another New York Times Russiagate bombshell turns out to be a dud, as dodgy stories spun out by Afghan intelligence and exploited by the Pentagon ultimately failed to convince U.S. intelligence agencies.” [Also see 2017 article — “Should Media Expose Sources Who Lied to Them?” — by Sam Husseini for the media watch group FAIR.]

MATTHEW HOH, matthew_hoh at riseup.net
Hoh resigned in protest from his State Department position in Afghanistan in 2009 over the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration; he also served in Iraq with the Marines. He has recently been featured on two accuracy.org news release: “Is Big Media Echoing Accusations to Demonize Russia and Continue Afghan War?” and “Inconvenient Facts: U.S. Killed Russians in Syria and Afghanistan.”

Hoh said today: “I think it is all more of the same: anonymous, unverifiable and evidence free accusations that have blatant domestic political beneficiaries, breathlessly exclaimed by a press which cheerleads constantly for U.S. foreign policy, as well as U.S. intelligence and military agencies, without regard for or acknowledgment of the vast catalogue of lying by those same intelligence and military agencies for political and institutional purposes. The question that should be asked by everyone is why should any of these institutions or individuals be believed.

“If these accusations of Russian bounties are true, than rather than reporting and responding to them as a chain of Russian conspiracies in Afghanistan against a benevolent and passive United States they should be understood for what they are: the consequences of U.S. war in Afghanistan, not only for the last 19 years, but the last 40 years, as well as the eternal consequences of waging these unending wars in the Muslim world.

“These too are the consequences warned of in the 1990s as the United States and NATO expanded its military presence eastward towards the Russian border. The Doomsday Clock is now at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to midnight since its inception in 1947. The people of the world are trapped in-between the 6,000 active and armed nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia, and further surrounded by climate change, pandemic, and exploitative neo-liberal economic policies. Meanwhile, both U.S. political parties utilize these accusations, and resulting tensions with Russia, for their own political benefit, while politicians, retired generals, the weapons industry and other elements of the $1.2 trillion annual war machine are using these well timed accusations to destroy peace attempts in and U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as justify $15 billion aircraft carriers, $2 billion bombers and $10 million tanks, along with a plan to spend $1.5 trillion on new nuclear weapons, resume nuclear testing and put weapons in space.”

Is Obama Falsifying Legacy and Legality of Iraq War — and Crimea?

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Activists and legal experts are criticizing President Obama’s remarks in Brussels on Wednesday on war and international law. Among other things, Obama claimed: “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

MATT HOWARD, mattwhoward at ivaw.org
Howard is communications director for Iraq Veterans Against the War, which just helped organize the People’s Hearing on the Lasting Impact of the Iraq War on Wednesday night in Washington D.C., moderated by Phil Donahue. See righttoheal.org for video of the event and other materials. Howard can also connect media to other participants in the event.

See from Commondreams.org: “Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends U.S. Invasion of Iraq” and “#RightToHeal: 11 Years On, Bearing Witness to Iraq War’s Lasting Harm,” which quotes several participants in Wednesday’s event, including Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist (see New York Times story: “Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed“), Kristi Casteel, mother of IVAW member Joshua Casteel, Rebekah Lampman, IVAW member who spoke about sexual assault and Yanar Mohammed, president and co-founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, who addressed how the U.S. invasion fostered sectarian war and other issues. Mohammed recently appeared on the program “Democracy Now!

JOHN QUIGLEY, Quigley.2 at osu.edu
Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley dealt with conflicts between Ukraine and Russia arising from the breakup of the USSR on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He recently wrote the piece “Finding a Way Forward for Crimea,” for the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.

He said today: “Mr. Obama is failing to focus on what is appropriate as a status for Crimea, which is the center of the present conflict. He is not giving weight to the fact that the population of Crimea considers Crimea to be part of Russia historically, and that it saw no reason why Crimea should be part of Ukraine once the USSR broke up. He challenges Mr. Putin’s point that the population of Crimea was under threat. Whether that is so or not, one still has to consider the right of self-determination of the people of Crimea.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press: 1999). He said today: “In March 2003 the United States launched an illegal and criminal war of aggression against Iraq based on false pretexts, a Nuremberg Crime against Peace. The United States destroyed Iraq as a functioning state and effectively carved-up Iraq de facto into three mini-statelets that are at war with each other today, killing an estimated 1.4 million Iraqis in the process. Suicide bombings in Iraq continue to be a fact of everyday life. By comparison, the Russian annexation of Crimea was almost bloodless.”

Obama at Nuclear Summit: A Call to Respect NPT, Not Pursue New Cold War

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[The New York Times is now reporting in “Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection” that “the bulk records would stay in the hands of phone companies…” However, the Institute for Public Accuracy is hosting a news conference at 1 p.m. at the National Press Club today addressing the ways in which the administration is continuing to pursue Edward Snowden, whose leaks pushed for reform efforts.]

ALICE SLATER, aslater at rcn.com
Slater is with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee. She just wrote the piece “Time for a 21st Century U.S. Foreign Policy,” which states: “With 16,000 of the world’s 17,000 nuclear bombs in the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. should certainly not be fanning the fires for a new Cold War after the distressing events in Crimea and the Ukraine.

“Rather, we should acknowledge our broken promise to Gorbachev that we wouldn’t expand NATO if Russia didn’t object to a reunified Germany’s entry into NATO when the Berlin Wall came down, and promise not to invite the Ukraine or Georgia to become members of our old Cold War military alliance.

“We should be disbanding NATO and working for reform of the UN system so that it can fulfill its peacekeeping mission without archaic reliance on competitive regional military alliances. Further, we should remove our missiles from Poland, Romania and Turkey and negotiate the space weapons ban which China and Russia repeatedly proposed, and which only the U.S. blocked for several years in the UN’s Committee on Disarmament in Geneva which requires consensus.

“We should also reinstate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which Bush walked out of in 2001 and take up Russia’s offer to negotiate a treaty to ban cyberwarfare, which it proposed after the U.S. boasted about its virus attack on Iran’s enrichment facilities and which the U.S. rejected out of hand. …

“It’s ironic that Obama is now in the Hague at his third ‘Nuclear Security Summit’ to talk about locking down and securing loose bomb-making materials, without any discussion about how to honor our Non-Proliferation Treaty promise to eliminate our massive nuclear arsenal, for which we are planning to spend $640 billion over the next ten years for two new bomb factories, and new lethal delivery systems — missiles, planes, submarines.”