They run an English language website, ThinkRussia.com and when tensions first began to rise in the Ukraine, postings included 'a look back at the Sochi Olympics, a feature on international women's day in Russia, and a piece detailing a crackdown on bitcoin.' Nothing on Ukraine. Indeed, if you visit the site today, you get no sense of the turmoil currently taking place.
Ketchum also maintains a Twitter account for Russia, @mfa_russia They have over 48,000 followers, and while much if it is non-confrontational, they do question the actions of NATO and its members.
They also, however, give us a view of the conflict outside the Western sphere, as Russia seeks humanitarian aid from China, to assist those living in what we refer to as Pro-Russian territory.
Remember. These sites are being maintained by one of the world's largest PR firms, originating in the United States, and being paid for by the Russian government. How can this be?
The Destabilization of a Powerful Nation
Stephen F. Cohen, described as a 'scholar of Russian studies', wrote a book in 2000, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia. I had read it several years ago, but picked it up again to read as a refresher.
In it he writes of the invasion of Russia by the United States, throughout the 1990s. Not a military invasion, but a social and cultural one with an army of bankers, investors and Evangelicals, hoping to turn the country into an American style democracy.
They called it shock therapy, as the middle class was gutted, the most vulnerable left to fend for themselves and Christian Orthodoxy allowed to play an important role in public policy. (Simon Shuster, Time, August 4, 2014)
Cohen questioned the logic of destabilizing a country with nuclear weapons. He is now a seemingly lone voice, in once again questioning the U.S. And their role in Ukraine.
The Coup and the Chorus of Voices
I started following this story back in February, when a tape was leaked of a telephone conversation between U.S. Diplomat, Victoria Nuland, and Ukrainian Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. In it we hear Nuland angrily state "f... the European Union!"
Initially, Nuland denied that it was her on the tape, blaming the Russians for trying to discredit her, but eventually admitted to the slur and apologized for her insensitivity.
However, that tape revealed a lot more than a diplomat with a potty mouth, but also showed America's apparent involvement in the coup. Not because Nuland or Pyatt spoke of it directly, but because many asked themselves who these people were and why were they so upset with the European Union? This was when rumblings of another U.S. sponsored "regime change" was underway.
Victoria Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, co-founder with arch Neoconservative, William Kristol, of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
PNAC worked closely with the Bush Administration and their so-called War on Terror and Kagan personally supported the invasion of Iraq. He also wrote a book in 2003; Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order, in which he states:
When it comes to setting national priorities, determining threats, defining challenges, and fashioning and implementing foreign and defense policies, the United States and Europe have parted ways ... 'He then coined the term "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus"' which understandably upset, well, the Europeans. Did he also coin the term "F... the EU"?
And what about Geoffrey Pyatt, the Ukranian Ambassador?
Soon after landing in the Ukraine, he engineered the purchase of a television outlet called Hromadske.TV, with embassy funds and contributions from wealthy Americans. What's interesting though, is that he also received almost $100,000 from the Embassy of the Netherlands.
A secret Wikileaks cable revealed a statement made by a departing US envoy to the Hague, "Dutch pragmatism and our similar world-views make the Netherlands fertile ground for initiatives others in Europe might be reluctant, at least initially, to embrace."
Damn I hope MH17, with so many Dutch passengers, wasn't targeted because of that, given that Hromadske TV played an integral part in the Revolution, and is now the most quoted in the Western media.
In December, 2013, Radio Free Europe wrote of the upstart new station: Out Of Ukrainian Protests, A New Media Outlet Is Born
Disinformation, misinformation, rumors, and speculation have been widespread throughout the crisis as throngs of protesters have taken to the streets to protest Yanukovych's scuttling of a landmark pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow.But apparently, only Hromadske could get to the truth. However, Hromadske may have also launched the Revolution. According to Mustafa Nayem, the man credited with the igniting spark:
The press gained freedoms under Yanukovych. But it wasn’t until 2013 that a group of us left our jobs at companies owned by oligarchs or political partisans and began to create a truly independent media. In the first months of the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych we formed Stop Censorship! to protest persecution of the press.So who controls the message? You be the judge, because that is not the purpose of this post.
Three years later, we founded the first Internet TV channel in the country that operates through donations from our viewers—Hromadske.tv, where I work now as editor in chief. The media showed everything that was happening—helping people to believe that if we all act together, we can accomplish great things.
The Destabilization of a Powerful Nation
When I mentioned in the heading, a powerful nation that can't be trusted, I was referring to the United States. Not that we can trust Russia. I think that's a given.
Nor does it necessarily mean that the United States can't be trusted. However, because of past sins, and bogus reasons for war, American credibility is fading.
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, they were seen as the biggest threat to world peace, at 24%. Next to them was Pakistan at 8%, India 6%, Israel and Russia 5% and Afghanistan, Iran, And North Korea all tied with 4%.
Of course, the right-wing blames this on Obama, but the reputation as a war monger, began long before he came to power. In fact, you could say it started in 1898 when the U.S. no doubt blew up its own ship, The Maine, and used it as justification for the Spanish-American War. From then on, Imperialism became an integral part of public policy.
Many influential Europeans are even suggesting that 9/11 was an inside job. But this post is not to debate that either, but to ask ourselves what happens when a country like the United States loses credibility, at a time of profound crisis.
In May of this year, journalist Finian Cunningham, had a piece posted on Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy site, entitled: Putin Should Send Troops Into Ukraine
It should be noted that Paul Craig Roberts is no left-wing nut, but a supply-sider Republican, who was part of the Reagan Administration. Yet he allows a guest posting that blames American foreign policy for the Ukraine crisis.
Despite Western claims, the facts show that the unrest and violence in Ukraine has stemmed from Western subversion in that country, beginning with the CIA-backed street agitation in Kiev last November that led to an illegal coup against the elected government of Victor Yanukovych in February. We could go further back to the CIA-sponsored Orange Revolution of 2004 and the $5 billion invested by Washington for regime change from the early 1990s onwards.
The neo-Nazi paramilitaries and their political leaders who usurped power in Kiev have gone on to unleash a campaign of terror against ethnic Russians in the east and south of the country, and anyone else who opposes the regime’s power grab.
In the southern city of Odessa, more than 40 anti-Kiev protesters were killed when a building they were seeking refuge in was set ablaze by hundreds of neo-Nazi storm troopers acting on the tacit direction of the junta in Kiev and its Western state sponsors ... Eyewitnesses in Odessa say that when people jumped from windows to escape the blaze they were “finished off” by neo-Nazis on the ground who had minutes before set the building alight with petrol bombs.Ketchum Inc, is not alone in supporting Russia, though it's not so much about supporting Russia as not trusting the USA.
These forces comprise remnants of the Ukrainian national army loyal to the fascist junta, as well as Right Sector neo-Nazi paramilitaries outfitted as a “national guard”, and very possibly the involvement of US-backed mercenaries and Special Forces.
It took months, for the European Union to endorse severe sanctions, and since many of those Europeans will be hurt in the process, they may cave before Putin. If the purpose is to ignite a coup against the Russian leader, that doesn't appear imminent, as he had already took measures to decrease foreign investments.
The United States had the only vote against a a UN investigation into Israeli violence in Gaza, revealing what little international influence they now have. Had Canada's international voice still meant something, we would have surely joined them, but Harper lost our seat at the UN council.
At a time when we need strong American leadership, that country has been destabilized with shock therapy that has gutted the middle class, left the most vulnerable to fend for themselves and allowed Christian Orthodoxy to play an important role in public policy. Sound familiar?
Tea Party politics Russian style, or American style, is still Tea Party politics. They tanked the Russian economy in 1998, and put the American economy on the brink several times. How can anyone now look to the U.S. for guidance, when the Tea Party now control the GOP and Congress?
The American people are weary of war, and the rest of the world growing weary of the USA.
Let's hope the goddess of diplomacy can defeat the god of war, and this mess ends peacefully, because no matter what neoconservatives believe, there can be no winners in a nuclear war.