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March 3, 2014

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Bulletin #186: Please call your senators and ask them to intervene to halt dangerous U.S. rhetoric vis-à-vis Ukraine

Dear friends and colleagues –

We are concerned about the escalating U.S. rhetoric we see from the Administration and certain members of Congress vis-à-vis the Ukraine, a state on the other side of the world from the U.S.A. – and a state in which U.S.-funded groups, including neo-Nazis who proudly trace their roots to partisans who collaborated with Nazi SS units, overthrew an elected government on Russia’s doorstep, with direct involvement by the U.S. State Department.

We regard these developments as extraordinarily dangerous, utterly toxic to U.S.-Russian relations.  They are harbingers of further, and potentially unlimited, dangers to the U.S., should such practices and attitudes continue.  The people and groups who contributed to this problem need to be separated from the U.S. government and seen for the problem they are.

Without cooperation from Russia there is little hope of solving any of the world’s major problems, which are also the U.S.’s major problems.

We’re not experts in Eastern Europe but we have ears.  Here’s U.S.  Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland talking to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt about who to install in the new government (and “F*** the E.U.”). Veteran reporter Robert Parry summarizes:

"Yats is the guy," Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. "He's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the guy you know." By "Yats," Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister -- and who was committed to harsh austerity.

As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera's anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.

With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives.

With these neo-Nazis providing "security," the remaining parliamentarians agreed in a series of unanimous or near unanimous votes to establish a new government and seek Yanukovych's arrest for mass murder. Nuland's choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

We are not just concerned about Ukraine, but also about the influence of neoconservative thought and action in this Administration and ones to follow.  Parry’s summary of the situation, quoted here, is worthy of a close read in its entirety.  (See also “Neocons and the Ukraine Coup,” Robert Parry, Consortium News, 24 February 14).

The rhetoric that asks if a U.S. president is “tough” enough in this (or any given) foreign policy crisis is a marker of danger.  This is neoconservative talk, no matter where it appears.  “Tough” sooner or later is going to mean war, whether by calculation or miscalculation.  Many of the neoconservatives whom Obama has kept in his administration (a phenomenon we see in nuclear weapons management as well) and allowed so much slack to pursue their goals, are not at all satisfied with the self-and-other-destructive wars they started.  They aren’t done.  They want regime change in Damascus, Tehran, and wherever else will help establish U.S. hegemony over crucial oil and gas resources and pipeline routes.  In the case of Ukraine there is also a considerable amount of Cold War thought afoot that says Russia should be weakened as much as possible.  “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski (from The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives;   quoted in “The New Great Game: Why Ukraine Matters to So Many Other Nations,” 2/27/14, Business Week).

This is crazy stuff.  James Kunstler’s take seems about right (John Kerry: “A haircut in search of a brain.)

We hope you will call or write your congressional delegation and ask them to question the propriety of U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the Ukraine government.  We need to chill.  As Eastern European expert Stephen Cohen said on PBS yesterday, “the U.S. has zero options in Ukraine.”  Zero good options, that is.

Here in New Mexico, our senior senator Tom Udall is on the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Joint Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe.  His was a very welcome early voice for sanity regarding Syria.  It is possible that he could help tone down U.S. rhetoric and threats, which have been ramping up so dangerously over the weekend.|

If you live in New Mexico we urge you to call or write Sen. Udall’s office: 

The Honorable Tom Udall
United States Senate
110 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3101

DC phone: 202-224-6621
DC fax: 202-228-3261
Contact Form:

District Offices
219 Central Avenue NW, Suite 210 Albuquerque, NM 87102
Voice: 505-346-6791, FAX: 505-346-6720

102 West Hagerman Street, Suite A Carlsbad, NM 88220
Voice: 575-234-0366

Las Cruces
201 North Church Street, Suite 201B, Las Cruces, NM 88001
Voice: 575-526-5475, FAX: 575-523-6589

Santa Fe
120 South Federal Place, Suite 302 Santa Fe, NM 87501
Voice: 505-988-6511, FAX: 505-988-6514  

Best wishes to all,


Greg and Trish, for the Study Group

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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