Freedom Rider: America’s Aggressions Rewarded

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States is a military superpower in economic decline. Consequently, its foreign policy resembles that of the mafia extortionist who “offers protection when it is in fact the only threat in the neighborhood.” Old bullies do not fade away; they must be confronted. “Who will insist on punishing the United States?” – by far the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.”


Freedom Rider: America’s Aggressions Rewarded


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. faces the constant economic crises brought on by collapsing capitalism and uses its muscle to keep others in line.”

The United States continues to be the worst and most persistent aggressor on the planet in large part because it has paid no price for its crimes. Our government has acted with complete impunity even as it has ravaged countries as disparate as Iraq, Haiti, and Libya with military force and occupations. It has supported proxies to destabilize an elected government in Venezuela and thwart the will of the people in that country. It has ruined the Iranian economy with harsh sanctions and now seeks to do the same with Russia. America has no shame in asserting its right to intervene anywhere it chooses to on the planet, and to punish any other nation with a mistaken belief that it will be allowed to act in its best interests.

In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy and eliminating weapons of mass destruction. The charge that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMDs was proven to be a bald faced lie and the intent to uphold democracy was an equally atrocious fabrication. Yet America suffered not at all for its deceit or its role in killing hundreds of thousands of people.

After America’s interference overthrew an elected Ukrainian president, Russian president Vladimir Putin drew a red line around his country. Because he stood up to the bully, the United States has decreed that he must be punished. The G8 nations are now the G7 because the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and France all submitted to America’s demand that Putin be kicked out of their club house. The G8 meeting scheduled to be hosted by Putin in Sochi will now be held at the European Union headquarters in Belgium and will have no Russian presence for the first time since 1998.

America has no shame in asserting its right to intervene anywhere it chooses to on the planet.”

The appalling arrogance and bullying of the United States is matched only by the obsequiousness of its allies, who never dare take America to task. They certainly could have used the same logic to toss the United States out of the G8 group after the invasion of Iraq, or the occupation of Haiti, or the destruction of Libya, or the ongoing destruction of Syria, but the big criminal goes untouched. They are both afraid of American power and also complicit in its crimes. Their hypocrisy is matched by their cowardice.

Unfortunately, the United States is the most powerful country in the world and it uses its power to crush anyone who dares to stand in its way and Vladimir Putin is the demon du jour. His government gave temporary asylum to another wanted man, Edward Snowden, who committed the crime of revealing the extent of the American security state. When Obama and other NATO leaders sought to intervene directly in Syria and make their “rebels” victorious it was Putin who stood in their way. When NATO subverted the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Russia’s neighbor to the east, Putin told NATO in no uncertain terms that he was having none of it and that defiance made him persona non grata to the United States and its lackeys.

Who will insist on punishing the United States? Where are the calls for boycotts and sanctions? Of course the G7 nations are often partners in crime but they also know that a wounded predator is very dangerous. The U.S. faces the constant economic crises brought on by collapsing capitalism and uses its muscle to keep others in line. It can prevent other countries from dropping the dollar as a reserve currency or exercising their abilities to sell their resources but it isn’t weak enough yet to be opposed without serious consequence.

Putin told NATO in no uncertain terms that he was having none of it.”

In popular vernacular, it can be said that the United States is “gangsta.” Like a mafia extortionist it offers protection when it is in fact the only threat in the neighborhood. Russia doesn’t threaten any of the G7 countries. None of them have any reason to fear Putin but they do have reason to fear the orchestrator of the coups and the occupations unless they go along with the shake down.

Not only is Putin punished for stopping the criminality but America is rewarded for committing the crimes. Sanctions and isolation are meant to turn Russia into another Iran, an energy rich nation unable to sell its energy resources. The ultimate winner will be the United States which will have the dubious distinction of dispatching yet another competitor for influence in the world. It also has the distinction of bringing the world to the brink of catastrophic violence. Even in the cold war era the Soviet Union’s prerogatives were accepted as pragmatic realpolitik. Those niceties are no longer respected and American meddling may bring about the conflict which was feared but not realized in the past.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)


I am not so sure that the US

I am not so sure that the US is a big winner here, at least in the medium-to-long term, as the BRICS will draw closer together....the harder the US pushes, the greater the resolve in the rest of the world, as US methods and motives become clearer (though pretty clear to all now).  Irony:  after WW2, the threat of Communism ("Eastern Europe has fallen!"), the Soviet Union ("they have the bomb"!), and China ("we lost China!") enabled the Military Industrial Complex, that got rich during the war, to excuse Imperial ambitions and sell it to the people.  Is this going to happen now, going in the other direction?

gas prices

And if America has to make up for the loss of Russian oil, accoreding to the laws of supply and demand, does that mean thatthe American gas consumer will pay for these sanctions in higher gas prices? Thats what I wanna know.

From The Anderson Valley Advertiser: Let's You and Him Fight

Let’s You & Him Fight

by James Howard Kunstler, March 5, 2014

So, now we are threatening to start World War Three because Russia is trying to control the chaos in a failed state on its border — a state that our own government spooks provoked into failure? The last time I checked, there was a list of countries that the USA had sent troops, armed ships, and aircraft into recently, and for reasons similar to Russia’s in Crimea: the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, none of them even anywhere close to American soil. I don’t remember Russia threatening confrontations with the USA over these adventures.

The phones at the White House and the congressional offices ought to be ringing off the hook with angry US citizens objecting to the posturing of our elected officials. There ought to be crowds with bobbing placards in Farragut Square reminding the occupant of 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue how ridiculous this makes us look.

The saber-rattlers at The New York Times were sounding like the promoters of a World Wrestling Federation stunt Monday morning when they said in a Page One story:

“The Russian occupation of Crimea has challenged Mr. Obama as has no other international crisis, and at its heart, the advice seemed to pose the same question: Is Mr. Obama tough enough to take on the former K.G.B. colonel in the Kremlin?”

Are they out of their chicken-hawk minds over there? It sounds like a ploy out of the old Eric Berne playbook: Let’s You and Him Fight. What the USA and its European factotums ought to do is mind their own business and stop issuing idle threats. They set the scene for the Ukrainian melt-down by trying to tilt the government their way, financing a pro-Euroland revolt, only to see their sponsored proxy dissidents give way to a claque of armed neo-Nazis, whose first official act was to outlaw the use of the Russian language in a country with millions of long-established Russian-speakers. This is apart, of course, from the fact Ukraine had been until very recently a province of Russia’s former Soviet empire.

Secretary of State John Kerry — a haircut in search of a brain — is winging to Kiev tomorrow to pretend that the USA has a direct interest in what happens there. Since US behavior is so patently hypocritical, it raises the pretty basic question: what are our motives? I don’t think they amount to anything more than international grandstanding — based on the delusion that we have the power and the right to control everything on the planet, which is based, in turn, on our current mood of extreme insecurity as our own ongoing spate of bad choices sets the table for a banquet of consequences.

America can’t even manage its own affairs. We ignore our own gathering energy crisis, telling ourselves the fairy tale that shale oil will allow us to keep driving to WalMart forever. We paper over all of our financial degeneracy and wink at financial criminals. Our infrastructure is falling apart. We’re constructing an edifice of surveillance and social control that would make the late Dr. Joseph Goebbels turn green in his grave with envy while we squander our dwindling political capital on stupid gender confusion battles.

The Russians, on the other hand, have every right to protect their interests along their own border, to protect the persons and property of Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, not long ago, were citizens of a greater Russia, to discourage neo-Nazi activity in their back-yard, and most of all to try to stabilize a region that has little history and experience with independence. They also have to contend with the bankruptcy of Ukraine, which may be the principal cause of its current crack-up. Ukraine is deep in hock to Russia, but also to a network of Western banks, and it remains to be seen whether the failure of these linked obligations will lead to contagion throughout the global financial system. It only takes one additional falling snowflake to push a snow-field into criticality.

Welcome to the era of failed states. We’ve already seen plenty of action around the world and we’re going to see more as resource and capital scarcities drive down standards of living and lower the trust horizon. The world is not going in the direction that Tom Friedman and the globalists thought. Anything organized at the giant scale is now in trouble, nation-states in particular.  The USA is not immune to this trend, whatever we imagine about ourselves for now.