Παρασκευή, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Victoria Nuland: The Bride At Every Wedding

written by andrei akulov


The United States increases pressure on Ukraine while preparing sanctions against the country. It sends a high-level State Department official to visit the country only a month after her previous visit. US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland is going to Kiev on Thursday, February 6. The event is coordinated with the European partners. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will also visit Ukraine on February 5.

According to US State Department’s statement, in Kiev the Assistant Secretary will meet with government officials, opposition leaders, civil society and business leaders "to encourage agreement on a new government and plan of action that can put Ukraine back on track toward fulfilling the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for democracy, respect for human rights, European integration and economic growth." It means the US is to lend a helping hand only to the Ukrainians who want to associate with the EU. Those who don’t should be looking for support somewhere else. No taking sides and meddling, of course. That’s how democracy and impartiality are interpreted by the State Department.

The visit is taking place against the background of announcements from the White House that the US is reportedly readying financial sanctions that could be levied against Ukrainian government officials and opposition leaders. U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden has made at least three phone calls in recent weeks to press Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to accept forming a government akin to Western interests.

Victoria Nuland — an instrument of brazen interference

Victoria Nuland is a dry-behind-the-ears career diplomat with experience holding senior positions in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. She also has served as a foreign policy adviser to former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and then as US ambassador to NATO. Mrs. Nuland is married to well-known conservative foreign policy pundit Robert Kagan who pushed for the Iraq war. He has always spoken unfavorably about Russia and wants the administration to get tough on Ukraine. Some people call him a neocon.

The Assistant Secretary was under fire, accused of lying to the American people as State Department spokesperson. She allegedly persuaded more senior officials to delete information on at least five attacks against foreign interests in Libya by unidentified assailants. Some Republicans said at the confirmation hearings in July 2013 that she helped State Department superiors water down the now-infamous talking points used by the administration to inform Americans about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The issue was raised during a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the nomination to become assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. Questions were asked about the role she played in shaping the administration’s unwillingness to characterize the attacks as a premeditated act of terrorism, especially about a series of emails she wrote three days after the attacks in which she claimed her "building leadership" had "issues" with talking points about Benghazi that the administration was drafting. An initial version of the talking points had made references to al Qaeda and to "at least five other attacks" on foreign interests that had occurred in Benghazi prior to attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. But, following Mrs. Nuland’s input, those references were removed from a final version the White House gave to former UN Ambassador S. Rice for making a reference on several news talk shows.

As a result Susan Rice made no mention of Al Qaeda or terrorists on the talk shows, and instead said the Benghazi attacks had grown out of a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video. Republicans had for months insinuated that the talking points were watered down as part of a White House strategy to downplay the possibility that a U.S. ambassador was killed on Mr. Obama’s watch in a terrorist attack. The strategy’s goal, the argument goes, was to protect Mr. Obama’s national security record in the midst of hotly contested presidential campaign. As a result, Republicans claim the talking points were cleansed by senior officials. "At no point," said Nuland, "did I talk about the talking points with Secretary Clinton."

"There are still some things that need to be known," said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Paul told the Associated Press he hoped to learn at the confirmation hearing whether weapons the assailants used in the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack had any connection to U.S. intelligence operations in Libya or Syria. He said, "Nuland was Hillary Clinton's spokeswoman and I'm guessing she was in the room for a lot of conversations." Back then she received ardent support from…nobody else but leading neocons: Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Finger in every pie

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