Putin’s American Big Business Allies

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The editorial page of The Washington Post is warning of the folly of appeasing Vladimir Putin, saying:

When Russia was roiled by uncertainty and change in the 1990s, and even into the 2000s, it made sense to engage, and engagement did plenty of good. But something fundamental has changed. Mr. Putin has suffocated democracy, forged an economic model based on crony capitalism and carried out subterfuge and subversion against Ukraine. It is misplaced to suggest that all will be well if we can just sell Russia more airplanes and sneakers.

The Post editorial expressed alarm about the “powerful citadels of U.S. capitalism”—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers—launching a major advertising campaign against economic sanctions on Russia. The ads appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

The full-page ads opposing sanctions on Russia were signed by Thomas J. Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Russia Today (RT) Moscow-funded propaganda channel is ecstatic over what Big Business is doing for Putin, with a story headlined, “U.S. business to run ads against Russian sanctions.” RT says, “The trade associations warn that economic sanctions will translate into huge damages from lost trade with Russia.”

The newspaper ads make no mention of Russian aggression against Ukraine and state only that “America’s interests are at stake in Russia and Ukraine,” as if more trade with Russia is the only course that makes any sense.

But the benefits for Russia go beyond trade. It is “crony capitalism” with a Russian face, as billionaire Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, a Putin associate, has been seeking financial backing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank to buy as many as 11 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace of Savannah, Georgia.

By any logical measure, the Post should join with conservatives in opposing reauthorization of the bank. But a 2012 Post editorial was ambiguous about the bank’s future, suggesting “reform” but not outright abolition. “In 2012,” according to a memorandum from the House financial Services Committee, “Congress reauthorized the Ex-Im Bank. The reauthorization increased the Ex-Im Bank’s exposure limit from $100 billion to $140 billion.” The Ex-Im Bank’s authorization expires on September 30, 2014.

“Democrats are generally supportive of the bank,” notes Business Times.

But a recent Post article was headlined, “Long-building conservative anger at Export-Import Bank reaches boiling point.”

The loans for business deals involving Russia are proving to be some of the most controversial.

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said, “We don’t think that the Export-Import Bank should exist at all, let alone even consider giving loans and loan guarantees to Russian oligarchs and companies with ties to the Russian mob.”

He said that the taxpayer-supported bank “guaranteed $489 million in credits to a Russian oil company whose roots are imbedded in a legacy of KGB and Communist Party corruption, as well as drug trafficking and organized crime funds, according to Russian and U.S. sources and documents.”

In a March 19 statement, he added, “We hope the Chamber of Commerce will join us in asking the Export-Import Bank to immediately cease doing business with all Russian companies…”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents “the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.” The National Association of Manufacturers describes itself as “the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states.”

They both strongly support the Export-Import Bank and have mounted a campaign to save it.

Going even further in this campaign of appeasement toward Russia, New York University and Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen, at the recent U.S.-Russia Forum, called for the creation of a modern-day American Committee on East West Accord, a group that promoted East-West trade during the Cold War. Prominent members of this group included Donald M. Kendall of Pepsi, which was selling soft drinks in the USSR and Soviet brand Stolichnaya vodka in the United States.

At the time, columnist Rowland Evans and Robert Novak called it the “détente lobby,” which came to mean appeasement of the Kremlin. The term “détente” also came to be associated with the policies of President Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who now runs a firm doing business in Russia.

The National Association of Manufacturers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are on the steering committee of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade and played a big role in passing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia through Congress.

But the U.S. Department of Commerce set the stage in 2002 when it designated Russia as a market economy.

This situation dramatically changed, however, in 2005, when businessman William Browder was expelled from Russia and the authorities raided his Russian offices in 2007. One year later they arrested his attorney for exposing official corruption, and in 2009 they murdered him.

As we reported in our column on Browder’s campaign for justice for his attorney, “The Magnitsky case became a concrete manifestation of how Putin and his group of former KGB officers were looting the country and consolidating their power.”

The arguments set forth in the Big Business ads—that sanctions would hurt U.S. work and industries more than the Russians—are similar to what these groups argued when President Reagan launched sanctions against the old Soviet Union.

It’s true, as the ads claim, that Reagan lifted a grain embargo on the Soviet Union that had been imposed by President Jimmy Carter. But he also launched a multifaceted campaign to restrict the Soviet Union’s access to Western technology and bank loans.

Reagan wanted to “strangle the Soviets economically,” notes Paul Kengor in his book on Reagan, The Crusader. It was “economic warfare,” in addition to a U.S. military buildup, that brought about the dissolution of the USSR that Putin now wants to rectify.

As Putin contemplates his next aggressive move, it’s apparent that he has U.S. Big Business in his corner.



Arlene from Israel

Blessed is the righteous judge.

This is the first order of business. We accept the horror of the Hamas murder of three innocent Israeli students: Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

These boys did not die in vain. We have witnessed for many days now an incredible mood in the nation: a mood of unity, after so much painful dissension. A mood of prayer, even among those who do not usually pray. A mood of kindnesses and human sensitivity.

See here scenes of people gathered after learning the tragic news:


Joel K., a reader, wrote, “People from Jerusalem are going to Kikar Zion; in Tel Aviv they are congregating at Kikar Rabin. Everywhere in one central place and lighting memorial candles. Haven’t seen this kind of public mourning since Rabin was assassinated.”

We must recognize this – all of the good that has happened and is happening. We cannot lose it and must not throw it away. In the memory of those who died, we must sustain this and enhance it. Doing acts of tzedaka (“charity”), increasing Jewish study, being mindful of the need for sensitivity to others, unifying ourselves as a nation. In this way will we bring blessing to their memory. And, we are told, in this way do we elevate their souls.

I have been astounded throughout at the bravery and graciousness of the boys’ families. After they were informed of their sons’ deaths, they thanked security for all they had done, and thanked the people of Israel for their support. They stand as a model of Jewish rectitude for all the world to see. We can hold our heads high.


This said, vengeance is also necessary. I absolutely do not preclude this. Not at all.

In his statement after learning of the death of the boys, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quoted our national poet, Haim Nahman Bialik, who wrote a poem after a 1903 pogrom, that included the words:

“Such vengeance for blood of babe and maiden hath yet to be wrought by Satan…”

“Nor,” added Netanyahu, “that of young, pure lads on their way home to meet their parents, who will not see them again. Hamas is responsible — and Hamas will pay.”

We become weak fools in the eyes of Hamas if we do not now make them pay. We become sitting ducks for what they will plan next. Especially is this so after what the prime minister has already said. If he were to fall into his habitual pattern of issuing strong words and not following through, it would be terrible.

The exact price to be extracted can be determined in discussion. We might start, for example with targeted executions of Hamas leadership in Gaza. Hamas in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria should be totally banished. Perhaps the infrastructure of Hamas in Gaza must be severely compromised.

But the fact of the need for meaningful and tough vengeance, whatever its precise nature, should not be a topic of discussion at all.

Unfortunately, it is. We are hearing reports that the Security Cabinet met late last night and came to no determination about vengeance, with the holdouts being Livni, Lapid, and, very sadly, Ya’alon, our minister of defense. Naftali Bennett, we are being told, is furious and fighting on this. The hero of the moment, surely.

“The response currently being discussed is weak to the point of disgracefulness,” he is reported to have said.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman was out of the country when the boys were found, but he is flying back. Perhaps he will have constructive words in the next Cabinet session.

Some reports say that the decision was deliberately delayed until after the funerals, which will be in Modi’in at 5: 30 today. The boys will be buried side by side, after earlier services privately for each boy.

I do not want to take a great deal of time writing details of what is happening here, because I want this out with an appeal to you: PLEASE! write immediately to our prime minister and tell him that he must, absolutely must take strong action against Hamas.


Actually, in spite of the prime minister’s words, there is a way to see strong action against Hamas not just as “vengeance,” but also as a matter of our coming to our senses and beginning to act for our own protection. This is the responsibility of a government. For Heaven’s sake, they have stockpiled 70,000 missiles and rockets, which are aimed at us, and we let it go. Not a responsible position, for we will have to deal with it sooner or later, and it only gets worse. Their goal is to destroy us. This might be seen as a wake-up call.


Write to the prime minister at:

[email protected] and also [email protected] (underscore after pm). Use both addresses.

This must be done very quickly. He must be barraged before the next Security Cabinet meeting tonight.

This is especially important from Israeli citizens – who should identify themselves as such when writing. If you are not in Israel, and have family and friends who are, please forward this immediately. If you are in Israel, of course share as broadly as you can.


What the Shin Bet believes is that the kidnapping was originally done with the intention of demanding a trade for thousands of prisoners. But the abductors panicked and shot them. The boys, they believe, were dead within minutes after being picked up. Their bodies – now in bad shape – were brought to a field outside of Hevron, and partially buried.


As we contemplate this horror, we can only hope with all our hearts that the boys were dispatched quickly and did not suffer.

The abductors are still at large and being sought. But the point here is that they acted on orders from above.

Hamas is nervous about what we may do next, as is the PA. Abbas is asking the world to restrain us.


“Restraint” is, actually, the key word internationally. How sad, say leaders, but Israel, watch what you do in response. This was certainly the message from the White House.

And so, if you are in the US, give strong voice to our right to defend ourselves. Expose the evil that we face day in and day out.

Criticize the president for not taking a significant role in this in spite of the fact that Naftali Frenkel is a US citizen – something he never alludes to at all (something he would prefer not be known).


One last word here: As a form of vengeance, large scale building in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem is being discussed. This irks me greatly. Not because the building should not be done. Of course it should!! But it is not vengeance, for Heaven’s sake.

It is our RIGHT, legally and morally and historically. To represent it as only a punishment sends the wrong message to the world and further weakens us.



Are Police Public Relations in the Toilet?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

This past Sunday a friend of mine at church asked me how I felt about police public relations. He’s an active duty police officer and knew that I’d retired from the Department many years ago after he’d read some of my blog articles. He challenged me to consider how to improve police public relations.

Here’ a chance to improve the public’s perceived image of police officers as our society evolves from days gone by, Norman Rockwell’s vision of a young boy in awe of the town hero, to a more threatening consideration, SWAT teams kicking down a door at the wrong address or police officers shooting the family dog that’s inside a fenced yard.

A feeling exists among many citizens that there’s an ‘Us versus Them’ mentality that pits police officers against their neighbors; to a certain extent that might be true. Does it have to be this way?

There was a political cartoon by Tom Blanton of the Project for the New American Revolution (pnar.org), which caught my attention. He created a cover of an old children’s magazine, Highlife; except instead of a non-threatening milk toast subject like the magazine normally included within their pages he picked up on the trend, real or not, that police officers are the enemy rather than your neighbor who happens to wear a uniform. I remember reading Highlife magazines while waiting to see the dentist or doctor; something to kill time before being tortured, nice magazine. I wonder; does Highlife approve of Blanton’s sense of sarcasm or does it even matter?

Some police officers have the natural ability to come off as pricks, sorry, that’s just about the only way to call it. There’s actually a term associated with such cops, ‘badge happy’. Come to think of it there are several terms to cover obnoxious cops who’ve forgotten they are only there to protect and serve; but some of these monikers are inappropriate in mixed company.

Most of us can relate to cops who set up radar traps where speed limits are ridiculously low or arbitrarily placed. Are the tickets written protecting the public from dangerous drivers or simply filling the officer’s ‘quota’ for the day? Take that a step further, does the officer’s driving habits match with the expectations he/she has of the public’s driving habits? Probably not; so why issue tickets for violations which only tend to annoy the public?

Somewhere along the line police officers need to turn the public’s opinion back in the direction which puts them in a positive light.

Arrogance of office, being a power hungry prick, call it what you will; but when a police officer takes command of the conversation as if his/her opinion is the only opinion…well, let’s just say the public is ‘up to here’ with that attitude.

Police officers are paid to protect and serve, not dominate and demean.

Police officers are human beings, not robotic camera ticket systems hired to increase the revenue arm of government. That might actually be enlightening to some police departments as they struggle to make ends meet.

When I was a street cop, and I’m not making this up, our un-written quota was 2 per shift; two moving violations on the work card kept supervisors off your back.

I had a supervisor pull me aside one time and explain the reason I wasn’t getting a new patrol vehicle assigned to me was because I wasn’t being as ‘productive’ as officers who had less seniority. If only I’d had a tape recording of that conversation…; it’s against the law to enforce a traffic ticket quota; at least it is here in Texas.

As far as SWAT teams kicking in doors, officers shooting the family dog or accidentally blowing up a child when a flash grenade goes off too close to the crib…what can I say? There is a trend, for lack of a better term, especially among larger police departments to become more militarized.

The choice of uniform color, choice of foot wear and a host of other seemingly minor appearance related decisions puts a subliminal message out there for the public.

Here in Houston we used to have light blue uniform shirts that matched the paint on our patrol vehicles. There is a change in the wind, a move toward black uniform shirts and black and white patrol vehicles. A study was done that determined this change; police officers appear more powerful in black uniform shirts. The light blue shirts didn’t command the proper authority from the public. (not making this up either)

If you want to improve police public relations then go back to a less threatening uniform, remind officers that they are part of the community they serve and protect rather than the idea that police officers rule over their subjects; it’s that simple.

Some folks are concerned that police departments will eventually be instructed to begin disarming the public, confiscating firearms from individuals as each ‘crisis’ dictates further restrictions on individual rights to own and bear arms.

What will your local police officers do when such a directive comes down the pike?

Hopefully, and I say this with a knowledge that Most police officers really do understand the Bill of Rights and how it applies to Everyone; hopefully our police officers will recognize the need to stand up for what is right and refuse to follow such a directive. While their Departments may cow tow to the State or Federal government, individual police officers have to live with themselves and what they do for a living.

We live in strange days, the kind that makes freedom loving individuals long for the past. Watching the hand writing on the wall lends credence to the public’s fear of police in general.

Painting police officers as ‘the enemy’ is just as bad as badge happy cops running rough shod over a public that deserves better; neither path leads to improved relations.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


The Caliphate Is Here

Hat Tip: BB

Next Goal for ISIS – Jordan. And Then?

Jerusalem Declared Capital of the Khilafa/ Caliphate

ISIS Has Declared An Islamist Caliphate So Expect Mass Crucifixions

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Hate Cleric Abu is a Muslim ‘HITLER’

Pledge Allegiance to New ‘Caliph,’ ISIS Demands of World’s Muslims in Ramadan Declaration