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    With relations between the US and Russia at an all-time low, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern discusses the circumstances behind the tensions with Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

    While McGovern spent nearly three decades working for the CIA, he has become one of the most vocal critics of the US government. His background in the intelligence community provides him with unique insights into the truths behind a number of Washington’s foreign policy decisions.

    On the subject of US-Russian relations, McGovern points to the West’s involvement in Ukraine as the beginning of the current decline.

    "This was the most flagrant coup in human history," McGovern says, paraphrasing George Friedman, head of US-based think tank Strafor. "So, that’s where it started. And the first thing [Prime Minister Yatsenyuk] says is 'maybe we should join NATO,' and 'let’s ban Russian as one of the official languages.'

    "That’s how you get pro-Russian separatists. They’re not pro-Russian separatists, they’re anti-coup federalists. All they want is a degree of regional autonomy."

    McGovern also points to an op-ed writing by President Putin in 2013, in which he states that the only thing Moscow and Washington truly disagree on is America’s insistence on being the "sole indispensable nation in the world."

    "That is it," he says. "If you perceive that the United States is the sole indispensable country in the world, then all other countries are – by definition – dispensable."

    McGovern also describes the "mousetrap" President Obama became trapped in with his infamous warning to the Syrian government. After threatening Syrian President Bashar al Assad with military action if the government used chemical weapons, the US intelligence community manipulated reports to make it appear that the Assad administration had crossed that "red line."

    "You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out you’re maybe going to be mouse trapped here, and indeed he was," McGovern says. "So it was really a kind of setup, and it was the Russians that bailed him out."

    On the brink of war, Russian President Vladimir Putin called out US Secretary of State John Kerry for attempting to sell an unjust conflict to the American people.

    "Putin got up publicly and said, ‘It’s really unfortunate about Secretary Kerry," McGovern says. "'He lies. He knows he’s lying. This is very sad.' That shows me that what Putin sees a need to do is to go around the neoconservatives…and approach Obama directly…"

    The Russian government also worked to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile was destroyed.

    Soon after bailing the US government out of another Middle Eastern conflict, Washington betrayed Moscow by implementing the Ukrainian coup.

    On Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane in Syrian airspace last year, McGovern has doubts that the United States was completely innocent.

    "I don’t think Obama knew. But I wouldn’t rule out the fact that Victoria Nuland gave them a wink and a nod and said 'Yeah, give it a try, see what happens.'"

    McGovern also shares his explosive belief that the Israeli government drives virtually all of Washington’s foreign policy decisions in the Middle East.

    "As long as Shia and Sunni are at each other's throats, as long as they’re killing each other off, Israel, ipso facto, is a lot safer," McGovern says, paraphrasing Israeli officials speaking to a New York Times journalist in the early days of the Syrian conflict.

    Related:
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    US Wants Ukraine to Serve as Counterbalance to Russia - Official
    Tags:
    NATO, Maidan coup, US-Russia relations, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Victoria Nuland, George Friedman, Ray McGovern, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Syria, United States
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    • Ann in reply tocavedeborah(Show commentHide comment)
      cavedeborah, I think they refer to that as the "Swift boat" incident. I don't remember the details, but it involved Kerry being caught in a lie during as presidential race.
    • Ann in reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, A willing disciple is just as bad as his master.
    • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
      Miss Germany, If I was in obama's shoes, before I'd allow any of those warmongers to push me into anything. I'd dismiss everyone I could and force the rest out of my administration. I'd replace them with people of integrity and not lose a wink of sleep over it.
    • marcanhaltin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, True, but first of all you have to prove that there is self deception involved and not extortion or the threat of blackmail involved.
    • Dirk Ramseyin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, Obama has had 7 years to do just that. Nulan was appointed by Dick Chenney during the G W Bush admin. The state dept is saturated with neocons, and Obama lacks the spine to fire the lot of them.
    • Bharat Rana
      well done Russia.... excellent Putin sir
    • Mark Gewiss
      Truths which have long ago become banalities still keep their value. The non-American readers of Sputnik need to realize how seldom these views are heard in the usa even now. If the usa had a functioning democracy and a multi-party system, there would always be a viable opposition press and a range of views where truths like these, however banal, could at least be easily heard.
    • I reckon a simple (primary school level) test in geography would show us how much or how little the world's leaders really know about it. I reckon only a very few leaders would know to name the capitol cities of every country around the globe.

      I know that Trump or Obama would not have a clue.
    • Ivan Zadorozhny
      Moscow just keeps bailing out thug Obama at every turn.
    • in reply toJg38691(Show commentHide comment)
      Jg38691,
      Dim witted who?...You've properly shown your cards.
    • cavedeborahin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, YES! The PT Swift boat incident, that's it. Thank you.
    • Mother Gorillain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, of course, he should, but I can tell you this: I live in Germany, I am under a lot of pressure as a black person there, and I can only imagine the pressures Obama is under as president of the US.
    • ptcjm
      Give this a thought:
      Recent article in the Washington Post covers the issue on ......plausible new national security risk and the cause is related to lack of Russian experts.
      So with this so serious, continuous and apparent threat from Russia - affecting the American policies and forming the political agenda for decades and activating other NATO member countries' support to execute this constant threat from Russia - must have led to the forming of established institutions in USA with advanced knowledge of Russia in all possible regards. At least one would have thought that, just for the very fact that national security issues are of great importance.
      The article in the Washington Post gives evidence on the fact - that as this is not the case with established and continuous renewal of working resources to meet this so called threat in order to secure national security of USA - that the absence of and renewal of these resources is because it was never needed. i.e. Russia is not and has not been any threat to the USA. This the American political war criminals know and it only clarifies the evidence of geopolitical agenda. So like now ............Russia is a risk to USA national security as they don't have any expertis. How far and for how long will this domino effect rhetorical nonsense continue?
      www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/12/30/lack-of-russia-experts-has-the-u-s-playing-catch

      Read more: sputniknews.com/us/20160102/1032605370/americans-killer-nation.html#ixzz3wTZDp3fj
    • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
      Miss Germany, I realize the US people are painted as a bunch of hateful racists, and there are some, but obama is not under any pressure because he is black. HE himself created the mess he's in, not his skin. His actions are incompetent no matter what color he is...and he is also HALF WHITE.
    • Ann in reply toDirk Ramsey(Show commentHide comment)
      Dirk Ramsey, Yes you're right, the filthy neocons ARE slithering from one administration to another, whether republican or democrat.
    • Ann in reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, THAT is also one of MY core beliefs! I don't believe the NSA wastes it time and resources spying on me and my fellow citizens. I believe their real mission is to suss out blackmail/extortion information on PEOPLE IN POWER AROUND THE WORLD. I believe that's why people like Merkel do things totally against their own good and the good of their country...I believe THEY GOT SOME BLACKMAIL INFO while they were spying on ther phone, and I fully believe they are using it against her.

      ALL tainted leaders should STEP DOWN and be replaced with people without the blackmail baggage. I feel that is how the NWO is taking over. I wish it wasn't so, but the evidence as I see it, points right to it.
    • Mother Gorillain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, but definitely he is being criticised as not quite American. There were rumours that he was not born on Hawaii, that he fraudulently studied on a foreign student visa, that he is Muslim, and since there is no denying that he is part black, for not being black enough.
    • Ann in reply toMark Gewiss(Show commentHide comment)
      Mark Gewiss, Absolutely true.
    • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
      Miss Germany, It might simply be that nobody in their right mind wants to admit that they fell for the scam that is obama. He ended up being yet another sick joke on the American people. Perhaps it's the only way to disconnect from owning the mess we've gotten ourselves into.

      The documents of obama's birth have been examined by a forensics team and deemed to be forgeries. The hospital title at the top did not even exist for another decade or two. On top of that, the one woman who could tell us about the origins of the document (and it's validity) died mysteriously...those rumors are not ALL speculation and talk. There is some evidence to support the idea that obama's birth documents are fake.
    • Mother Gorillain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, o.k., is it so important? Most countries do not have this rule that you need to be born on the territory of the country to hold high offfice, since they define nationalitymore by that of the parents. And Obama's Mum was American, and as you stress yourself, she was white.
      And beyond these issues of birth, what is more important are his policies, and there what is important to stress is that like all other presidents before him or at least in the 20th century he was not the master of his own decisions but the slave of the capitalist oligarchy.
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