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Alle-Yulia! Redemption of Western Regime Change in Ukraine
Finian CUNNINGHAM – 20 April, 2014 – Strategic Culture Foundation
Convicted embezzler and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was on a tour of east Ukraine this Easter weekend talking about finding «compromise» and «national unity». She said she wanted to hear the grievances of the people in cities like Donetz, Kharkov and Slavyansk, where anti-Kiev protesters continue to occupy public buildings despite the Geneva agreement worked out this week on de-escalating tensions across the country.
This conciliatory tone, expressed to media in Donetz by Tymoshenko, sounded like a miraculous conversion – Alle-Yulia! – appropriate for the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Perhaps the lady’s plaited hairstyle is supposed to now signify a virtuous halo.
Only a few weeks ago, Tymoshenko was caught saying in a private phone call how she wanted to turn pro-Russia eastern Ukraine into ash from a nuclear attack. In the same leaked phone call – which Tymoshenko confirmed as authentic – the disgraced politician also called for ethnic Russians opposed to the Kiev junta to be «whacked in the head» by death squads…
Such criminal incitement is now expected to be forgotten, it seems, as Tymoshenko posed as a voice of reason on her «tour» of the east. It is doubtful that she actually did take soundings from protesters over the weekend – so deep is the contempt felt for her – and she probably confined herself to briefings from the various oligarch figures that the Kiev junta has newly imposed as political governors for the region.
The conversion from death-wish embezzler to matriarch of the nation was the second such miracle involving Tymoshenko. While in prison before being released by the Kiev junta that seized power at the end of February, Tymoshenko claimed that she was confined to a wheelchair allegedly because of her deteriorating health. Now, released from prison, the lady appears to have made a full recovery, walking on to public platforms to sing the praises of the coup-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also a leading figure of her neo-fascist Fatherland Party.
For years during her incarceration, Tymoshenko sent out distraught appeals to her backers in Western governments and the media claiming mistreatment by the former Ukrainian authorities. Her forlorn appeals were made from a prison wheelchair, which she said was necessary because of paralysis brought on by her cruel imprisonment. Never mind that her seven-year jail sentence was a result of a court prosecution, which found her guilty on counts of massive corruption involving state gas supplies and millions of dollars.
Her conviction was quashed by the Western-backed regime that seized power in Kiev on February 22. Pro-Western, pro-IMF looting of the economy, and pro-NATO, Tymoshenko came to fame during the CIA-backed Orange Revolution of 2004. She is now planning to run for the Ukraine presidency in elections scheduled for next month. Perhaps her presidential ambitions are having a cathartic effect, not only enabling her to ditch the wheelchair and stride forth, but also to abandon harboring odious ideas for mass murder.
And now – alleluia! – Tymoshenko is extending the hand of mediation to people whom she wanted to drop nuclear weapons on only a few weeks.
It may be Easter, but the protesters occupying buildings in eastern Ukraine are right to not buy this particular miraculous conversion. Nor should they vacate the buildings they began occupying earlier this month, or to disarm. …more
April 21, 2014 Add Comments
US Threatens Russia Over Petrodollar-Busting Deal
by Tyler Durden – 4 April, 2014 – Zero Hedge
On the heels of Russia’s potential “holy grail” gas deal with China, the news of a Russia-Iran oil “barter” deal, it appears the US is starting to get very concerned about its almighty Petrodollar
– *U.S. HAS WARNED RUSSIA, IRAN AGAINST POSSIBLE OIL BARTER DEAL
– *U.S. SAYS ANY SUCH DEAL WOULD TRIGGER SANCTIONS
– *U.S. HAS CONVEYED CONCERNS TO IRANIAN GOVT THROUGH ALL CHANNELS
We suspect these sanctions would have more teeth than some travel bans, but, as we noted previously, it is just as likely to be another epic geopolitical debacle resulting from what was originally intended to be a demonstration of strength and instead is rapidly turning out into a terminal confirmation of weakness.
As we explained earlier in the week,
Russia seems perfectly happy to telegraph that it is just as willing to use barter (and “heaven forbid” gold) and shortly other “regional” currencies, as it is to use the US Dollar, hardly the intended outcome of the western blocakde, which appears to have just backfired and further impacted the untouchable status of the Petrodollar.
“If Washington can’t stop this deal, it could serve as a signal to other countries that the United States won’t risk major diplomatic disputes at the expense of the sanctions regime,”
And here is Voice of Russia, “Russia prepares to attack the Petrodollar”:
The US dollar’s position as the base currency for global energy trading gives the US a number of unfair advantages. It seems that Moscow is ready to take those advantages away.
The existence of “petrodollars” is one of the pillars of America’s economic might because it creates a significant external demand for American currency, allowing the US to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting. If a Japanese buyer want to buy a barrel of Saudi oil, he has to pay in dollars even if no American oil company ever touches the said barrel. Dollar has held a dominant position in global trading for such a long time that even Gazprom’s natural gas contracts for Europe are priced and paid for in US dollars. Until recently, a significant part of EU-China trade had been priced in dollars.
Lately, China has led the BRICS efforts to dislodge the dollar from its position as the main global currency, but the “sanctions war” between Washington and Moscow gave an impetus to the long-awaited scheme to launch the petroruble and switch all Russian energy exports away from the US currency .
The main supporters of this plan are Sergey Glaziev, the economic aide of the Russian President and Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, the biggest Russian oil company and a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Both have been very vocal in their quest to replace the dollar with the Russian ruble. Now, several top Russian officials are pushing the plan forward.
April 7, 2014 Add Comments
West has no play against Russia over Kiev gas subsidy: Editor
6 April, 2014 – Interview with Jim W. Dean
Press TV has conducted an interview with Jim W. Dean, the Managing Editor of Veteran’s Today from Atlanta, about Ukraine’s gas debt owed to Russia and Russia now hiking up the price of gas exported to Ukraine.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Is this a policy of economic aggression now that Russia has hiked the prices or is it their right to do that with Kiev?
Dean: Well, it certainly is. There were ways they were supporting Ukraine – which has 8-10 million Russians in it – get through their economic problems and this was to subsidize the gas prices.
This is something that Russia has an awful lot of so that was the least expensive way for them to try to support the Ukraine getting through its economic problems.
But then again, un-said in that, Ukraine would not become a bastion for Western military power or NATO or be seduced by them into putting missiles or NATO bases right on the Russian border and they made a very good deal with them.
The EU tried to get a deal by just moving Ukraine’s debt around, but never really wanted to give them any cash because they didn’t really have a lot to give. So, Russia countered that by continuing the gas discounts – which really is ‘cash’.
And that’s why [Viktor] Yanukovych [, former President of Ukraine], he basically went the other way (siding with Russia) and now we saw the West decided that we have to make a move now and we all know that they were totally behind the coup.
So, sure, Russia now is not going to support the Kiev government by continuing to subsidize a government that they say is an illegal coup. …more
April 7, 2014 Add Comments
Imposters in Kiev and Criminal Oligarchs: Alliance against People of Ukraine
30 March 2014 – Strategic Culture Foundation
The Kiev regime is bouncing back after the first shock of the events in Crimea. It starts to quash the unrest in the south-eastern part of the country where people resist the coup. Its leaders have been widely rejected recognition. There is a reason to believe that the regime will use the most repressive and outright coercive methods to deal with the population and resistance leaders.
“Taming” the south-east is the main goal for those who grabbed power in the country as a result of the coup. The people are to put up with unlawfulness; their voices should be excluded from the decision making process in Kiev because their mindset and values don’t fit with the would-be state goals including the pro-Euro Atlantic foreign policy.
The Ukraine’s security service is to pursue the leaders of separatist movement. First, there is a substitution of notions here. The right for self-determination is called separatism. It’s absurd, the leaders in the south-east want local referendums to define the will of people, and no pulling out of Ukraine is envisioned. Second, there is no legal government in Kiev at present which could assess the causes of south-eastern unrest. Nobody in the capital asks why this part of the country stood up in resistance after the February 22 coup, the very coup that gave rise to the protests. It’s only natural for the people to say no to recognizing the imposters.
The situation is aggravated by the activities of Bandera movement Neo-Nazi groups who openly say (their statements are made public and everyone can see for himself what they profess) that they intend to launch terror campaign against political opponents and all Russians. Anyone who dares to speak Russian and defend his right to do so in public is a potential victim.
In Donetsk the Ukraine’s security service has launched a criminal case against the commander of Donbass Peoples Militia Pavel Gubarev on the charges of, as they put it, “encroachment on Ukraine’s territorial integrity”. The local branch of security service said it has 11 cases to investigate. There have been formal admonitions sent to seven public activists of Lugansk, Smolensk, Kharkov regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea warning that their activities violate article 110 of the Criminal Code (the encroachment of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of borders).
The criminal leaders (oligarchs related to criminal activities) have joined the efforts to quell the south-east. Two of them – Kolomoisky and Taruta – have been appointed heads of Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk city governments. Kolomoisky controls the industrial group Privat which comprises a number of banks, metallurgical and ferroalloy factories as well as ore and oil processing enterprises. Taruta, the new head of Donetsk, is a shareholder of Alchevsk metallurgical, Alchevsk chemical-recovery, Dneprovsk-located metallurgical Dzerzhinsky enterprises as well as Dneprovsk pipe construction facility. In 2011 Taruta was the 9th richest Ukrainian with the wealth of 2, 126 billion. …more
April 7, 2014 Add Comments
March 22, 2014 Add Comments
Washington is making hay of its defeat in Ukraine: it is getting the Europeans to cut themselves off economically from Russia and is already imposing on them the expansion of its missile coverage. While the Western media focus on NATO’s narrative of events (the so-called “military annexation” of Crimea), the Alliance is noiselessly deploying its imperial apparatus.
The new Cold War “shield”
by Manlio Dinucci – Voltaire Network – 22 March, 2014
Vice President Joe Biden’s flash visit to Poland and Estonia to ensure that, in the face of “Russia’s shameless incursion” in Ukraine – a country determined to build “a government for the people” (guaranteed by the neo-Nazis  brought to power by the “new Gladio” coup  ) – the United States reiterates its unwavering commitment to comply with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on “collective defense.” As Ukraine is now a de facto, but not official, member of NATO, there is always “non-Article 5,” urging members to “execute evolving missions not described under Article 5,” which was promoted by the Italian government of Massimo D’Alema during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999, and later also applied to the wars on Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
To help “NATO emerge from this crisis stronger … than ‘ever’,” the United States repledged its commitment to the “missile defense” of Europe. However, by correlating the “missile defense” to the Ukrainian crisis, Joe Biden gave his game away. Washington had persistently maintained that the U.S. “shield” in Europe is not directed against Russia, but against the threat of Iranian missiles. In Moscow, on the contrary, this was always perceived as an attempt to gain a decisive strategic advantage over Russia: the U.S. could hold it under the threat of a nuclear first strike, relying on the ability of the “shield” to neutralize the retaliation effects  The new plan launched by President Obama, compared with the previous one, provides for a larger number of missiles lined up on Russia’s doorstep. Since they are under U.S. control, no one can find out whether they are interceptors or nuclear missiles.
Having rejected the proposal to jointly manage with Russia the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan, the United States began building in Poland the site that will host 24 Aegis system SM-3 missiles. In addition, the Polish government has pledged to lay out more than 30 billion euros to achieve (with U.S. technologies) their own “shield” aimed to be integrated into the U.S. and NATO structure. And Joe Biden applauded Poland for its willingness to take on “part of the financial burden, something that all allies should do” (Italy is on notice). Another 24 SM-3 missile site, currently under construction at the Deveselu airbase in Romania, will become operational in 2015 and will be manned by 500 U.S. soldiers. These missile facilities comprise a super-powerful radar installed in Turkey and mobile radars that can be quickly deployed to “advanced positions.” …more
March 22, 2014 Add Comments
Ukraine as Stalking Horse: The Rise of Fascism in the West
Norman Pollack – 21 March, 2014 – The 4th Media
Fascism dribbles off the tongue too easily, yet it is possible to wrap one’s arms around the concept and practice with, allowing for historical variations, some degree of precision. Hitler’s Germany may be the gold standard by which to measure all else, but even there correction can be made for both underlying structural features and ideological themes applied to other and different settings.
By that I mean, e.g., functional equivalents of Nazi societal organization, if you will, foundations or perhaps sub-foundations of the social order and political culture.
If we return to Franz Neumann’s Behemoth, the now-neglected classic on the subject and Robert A. Brady’s Spirit and Structure of German Fascism, also near-forgotten, focused on the ideology of business organization, we can say that the primal factor in fascism’s internal composition is capitalism, not your everyday Smithian variety happily ensconced in Econ. 101 textbooks, but the real thing at an advanced form of development: monopolization, greater cohesion through trade associations, neutralization of labor as a collective-bargaining social force, above all, an hierarchical class system with commanding decisions at the top then filtered down through gradations of rank, integrated with and complemented by the political-structural framework of business-government interpenetration.
This paradigm of centralized power embedded in the synthesis of corporatism and the State, the latter, itself the more powerful the better, in order to serve and protect the business system, its dominance over labor, its penetration of foreign markets, its further concentration through preventing internecine competition, is equally characteristic of 1930s Germany (already mostly evident under Weimar) and the US beginning in earnest still earlier but perhaps taking more protracted form.
Diagrammatically, we are, circa 2014, more than superseding that German stage, our “cartels” disguised by other names, our rate of concentration the apogee of capitalist inner logic. From here it is readily apparent the appetitive and combative nature of capitalism, egged on or reinforced by the Statist dimension: America’s version of globalization to a tee.
This underpinning, not the concentration camp or gas chamber, establishes the bedrock on which the fascist edifice rests, makes them possible, embodied in militaristic aggression in Germany, but, for the US, and as Barrington Moore pointed out, in Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, for Japan as well, what is critical to fascism is not only business-government interpenetration (Masao Maruyama years ago termed this, for Japan, the “close-embrace” system), but also the regimentation of the people, glimpses of which appear in the NSA wholesale surveillance of the public, and a prepackaged ideology of permanent-war readiness buttressed by a saturated climate of counterterrorism.
I think you get the picture. America is not all Innocence and Milk-and-Honey, the hegemonic demiurge in full throttle under Obama, now poised for the much anticipated (and, I believe, welcomed) conflict with Russia, having carefully arranged the chess board, the rooks, IMF and NATO, the queen, all-purpose privatization, the pawns, “friends and allies” persuaded to do America’s bidding, finally, the king, not the innocuous piece, nor here, a single individual, but Obama’s collective national-security advisors, taking in CIA, NSA, Pentagon officials, even then, the tip of the iceberg of war-making, war-striving apparatus, Washington up to its neck from every quarter, bipartisan all the way, in sharpening the killer instinct.
Kerry and Biden are the cheerleaders for imperialism and, increasingly, militarism, for they, and Obama, recognize the two are inseparable, to which they seem especially dedicated. Ukraine has found its soul mates. …more
March 21, 2014 Add Comments
“American geo-strategic planners are fond of the chess game analogy, as articulated foremost by former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. In the wake of the resounding vote for Crimean unification with Russia at the weekend, it may be said that this move by the Crimean electorate declares a «check» on Washington’s machinations in the Ukraine…”
Crimean ‘Check’ on Western Machinations in Ukraine
18 March, 2014 – nsnbc – Finian Cunningham
A reading of reactions from officials in Washington and their allies in Europe indicates that the game was not meant to turn out this way. When the US and the EU started to ramp up destabilization of the Ukraine at the end of November, things seemed to go to plan. A concerted campaign of political interference from Western capitals, massive Western media distortion and the covert sponsoring of violence in the capital, Kiev, created unbearable pressure on the incumbent government of president Viktor Yanukovych.
With Western-backed covert terrorism claiming up to 100 deaths among protesters and police, as well as hundreds injured, and with anarchy descending on government buildings, the elected authorities capitulated on February 22. The unelected regime that came to power in Kiev, led by self-styled prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has quickly moved to implement the regime-change agenda of Washington and its European allies. Financial, trade and military pacts are already being drawn up with Washington, Brussels and NATO.
So far, so good, it seemed, from the Western point of view. The ultimate geopolitical prize from regime change in Ukraine, as set out by Brzezinski and other US planners, is to roll back Russia’s presence in a vital sphere of influence. In this calculus, plucking Ukraine into the Western/NATO orbit would weaken Russia, politically, economically and militarily. This tactic has already succeeded with Western incorporation of the Baltic states, in addition to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, parts of the Balkans and Georgia on Russia’s southern flank. But Ukraine represents a quantum leap towards corralling Russia. It would allow the ever-closer installation of US missiles on Russia’s borders, making an American first-strike offence a greater enfeebling threat to Moscow. A pro-Western regime in Ukraine would also mean the end of Russia’s naval presence at Sevastopol on the Black Sea, which would in turn undermine Russian energy interests in the Caspian region and with regard to the lucrative European market.
But then came the surprise counter-move. Russia increased its military security on Ukraine’s southern Crimean Peninsula within days of the Western-backed coup d’état in Kiev. This gave a political space for the autonomous republic to assert its pro-Russian loyalty without the threat of intimidation from the Kiev junta and its fascist paramilitaries. Given the limited transport access to the Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland, Russian defenses were able to seal off the peninsula from the intrusion of neo-Nazi shock troops that had ushered in the regime in Kiev and who have since gone on to threaten other cities in the East of Ukraine. Several people have been killed in clashes in the cities of Donetz and Kharkiv where the neo-Nazi Svoboda cadres have attacked pro-Russian rallies. There are also reports of Western-backed mercenary gunmen operating in the Eastern cities, while, ironically, Kiev and its Western sponsors accuse Moscow of deploying agent provocateurs and of overseeing the election in Crimea under armed threat. …more
March 21, 2014 Add Comments
Western Media is a Propaganda Arm of the State
by Finian Cunningham – Veterans News Now
Western news media have long functioned as a propaganda arm of the state, concealing elite corruption at the heart of government: the collusion between corporate, financial and ruling power and the deeply anti-democratic nature of that power. Despite the formality of recurring elections and parliamentary style appearance, Western states are in the nuts-and-bolts of working power more accurately described as fascist corporate entities with a patina of popular democracy for window-dressing.
Wall Street BailoutLook at the global financial collapse that was triggered in 2008. From the US to Europe, the crisis can be attributed to the criminal practices of major banks and other financial institutions operating casino capitalism – the last refuge of bankrupt capitalism as an organizing social system. Yet far from being pursued with prosecutions, the financial oligarchy has been bailed out time and again by their bought-and-paid political rulers to the tune of trillions of dollars with public money, while the public is clobbered with swingeing austerity and poverty. How can we describe this arrangement as anything but fascism – the inexorable endpoint of capitalism?
In this audacious, gargantuan expropriation of wealth by the financial oligarchy in cahoots with the political class – all across the Western world – where is the critical, campaigning, investigative functions of the supposed «free press» – the much-vaunted «fourth estate» which conceitedly refers to the media acting as a guardian of public interest and democratic rights? It does not exist. The Western media are an integral part of the fascist plutocracy.
The established media have thus acted as a vital propaganda arm of the fascist state by concealing or diverting from what is a huge systematic crime of corporate theft and public immiseration.
Of much more damning importance is the question of war. The wholesale mass murder of people and destruction of countries – without even a modicum of justification on the principle of self-defense – is the supreme crime. This crime of war of aggression was established at the post-1945 Nuremberg Trials of Nazi German leaders.
The American-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning in 2001 and 2003, which together have resulted in more than one million dead and millions more wounded, their livelihoods destroyed, are episodes that clearly conform to the category of «wars of aggression». The official justifications used by American and British leaders to instigate these wars – eradicating global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction – have transpired to be baseless, or at the very least cry out for proper investigation. More than this, there are serious grounds to support a prosecution case that these wars were based on deliberate fabrication and lies. …more
March 21, 2014 Add Comments
Ukraine’s Gold Reserves Secretly Flown Out and Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?
The Spoils of War and Regime Change
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky – Global Research – 14 March, 2014
A Russian Internet news site Iskra (“Spark”) based in Zaporozhye, eastern Ukraine, reported on March 7, that “Ukraine’s gold reserves had been hastily airlifted to the United States from Borispol Airport east of Kiev”.
This alleged airlift and confiscation of Ukraine’s gold reserves by the New York Federal Reserve has not been confirmed by the Western media.
According to Iskra News:
At 2 a.m. this morning [March 7] an unmarked transport plane was on the runway at Borispol Airport (right) [east of Kiev]. According to airport staff, before the plane came to the airport, four trucks and two Volkswagen minibuses arrived, all the truck license plates missing.
Сегодня ночью из Fifteen people in black uniforms, masks, and body armor stepped out, some armed with machine guns. They loaded the plane with more than 40 heavy boxes.
After that a mysterious man arrived and entered the plane.
All loading was done in a hurry.
The plane took off on an emergency basis.
Those who saw this mysterious special operation immediately notified the airport officials, who told the callers not to meddle in other people’s affairs.
Later a returned call from a senior official of the former Ministry of Revenue reported that tonight, on the orders of one of the new leaders of Ukraine, the United States had taken custody of all the gold reserves in Ukraine.” Сегодня ночью из “Борисполя” в США страртовал самолёт с золотым запасом Украины, iskra-news.info. Zaporozhye, Ukraine, March 7, 2014, translated from Russian by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc (GATA), emphasis added)
Following this disclosure, GATA’s Secretary Treasurer Chris Powell requested the New Federal Reserve and the US State Department to indicate whether the NY Fed had “taken custody” of Ukraine’s Gold.
A spokesman for the New York Fed said simply: “Any inquiry regarding gold accounts should be directed to the account holder. You may want to contact the National Bank of Ukraine to discuss this report.”
GATA’s similar inquiry of last night to the U.S. State Department has not yet prompted any reply.
Last night GATA called this issue to the attention of about 30 mainstream financial journalists and newsletter writers in the admittedly bizarre hope that they might pose the question as well.
1) The first rule of mainstream financial journalism and particularly financial journalism about gold is never to put a specific critical question about the monetary metal to any of the primary participants in the gold market, central banks. That is, nearly all gold market reporting is, by design, irrelevant distraction at best, disinformation at worst.
2) The true location and disposition of national gold reserves are secrets far more sensitive than the location and disposition of nuclear weapons. Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
While the unconfirmed report regarding Ukraine’s gold reserves has not been the object of coverage by the mainstream financial news, the story was nonetheless picked up by the Shanghai Metals Market at Metal.com. which states, quoting a report from the Ukrainian government, that Ukraine’s gold reserves had been “moved on an aircraft from … Kiev to the United States… in 40 sealed boxes” loaded on an unidentified aircraft. …more
March 15, 2014 Add Comments
Crimea and Western ‘values’
By Pepe Escobar – The Roving Eye – 14 March, 2014
Every sane sentient being knows that Ukraine’s “unity” is not worth a new hot or warm war. Or even the current Western-peddled Cold War-style hysteria. Especially when Russia, once again, fights fascism – as embodied by some of the key players now in power in Kiev, and the US and EU’s response is to relentlessly demonize Russia.
Crimea – historically, culturally, sentimentally – is Russian, conquered by Catherine the Great from the Ottomans in 1783. Sevastopol was founded by Catherine. If a swing band would play a version of I Left My Heart in Sevastopol, all hearts involved would be Russian.
Yet those eminent Western practitioners of state idolatry have ruled that the population of Crimea has no right to conduct a referendum to decide its future – be it rejoining Russia or remaining in Ukraine with a huge degree of autonomy, according to the 1992 constitution. The eminences could not possibly admit that does not suit their geopolitical power play.
Thus the current Mass; a ritualistic, hysterical invoking in unison of “international law” (Obama), (distorted) history and even morality (in the US’s case, considering the historical record, a positively dreadful joke).
No question the original inhabitants of Crimea are the Tatars – whose rights will be fully protected in a new Crimea. They had not achieved their self-determination for the same reason Native Americans also did not.
Yet much more alarming in the whole case is how the West once again conveniently, selectively manipulates the arbitrary carving of colonized lands – the key reason of ongoing, intractable geopolitical disasters.
South Sudan’s independence was obsessively fought for by Washington – helped by Hollywood clones of the Clooney variety. The pretext was to correct an arbitrary colonial carving. So that applies to Sudan, but it does not apply to Crimea.
Thomas Jefferson’s “insurgents” had the right to rebel against the British, but Crimeans cannot rebel against what most view as an illegal, fascist-laden, putschist regime in Kiev.
And that is superimposed on an arbitrary colonial carving; Ukrainian-born former premier Nikita Khrushchev, then at the head of the USSR, gave Crimea away to Ukraine, in the name of Soviet solidarity, without a Crimean referendum.
Washington – via a NATO war – dismantled the former Yugoslavia in the name of the “right of nations”. While Crimea is not allowed a peaceful referendum, Kosovo – essentially a drug mafia scam – had the right to be “liberated”. It would be so complicated to explain to public opinion that was essential for the maintenance of Camp Bondsteel – the largest military base outside of the US. The Empire of Bases trumps any “right of nations”. …more
March 14, 2014 Add Comments
US imperialism, Ukraine and the danger of World War III
World Socialist Web Site – 5 March, 2014
Are we standing on the brink of a nuclear war? That is the question that everyone should be asking.
The US-backed coup in Ukraine has triggered the most dangerous international crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. American and European officials are denouncing Russia for sending troops into Crimea in response to the installation of an anti-Russian regime in Ukraine that has seized power through a coup d’état staged by fascist militia.
The Obama administration appears determined to escalate the confrontation with Moscow. Demanding a withdrawal of all Russian forces from Crimea and the Kremlin’s total acceptance of the new US-NATO puppet regime in Kiev, the US is calling for sanctions aimed at the complete economic isolation of Russia.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry threatened at a press conference in Kiev that the US is seeking to “isolate Russia politically, diplomatically and economically.” His statements were echoed by bellicose threats from leading American politicians.
Senator John McCain delivered an anti-Russian rant from the well of the Senate in which he again expressed regret that the United States had not intervened in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. He accused Putin of engaging in “the old Russian, Soviet doublespeak” and called for a “quick path for Moldova and Georgia to move into NATO.”
The Obama administration feigns shock and horror over the Russian response to the Ukrainian coup. This is nothing but deceitful and cynical posturing. It knew full well that the imposition of an anti-Russian puppet regime in Kiev, controlled by the US and NATO, would be viewed by Putin and the Russian military as a massive change in the geo-strategic environment in Eastern Europe and an existential threat to Russia.
It is inconceivable that the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA did not foresee that Putin would respond to the coup in Kiev. Can anyone seriously believe that Washington did not expect that Russia, at the very minimum, would deploy military forces to secure control of Crimea—a part of Russia until 1954, the home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and its sole access point into the Mediterranean? Or that Washington knew Russia would not simply turn the other cheek as the installation of an extreme rightwing government in Ukraine, in which xenophobic nationalists exert immense influence, transformed the country into the new forward base for NATO forces, armed with missiles, on the very border of Russia? …more
March 14, 2014 Add Comments
The fascist danger in Ukraine
World Socialist Web Site – 6 March, 2014
A politically sinister propaganda offensive is underway in the media to either deny the involvement of fascists in the US-backed coup in Ukraine or present their role as a marginal and insignificant detail.
The New York Times, for example, asserted, “Putin’s claim of an immediate threat to Ukrainian Russians is empty,” while Britain’s Guardian dismissed as a “fancy” claims that events in Crimea were an attempt to “prevent attacks by bands of revolutionary fascists,” adding that “the world’s media has [not] yet seen or heard from” such forces.
This is an obscene cover-up.
The reality is that, for the first time since 1945, an avowedly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi party controls key levers of state power in a European capital, courtesy of US and European imperialism. The unelected Ukrainian government, headed by US appointee Arseniy Yatsenyuk, includes no fewer than six ministers from the fascist Svoboda party.
Less than a year ago, the World Jewish Congress called for Svoboda to be banned. But the party’s founder and leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, who has spoken repeatedly of his determination to crush the “Russkie-Yid mafia that controls Ukraine,” was feted by US and European Union officials as they prepared last month’s coup.
Following the 2010 conviction of John Demjanjuk as an accomplice in the murder of nearly 30,000 people in the Nazi concentration camp at Sobibor, Tyahnybok called him a hero. Tyahnybok’s deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, founded a think tank called the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.
Svoboda was the major political force in the Maidan protests that overthrew Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In return for providing the shock troops for the coup, it has been given control of vital ministries.
Svoboda co-founder Andriy Parubiy acted as “security commandant” in the protests, directing attacks by the Right Sector—an alliance of fascists and extreme right-wing nationalists, including the paramilitary Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO). Dressed in uniforms modelled on Hitler’s Waffen SS, its members boast of fighting Russia in Chechnya, Georgia and Afghanistan.
Parubiy is now secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, overseeing the Defence Ministry and the armed forces. Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector, is his deputy.
Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych is another leading Svoboda figure, as is Oleh Makhnitsky (prosecutor-general), Serhiy Kvit (Education Minstry), Andriy Makhnyk (Ecology Ministry) and Ihor Shvaiko (Agriculture Ministry).
Others reportedly connected to UNA-UNSO are Dmytro Bulatov (youth and sports minister) and the “activist” journalist Tetyana Chernovol, who was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee. …more
March 14, 2014 1 Comment
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
UKRAINE: Paul Gubariew – a “tribune of the people” in Donetsk, ie neo-Nazis on the side of Putin
8 March, 2014 – by tahriricnv – by Tahrir-ICN
We reported earlier exploits of Ukrainian nationalists. Now it turns out that the “other side” is crowded with nationalists and neo-Nazis.
According to the Russian website Lenta.ru , Paul Gubariew who, along with joining-Russia supporters from Donbass, occupied administration buildings of Donetsk and proclaimed himself the “people’s governor” and a local authority, is not only a capitalist, but was also a member of the neo-Nazi organization “Russian National Unity” ( Русском национальном единстве ) and then a councilor the racists and anti-Semitic Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine.
After he was arrested by the Kiev authorities, a part of the western left, clueless in the situation, announced him a “repressed tribune of the people”.
While vesti.ru reported that the Serbian Chetniks, extreme chauvinists with bad reputation gained during the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, arrived in Sevastopol “to help their Russian brethren”. The Chetniks pursue an active foreign policy, appear every year on Independence March in Warsaw and inspire demonstrations of Polish nationalists under the slogan “Kosovo is Serbia”. This is all the more important that a large minority of the Crimea are Tatars, who, like the people of Kosovo are Muslims. For Chetniks it may be an extension of the struggle for Kosovo with the “Islamic threat” and lead to ethnic cleansing of the Crimean Tatars, who were already deported once and exterminated by Stalin. Recently, someone began labeling homes of Crimean Tatars, which could be a prelude to pogroms.
Also during many demonstrations, promoted by Putin propaganda as “anti-fascist”, extremely nationalist and neo-Nazi elements were present, both at the demonstration in Odessa and in Sevastopol. …source
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans against Putin’s war
2 March, 2014 – libcom.org
Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans were on the streets today protesting against the Putin regime’s attack on Ukraine.
The anti-war demonstrations today are the only shaft of light I can see in a dark sky overshadowed by the danger of war, with 6000 Russian troops reportedly on Ukrainian territory in Crimea, some of them surrounding Ukrainian bases.
In Moscow, anti-war demonstrators were detained in large numbers. Each time protesters assembled on Manezhnaya square in the city centre, more were arrested. Novaya Gazeta, the liberal opposition paper, reported 265 arrests and counting just after 16.00 Moscow time.
Voices on the Russian radical left were unequivocal. “It is necessary to call a spade a spade: what’s happening in Crimea these days is a classic act of imperialist intervention on the part of the Russian state”, said the Open Left group in a statement published in English here.
“Maidan has opened the sluices of activity of the far-right thugs – and at the same time has spurred to political life great masses of people, who perhaps for the first time perceive that they themselves are capable of determining their fate. This range of possibilities has the potential to resolve itself both into progressive social changes, and into the victory of extreme reaction. But the final decision must, without doubt, be left to the people of Ukraine themselves”, Open Left wrote.
Large numbers joined demonstrations against the war not only in Kyiv but in all the large Russian-speaking cities in the east. Ukrainska Pravda reported a demonstration of 5-10,000 people against Putin’s aggression in Nikolaev, a predominantly Russian-speaking city in southern Ukraine. The report said that agricultural and public sector workers, students and the intelligentsia were all at the march.
In Dnipropetrovsk, a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial city, and Odessa, the predominantly Russian-speaking port city in southern Ukraine, several thousand people joined similar marches. There were demos in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – smaller than pro-Russian marches … but shamefully downplayed by western media reports.
In Kyiv, the radical left called for working-class solidarity against Putin’s militarism. “There’s no point in waiting for ‘rescue’ from Nato”, said a statement by the Autonomous Workers Union, published in English here. “The war can be averted only if proletarians of all countries, first and foremost Ukrainian and Russian, together make a stand against the criminal regime of Putin.” …more
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
Article originally written in Spanish for the latest issue of the Chilean anarchist paper Solidaridad- The recent events that have shaken Venezuela reflect not only the level of interference that the USA maintains in the region or the pervasive coup-mongering trend in the Venezuelan elite which knows by heart the manual of the Chilean coup strategy. It primarily reflects the latent tensions in the Venezuelan model which should start to work themselves out from below, through struggle. Today more than ever we need critiques to be the essential tool of revolutionaries, rather than the attitude of passive approval of everything the Bolivarian leadership does.
Venezuela at the crossroads
3 March, 2014 – by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
The recent events that have shaken Venezuela reflect not only the level of interference that the USA maintains in the region or the pervasive coup-mongering trend in the Venezuelan elite which knows by heart the manual of the Chilean coup strategy. It primarily reflects the latent tensions in the Venezuelan model which should start to work themselves out from below, through struggle. Today more than ever we need critiques to be the essential tool of revolutionaries, rather than the attitude of passive approval of everything the Bolivarian leadership does.
The genesis of Bolivarianism
An event that marked the recent history of Venezuela was the Caracazo, that gigantic, spontaneous popular mobilization the structural adjustment measures decreed by the Social-Democratic government of Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1989, which was drowned in the blood of between 500 and 2,000 Venezuelans. It is surprising to note that to date there are no reliable figures on the number of dead, which to some extent reflects their status as “nobodies”, “disposable”, “marginal”. After earning a reputation for his coup attempt in 1992 – in direct response to a government widely seen as illegitimate by the working classes – the retired officer Hugo Chávez Frías stood in the 1999 elections, an outsider in the circles of power which, during the so-called Punto Fijo period, divided up bureaucratic quotas between two parties. His populist, direct speeches, his denunciation of a status quo increasingly tired out by the oil crisis which eroded the corrupt networks of clientelism, immediately captured the fascination of the majority, alienated by the political-economic system.
Although his first redistributive measures were timid, Chávez immediately alienated the elite because for the first time in the history of the republic they were displaced from the circles of power. This abrupt change was ratified in 1999 by the constituent assembly, where the old parties ended up disappearing. The new Constitution, which even the Right led today by Capriles lays claim to, has established certain social guarantees and rights that have benefited sectors previously excluded from access to health or education, counter to the neoliberal trends that dominate throughout the world. Principles of participatory forms of democracy are also experimented with through the institutionalization of Poder Ciudadano (Citizen Power). From the point of view of guarantees, this Constitution is almost unique in recognizing the right of civil disobedience in cases where the government violates the Constitution.
The years that followed the Constitution were turning points in the leftist turn of the Chavista political project; at each attempt to remove him from power, the masses at the grassroots of the Bolivarian project responded with increased demands. Some of these measures included the April 2002 coup and then came the bosses’ lockout from December 2002 to February 2003, both decisively defeated by popular mobilization and support from the Army for the process. The lockout, which was centred on a shutdown of oil production, saw workers self-manage sectors of that industry so as to keep the economy running. In this process, the rentier capitalist class became worn out and important areas of it were ousted from a significant centre of power when Chávez fired 19,000 technicians, directors and middle managers. The Bolivarian project thus took control of oil revenues and set about a series of social programmes called “missions”, through which the newly conquered social rights were extended to the most marginalized areas of the country. But even in this process, the experience of self-management came to an end and albeit with new faces, there was a return to the same labour dynamics as before.
But it was only after the victory in the recall referendum of 2004 and his overwhelming victory in the presidential elections of December 2006, that he dared publicly to describe his project as “Socialism of the 21st Century”.
Socialism of the 21st Century
Chávez now defined the five motors of the construction of socialism: the nationalization of telecommunications and electricity; control of 60% of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA, state-owned oil and gas company) of the multinational oil operations; constitutional reform to declare Venezuela a Bolivarian, Socialist republic; political education and ideological struggle to overcome capitalist prejudice, a new system of territorial administration of the country in line with the people’s needs; and the development of organisms of community power. It was intended with these measures to move from developmentalism to poder popular (people’s power).
The first measures to promote people’s power, such as urban land committees, invariably came from above, while the main emphasis continued to be redistribution through the missions, which were skillfully created by-passing the structures of the State’s administrative bureaucracy, mixing social mobilization with Army participation. These bodies provided perhaps the most spectacular achievements of the Bolivarian project, such as the virtual elimination of illiteracy.
Other initiatives yielded more mixed results due to distortions caused by the oil-rentier economy and Dutch Disease, together with the persistence of the clientelist, bloated State. Land reform is a good case in point. Venezuela imports 70% of its foodstuffs, 12% of its population is rural and 5% of landowners in 1997 controlled 80% of the land. Since 2005, various farmers have received land and migration from urban areas to rural ones has been stimulated; however, it has not been easy to achieve the goal of food sovereignty because the distortion of the oil economy makes food production more expensive than that of Venezuela’s neighbours. Paradoxically, Mercal, the subsidized stores, sell most of the imported food because its cheaper price. And to the slow expansion of food production (lower than demand), the problem of sabotage and stockpiling must be added.
Workers’ control too is contradictory. The first expropriations by Chávez came about up to 2005, when some companies went under the control of the workers, alone or together with the State. But radicalized workers who were demanding the abandoning of old-style management patterns, consideration of not only profit but the need and sustainability as productive criteria or an end to the division between manual and intellectual workers, found their bitterest enemies in the Labour Ministry itself, while Chávez distanced himself from the “radicals” until in 2009 his interest in them was reborn with the need to fight against the “corrupt”. Many companies were left isolated in the swindle that was “socialism in one factory”, while sectors of the left denounced this adventurism, opting for purely statist schemes. But beyond the existing industries, the dream of economic diversification remained elusive: the economy continued to be dominated by oil revenues and the creation of initiatives such as cooperatives fell into a vicious circle – the exchange rate distorted by the rentier economy did not help competitiveness in the market in accordance with the capitalist laws in force in Venezuela and the region, and the subsidies and support for these diversification initiatives depended on oil revenues, which reinforced the structural weakness of the productive economy. …more
March 11, 2014 Add Comments
US hypocrisy over ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine
Nile Bowie – March, 2014 – RT
As divisions deepen between the eastern and western regions of Ukraine, the backers of the putsch regime in Kiev portray Russia as a reckless aggressor to absolve their own responsibility for engineering the crisis.
While denunciations of Moscow have streamed out of western capitals in recent days over the standoff in Crimea, it should be understood that the political crisis currently unfolding in Ukraine could have been wholly avoided. In attempts to defuse unrest and maintain legal and societal order, ousted President Yanukovich offered remarkable concessions in his proposal to install opposition leaders in top posts in a reshaped government, which was rejected. Russia expressed readiness to engage in tripartite negotiations with Ukraine and the European Union with the hope that both Moscow and Brussels could play a positive role in Ukraine’s economic recovery, but the EU was unwilling to accept such a proposal. The February-21 agreement was mediated by Russia, France, Germany and Poland and aimed to end the bloodshed in Kiev by reducing presidential powers and establishing a framework for a national unity government, in addition to electoral reform, constitutional changes, and early elections.
There was clearly no shortage of opportunities to ease the polarization of the Ukrainian state through an inclusive political solution, and yet the opposition failed to uphold its responsibilities, resulting in the ouster of Ukraine’s democratically elected leader to the detriment of the country’s political, economic, and societal stability.
As the new self-appointed authorities in Kiev dictate terms and push legislation through a rump parliament, the reluctance of western capitals to address the clearly dubious legitimacy of the new regime suggests that the US and EU condone what is effectively a coup d’état with no constitutional validity.
The leaked phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, is a testament to Washington’s proclivity for foreign meddling and its brazen disregard of Ukraine’s sovereignty. It is no coincidence that Arseniy Yatsenyuk – handpicked by Nuland for the role of prime minister – now occupies that position in Kiev’s new leadership, and much like the reckless agitation strategies employed by the US elsewhere, extremist groups were manipulated to allow the nominal moderates to seize power on Washington’s behalf.
A new dawn for the far right
In order to maintain enough momentum to oust Yanukovich, Ukraine’s opposition leaders relied on allies in the radical camp such as fascist groups like Svoboda, Trizub, and the Right Sector. These organizations espouse ethnic hatred against Jews and Russians and promote neo-Nazi ideals. The foot soldiers of these movements laid the groundwork for the putsch by occupying the Maidan [Independence Square], storming government offices, and attacking riot police with Molotov cocktails, firearms, and other lethal weapons. …more
March 9, 2014 Add Comments
UKRAINE: Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU (Autonomous Workers Union)
by tahriricn – 19 February, 2014
Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all. After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns. According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.
One gets an impression that President Yanukovich was certain that by morning the resistance would be crushed, and so arranged for the Opposition leaders to meet with him at 11 A.M. on February, 19. As the negotiations did not take place, we can conclude that the government’s plan had failed. During the unsuccessful operation to clear off the Maidan, the citizens of several western regions occupied administrative buildings and chased away the police. At the moment the police, as an institution, do not exist in L’viv. According to the SBU, protesters have captured 1500 firearms. In less than 24 hours, the central government lost control over a section of the country. Right now, the only solution may be the stepping down of the President, however, that would mean that he, his family, and their multiple acolytes and dependents, which form a rather large group in the ruling government, would lose their source of profit. It is likely that they will not accept this.
In the event of Yanukovich’s victory, he will become a ruler for life, and the rest will be doomed to a life in which they face poverty, corruption, and the abolition of their rights and freedoms. Rebellious regions are now experiencing massive restorations of “the constitutional order.” It is not improbable that the suppression of such “terroristic groups” in Galicia will have the character of ethnic cleansing. Mad Orthodox radicals from the Party of Regions have, for a long time, seen the conservative Greco-Catholics as the aids of “Eurosodom.” Such an “antiterrorist” operation would be carried out with the assistance of the army, as the Minister of Defense, Lebedev, has already announced. …more
March 8, 2014 Add Comments