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 Post subject: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 13 Dec 2013 23:10 
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The Ukrainian revolution is European and national

Ukrainian civil society wants a truly independent Ukrainian and European nation. And Ukrainians understand that, in order to achieve this independence, they need to completely overhaul the political system. Anton Shekhovtsov on Euromaidan and the rebooting of Ukraine.

A fortnight before the official defeat of the Axis powers on 8 May 1945, Austrian political elites adopted the Declaration of Independence (Unabhängigkeitserklärung). However, Austria did not in fact become independent in 1945; rather, the Declaration only acknowledged Austria's separation from Germany. Austria continued to be occupied by the Allied forces (Soviet, British, French and American) until 1955. That year, Austrian political elites and the occupying forces signed the Austrian State Treaty (Österreichische Staatsvertrag), which re-established a free, democratic and sovereign state, and the occupation was over. Thus, it was only in 1955 – a decade after a formal declaration of independence – that Austria became truly independent.

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The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, adopted in a state akin to automatism after the peaceful demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, can be compared to a time bomb as far as Ukraine's true independence and freedom is concerned. Ever since the formal Declaration of Independence, Ukraine has remained occupied. Not by external "allied forces" of any kind, but by the political – or, better, managerial – elites who did and felt very well under Soviet rule and who believed that, from the point of view of their business interests, a formally independent Ukraine simply provided a better environment than a Soviet Ukraine. Political scientists saw the absence of any prominent conflicts in post-Soviet Ukraine in the 1990s as a paradox. It is now becoming increasingly clear that there was no paradox, because post-Soviet Ukraine was an amorphous, apathetic society. Ukraine's state "independence" just popped up, rather than being a result of a popular struggle for political freedom.

It took almost a decade for the Ukrainian people to start protesting against the political corruption of the ruling elites. They only managed to mobilize after the prominent journalist Georgiy Gongadze (1969-2000) had been kidnapped and murdered, and evidence emerged that President Leonid Kuchma might have been implicated. The "Ukraine without Kuchma!" campaign of 2000-2001 was brutally suppressed by police violence and state terrorism, but it is widely believed to have become a precursor of the "Orange revolution".

The "Orange revolution" in 2004 was not a revolution, but a successful mass protest against electoral fraud. But then Ukrainian people idealized, and put too much trust in, president Viktor Yushchenko, who eventually failed to deliver on his promises. The internal conflicts within the "Orange" governing coalition contributed to the failure of the national project, which barely emerged during the peaceful, carnivalesque "Orange revolution". Not only did the failure of Yushchenko result in the election of president Viktor Yanukovych in 2010, but it also had a profoundly negative effect on the willingness of the Ukrainian people to mobilize for any political cause. The opposition did organize rallies, meetings and protests, but they had no significant popular support. Civil society seemed to have withdrawn into itself; many embarked upon an inner emigration or left the country.

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Social discontent has been growing, but it has taken nine years since the "Orange revolution" for Ukrainians to mobilize once again. The current protests, known as Euromaidan, started with between one and two thousand protesters who went out into the streets of a few Ukrainian cities, most notably Kyiv, to protest against Yanukovych's decision to suspend the talks on the signing of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The protests grew in number, but after the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, where the Agreement was originally scheduled to be signed, the protesters became desperate and the opposition clearly did not know what to do. But then Yanukovych made a fatal mistake that changed everything.

In the early hours of 30 November, the Berkut special police unit violently dispersed the peaceful protest in Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kyiv. The police spilled blood and the video footage of the brutal crackdown shocked Ukrainians. Millions of people felt that, on 30 November, they woke up in a very different country, and around half a million citizens gathered on Kyiv squares – angry, outraged and disgusted.

Since then, the situation is clear. Civil society felt that the authorities had crossed a certain line, and people just could not allow themselves to retreat.

It is no longer purely about the integration of Ukraine in Europe. Ukrainians have finally realized that Ukraine was not truly free and that the Act of Declaration of Independence was nothing more than a scrap of paper. Then Euromaidan became a Ukrainian revolution.

Before discussing possible ways out of the current situation, we need a clear understanding of what this particular Ukrainian revolution is. It involves many voices – idealistic and romantic, yet honest and sincere. The Ukrainian revolution is:

– a democratic revolution against the authoritarianism and nepotism of president Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov's government;

– a protest against the government's U-turn on the EU, and an outcry against Yanukovych's perceived plans to integrate Ukraine in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan;

– a student revolution against the government which is stealing their dreams and hopes – and a parents' revolution against the government which is stealing their children's future;

– a rebellion against the police who beat up, torture, rape and murder Ukrainian citizens;

– a revolt of the educated class against the conceited ignorance of the ruling elites;

– a nationalist uprising against Russia's destructive influence on Ukraine and a national revolution against the Kremlin's imperialism;

– a revolution of independent businessmen against the voracious omnipotence of president Yanukovych's business "Family" and his oligarchs;

– a revolution against the persistent spirit of Sovietism;

– and a revolution against an old Ukraine, for a new Ukraine.

To sum up the many voices of the Ukrainian revolution, civil society wants a truly independent Ukrainian and European nation. And Ukrainians understand that, in order to achieve this independence, they need to completely overhaul the political system.

It is hundreds of thousands of protesters who give the Ukrainian revolution its meaning and significance. The power of the current social protests is indeed fascinating. People self-organize via social networking websites and offline; they cook food and make hot drinks, provide other protesters with warm clothes, accommodation, medical assistance and legal advice, read academic lectures on streets, build barricades, ensure safety of the protests, put up prayer tents, clean up the occupied public spaces. They display almost a perfect case of horizontal forms of organization and leaderless resistance to the ruling elites.

The lesson drawn from the failure of the "Orange revolution" tells people not to rely too much on politicians, not to put too much trust in them, like they did with Viktor Yushchenko, who failed them. That this lesson has been learnt is one reason why civil society is now so strong. Today, it is the Ukrainian pro-European civil society that confers power on the political opposition. Otherwise, the political opposition would now have no power in the Ukrainian political sphere at all. The political opposition, mostly represented in the protests by three parliamentary political parties (UDAR, Bat'kivschnya and Svoboda), must comprehend the demands of civil society regarding the "rebooting" of Ukraine, and it should offer civil society a very clear plan of such an overhaul.

A conciliatory deal struck between the opposition and the ruling elites would not satisfy Ukrainian civil society, and if civil society sees that the opposition is simply using hundreds of thousands of protesters to secure its own bargaining power, it will withdraw its support. It is worth noting that, according to the latest public opinion poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, only 5.4 per cent of the protesters were mobilized by the opposition parties; the rest were driven by their own conscience. Even if the pro-European protesters are ready to give the opposition a chance at early or regular elections, civil society needs solid guarantees that Ukraine will be "rebooted" and that the people will have a strong say in the process of Ukraine's development after the opposition – sooner or later – takes power. In a new Ukraine, power should be decentralized and parliamentary democracy re-established; civil society itself will need to influence politics and the economy through a genuinely independent media, efficient social councils, community-based initiatives, influential NGOs and vibrant trade unions, among others.

This is why the opposition must offer a coherent and well-defined strategy as to how exactly it is going to structure the Ukrainian state in political, social, economic, cultural and intellectual terms. Because an increasingly self-aware civil society is not interested in simply changing the name of president. The pro-European protesters on the streets of Ukrainian cities are not wasting their time – let alone their careers, health and lives – for a political messiah. They are the messiah for whom they themselves have been waiting for more than 20 years. They just need the kind of political representation that understands their message and makes it a reality.


Anton Shekhovtsov

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2014 07:24 
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EU and IMF scramble to foot the bill for Ukraine

Earlier this month, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, vowed that Brussels would not engage Russia in a “bidding contest” over Ukraine’s destiny.

Only three weeks later, it has all come down to the money.

US and EU leaders are now scrambling to build support for a new Ukraine package from the International Monetary Fund. This is becoming increasingly urgent as diplomats fear that Russia is poised to withdraw vital economic lifelines – a $15bn bailout and discounted natural gas – helping to sustain the cash-strapped country.

Only moments after President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev on Saturday, Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, stressed that the country needed a “radical economic reform package and radical international support efforts”. In December, EU officials said Ukraine would have received loans of at least €20bn, issued primarily by the IMF, if it had signed up to an EU trade and association agreement.

Those funds never reached Kiev because Mr Yanukovich rejected the EU deal but a similar infusion of money looks likely to be needed soon. William Hague, Britain’s foreign minister, says that he has agreed with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to push for a deal with IMF. The US has also argued that support for Ukraine should be led by the Washington-based lender.

“What we are hoping to see when this national unity government is established is a group of people who are empowered and prepared to roll up their sleeves extremely quickly with the IMF to take stock of what needs to be done in terms of reform, so that Ukraine can very quickly be eligible for IMF support,” said a senior state department official.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said that she stood ready to help but stressed that loans would have strings attached. “We need to operate under the rules and that means there are important economic reforms that need to be started,” she said.
Since the fall of communism, Ukraine’s economy has underperformed its neighbours and gross domestic product per capita is about a third of the level in Poland.

Some EU officials privately expressed wariness at offering loans to Ukraine without tough conditions, noting that the eurozone countries that have recently been through international bailouts were forced into austerity regimes and could become resentful if Kiev is offered more lenient terms.

At the same time, IMF officials have grown exasperated by European hand-wringing over Ukraine, noting that while the EU has committed more than €300bn to eurozone bailouts, commitments for the European Commission’s macro-financial programme for Ukraine – which many consider of greater strategic importance – had totalled a mere €610m before the crisis began.

The IMF stresses that it is reluctant to revive a full Ukrainian assistance programme without clear commitments to reform, having been burnt by Kiev the last time it provided aid. The fund began a $15.4bn assistance programme in mid-2010 but pulled the plug just eight months later – after two disbursements of $3.4bn were lent – when Mr Yanukovich’s government failed to live up to its reform commitments, particularly in its subsidies for gas and heating bills.

Those energy subsidies are still politically explosive in Ukraine. An IMF mission sent to Kiev in December estimated that the subsidies totalled 7.5 per cent of the country’s entire economic output, encouraging one of the highest consumption rates in Europe.

One of the tools that the IMF could use is the recently created “rapid financing instrument”, which would allow the fund to lend Ukraine slightly more than $2bn in two tranches with few strings attached. The RFI, created at the peak of the eurozone crisis two years ago, is intended for teetering countries which cannot negotiate a full rescue programme. In Ukraine’s case, this could ease pressure before a $1bn Eurobond comes due in June.

In Sydney at the G20 meeting, Olli Rehn, the EU’s economic commissioner, has said there should also be a separate role for EU institutions to bolster Ukraine. “The commission through the EU budget, EU member states and the European Investment Bank will need to put together a more substantial package of financial support and assistance than we have so far been discussing,” he said.

Mr Rehn stressed that support for Ukraine should not simply take the form of the IMF’s traditional assistance packages, adding that the EU also had to seize “a historic moment” to invest in Ukraine’s economic development in the mould of World Bank-style projects.

Source: EU and IMF foot the bill for Ukraine


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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014 16:38 
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Ukraine Is a Step Away From War

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The events in Ukraine are unfolding faster than the media can report them. Impeached Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has failed to serve out his term. Even if he retains a semblance of authority from his power base in eastern Ukraine, it is only the death throes of a presidency that one year ago nobody could have imagined would end so ignominiously. After all, Yanukovych came into office through elections that both Russia and the West recognized as relatively honest.

The reins of power are lying loose in Ukraine today. This situation is certainly not like the Moscow in October 1993, but it does call to mind the St. Petersburg in October 1917. At such historical junctures, the advantage goes not to those who win a majority of votes in relatively peaceful times, but to those who pursue the most resolute and determined course of action amid the mounting chaos. Any revolution is simply a coup carried out by the most prominent activists opposing the ruling regime.

Of course, it is political marauders who tend to make the most skilful use of the fruits of revolutions. The "Bolsheviks" in today's Ukraine are the Right Sector radicals led by Dmitro Yarosh and other similar organizations who zealously advocate nationalist ideas. These groups are highly organized — a critical factor in such moments in history — and their leaders functioned like field commanders during Euromaidan, ordering hundreds of followers to occupy or stand guard over government buildings. Their minions execute those commands far better than Ukraine's Berkut riot police carried out orders from Yanukovych — who, by the way, ultimately betrayed his orders by fleeing.

In such critical moments, the ability of the people to organize at a grassroots level is the most important of all. In my opinion, Russia's state television spin doctors have gotten too carried away with branding the protesters as Nazis, thugs and radicals. There are plenty of radicals, yes, but such people always appear along with everyone else during a major upheaval. In fact, the majority of demonstrators were ordinary citizens who did not take to the streets in return for money. Revolutions and coups are never carried out for money, although most Russian propagandists seem to believe that the demonstrators were all collecting Western money to live in tent cities and risk their lives before snipers' guns.

Indeed, attempts to pay off people did play a role in Euromaidan, but not on the part of protesters. Yanukovych, with his gangster-like approach, used the Berkut riot police as a legal band of thugs to extort money from and intimidate large and small business owners and ordinary citizens alike. Anger over those actions helped fuel the Euromaidan protest. Yanukovych lost power not only because he attempted to blackmail both the European Union and Russia, but because he and his inner circle had simply stolen too much from the people.

Ukraine is entering a period of chaos. Grassroots efforts alone cannot preserve the state, although they might manage to maintain a basic level of order by keeping, say, water and sewage operations functioning in the cities. But at some point a government must be formed — whether a single national authority or regional entities.

I do not believe the notion that Ukraine is necessarily headed toward division. The Euromaidan leaders and the majority of Ukrainians do not want the country to split, and although the eastern and western regions might have their disagreements, they still see each other as members of a single nation. However, the Verkhovna Rada, which has assumed all of what little authority exists in the country today, is clearly incapable of re-establishing Ukraine's statehood. It is just possible that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will emerge as that ace in the hole who is capable of carrying the country through its current crisis.

A word needs to be said here about the EU's policy toward Ukraine. European officials clearly went too far in their tug-of-war with Moscow.

For its part, Moscow fell victim to its own anti-Western paranoia and ideas about a zero-sum game. Multilateral negotiations that include the EU and Russia need to be convened to help determine Ukraine's future. It is high time that all these players, along with the U.S., make good on their claims to have put the Cold War behind them. They must work together to help this country of 50 million people that is teetering on the edge of collapse in the heart of Europe find a peaceful and productive solution to its problems. The only alternative is war — and that war might easily go from "cold" to "hot" very quickly.

European leaders have yet to realize that Russia's rulers view a geopolitical defeat in Ukraine as nothing less than an existential threat to Russia itself, a threat to which they must respond with every means in their power, including military might.

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Moscow Times - Georgy Bovt is a political analyst.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 03 Mar 2014 00:03 
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ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW, ...... FROM GREECE

Nikos Boyiopoulos is a Greek journalist and political editor in “Rizospastis”, the official party newspaper for the “Communist Party of Greece (KKE). He studied in the University of Athens economics and has also co-operated with numerous magazines, newspapers and websites. He is a major representative of KKE in radio shows and TV talk shows, and he is widely known for using numerical data in order to prove a point and citing sources through documents.


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Let's look at a few pieces of the puzzle from the developments in Ukraine, watching the human geography of the so-called "opposition" and the “buds” (flowers) that compose it:

A) The chap with the "raised arm" in the photo is Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

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The chap, whom we see directing to his followers the flawless ... ancient Greek greeting, has assumed the post of the Prime Minister of Ukraine. This character, which is under the umbrella of the democratic EU and the more democratic USA, is an old friend of the bosses. In the next picture we see him in a tender (other than professional) face to face pose with the former U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Remember that the democrat, Condoleezza Rice, is the person who as a minister of the Bush’s government massacred people in Iraq and beyond. We note also that in their public meetings types like Giatseniouk and Rice did not greet with the Nazi salute. They are limited to handshakes... [wink.gif]

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This chap, was chairman of the Ukrainian parliament until recently, he is promoted “democratically” for the post of Prime Minister of Ukraine, although during the so-called "Orange Revolution" marched through various posts, such as the Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs - note: It was him who tied up Ukraine to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and began the process of Ukraine's integration into the EU.

Just take a look of how popular he is: When he was a candidate, in 2010, for the post of president of Ukraine he failed to get over 7% of the votes. Indeed in Kiev he was voted by 0.34% of voters, in Crimea particularly, where he had served as “Governor”, received the deafening ... 0.02% of votes.

Two years later joined the party "Fatherland" as a stooge of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, which apart from 'Heroine' during her tenure was also the synonym of corruption ...

With the announcement of his appointment at the post of PM, he made two statements.

The first was that "we should immediately conclude an agreement on a program of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund."

The second, speaking to BBC, that "we have to take extremely unpopular measures ...".

One more thing: For about two weeks now, a recorded conversation of U.S. Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, went viral on the internet. Madame Secretary, was giving, both, the position of the U.S. A (desires for the development of the crisis in Ukraine) and also the controversies of the Americans with the EU, but also describing vividly the democratic procedures followed in Ukraine. She was heard giving clear instructions to the Ambassador, especially when she made reference to EU, saying:"F@ck … the EU, we want Yatsenyuk” (as PM)!!!.

***
B) The chap in the next picture, the one who is left of the U.S. Senator and candidate for President of the United States, McCain is called …. Oleh Tiahnybok.

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He is a fine member of the Ukrainian parliament and opposition leader of the "Svoboda" (Freedom) party

But the party was not always called by this name. In 2000s had a different name and was Called "National Socialist" ...
The "Svoboda" is merely the political umbrella of the so-called "Right section".

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The fascists of the "Right Division" with the Nazi armbands, military camouflage uniforms completely armed on the streets of Kiev ...

The "Right Division", whose members armed with weapons, knifes and globs are leading the looting, terrorism and burning buildings in Ukraine. Composed of all sorts of criminal elements and fascist dregs of the Ukrainian society. The "Right Division", constitutes the armed arm of Nazi extreme right. Indulging in torch marches through the streets of Kiev to the standards of Ku Klux Klan. keeps "brotherly" relations with the fascist party «Jobbik» of Hungary, with the party of Le Pen in France, with the Fascist «Forza Nuova» of Italy and the Nazi "National Democratic Party" of Germany.

According to the list of the international Wiesenthal Centre, the "Svoboda" of Oleh Tiahnybok, ranks in the top ten worldwide anti-Semitic groups.

This party, which was adopted by the West as a carrier of "Democracy" in Ukraine and to whose public meetings the senator McCain is running to show his support, has as their hero the infamous Stepan Bandera.

The party organises marches and carries portraits of Stepan Bandera on the streets of Ukraine, as the one above the head of that nice looking character with the shaved head and the “Hahol” in the photo.


Note 1: Stepan Bandera remains one of the most divisive and controversial figures in Ukrainian history. Some say he was a scumbag, a partner of the German Nazi period of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union.

READMORE HERE: viewtopic.php?p=12455#p12455

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In the centre of the photo "Banderas" with the German Nazi uniform, of course ...
This photo appears to be a fake and work of the communistic propaganda .... see CAUSION note

Note 2: In order to have an idea how that 'democracy' and the West - as a guarantor - promote and bring up fascism we must remember that immediately after the so-called "Orange Revolution" in 2004, the then favoured protégée candidate of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, President of Ukraine , Viktor Yushchenko, declared officially “Banderas a hero or Ukraine”.

Note 3: The party leader of "Fatherland", Yulia Tymoshenko (who the Germans love both, her and the party ...), the "heroine" who was in prison for fraud and embezzlement and from which the new interim Prime Minister of Ukraine (both loved by the Americans ...), in the last election, created an alliance with the Nazi "Svoboda" , that paved the way, so the Nazis to enter the Ukrainian parliament ...

***

C) The third of the group, fighting for the consolidation of European and democratic values in Ukraine, is named Vitaly Klitschko.

The lad, who was a boxer and created the party 'Punch', although it has U.S. citizenship, basically is interested promoting in Ukraine ... the German values. Most of his life, at his home in Germany, he has been involved with the "Foundation Konrad Adenauer” that commissioned him to lead an extreme right module for the "Germanization" of Ukraine and of course is always made welcome by Mrs. Merkel, that is happy to see him.

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Merkel with Klitschko (on the right), but the Giatseniouk (on the left) in joyful moments ...

D) All of these guys now, Giatseniouk the Tiahnybok and Klitschko, constitute the conglomeration of opposition leaders subsidized by the U.S. and EU .. in Ukraines democracy. Indeed, before the latest events, had announced that they would co-operate and take part at the next presidential election.

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The three favourites and “Democratic” Children of the West (the Nazi, Fascist and krypto-fasist) together.
And of course in the middle, Ms. Nuland. The Secretary of the U.S. ...

Some of the first government actions were to establish and jointly support the following “Democratic Acts”:

  • Promotion Act to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine.

  • Promotion Act to repeal any prohibition limits to the Nazi propaganda.

  • Promotion Act in which the administration of the Ministry of Interior is surrendered to the Nazis 'Right Field'.

  • Calling NATO to assist Ukraine, which directly responded the NATO Secretary General, Rasmussen, who said: "We are ready to continue supporting Ukraine on democratic reforms" adding that NATO “guarantees the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine” (Values widely known to inspire NATO enough but take a look from Cyprus to Yugoslavia, and from Iraq to Libya and Afghanistan! ...).

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The banning of the Communist Party is the right priority by the “Democrats” in Ukraine and the Euro-American friends. You see the huge numbers of communists are filling the city streets with posters like this with the image of Lenin, who "asks" the people, "Well, how do you like living with capitalism?"


CAUSION
This photo above appears to be a fake and work of the communistic propaganda,
according to this publication and much more info on the links below.


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Nazi scientists........... and also ..........Nazi Major General Reinhard Gehlen (middle)

READMORE HERE: viewtopic.php?p=12455#p12455

Don't forget where the writer of this article is working! [wink.gif] .

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014 20:11 
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Ukraine: America’s Staggering Hypocrisy and the
Mainstream Media’s Double Standards on International Law

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, a leading figure in supporting the coup against Ukraine’s President Vicktor Yanukovych. (U.S. State Department photo)

Official Washington is in deep umbrage over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine after a U.S.-backed coup overthrew the democratically elected president. Some top neocons want a new Cold War, but they don’t want anyone to note their staggering hypocrisy.

Since World War II – and extending well into the Twenty-first Century – the United States has invaded or otherwise intervened in so many countries that it would be challenging to compile a complete list. Just last decade, there were full-scale U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, plus American bombing operations from Pakistan to Yemen to Libya.

So, what is one to make of Secretary of State John Kerry’s pronouncement that Russia’s military intervention in the Crimea section of Ukraine – at the behest of the country’s deposed president – is a violation of international law that the United States would never countenance?

Kerry decried the Russian intervention as “a Nineteenth Century act in the Twenty-first Century.” However, if memory serves, Sen. Kerry in 2002 voted along with most other members of the U.S. Congress to authorize President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was also part of the Twenty-first Century. And, Kerry is a member of the Obama administration, which like its Bush predecessor, has been sending drones into the national territory of other nations to blow up various “enemy combatants.”

Are Kerry and pretty much everyone else in Official Washington so lacking in self-awareness that they don’t realize that they are condemning actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin that are far less egregious than what they themselves have done?

If Putin is violating international law by sending Russian troops into the Crimea after a violent coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias ousted Ukraine’s democratically elected president – and after he requested protection for the ethnic Russians living in the country’s south and east – then why hasn't the U.S. government turned over George W. Bush, D*** Cheney and indeed John Kerry to the International Criminal Court for their far more criminal invasion of Iraq?

In 2003, when the Bush-Cheney administration dispatched troops halfway around the world to invade Iraq under the false pretence of seizing its non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. touched off a devastating war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and left their country a bitterly divided mess. But there has been virtually no accountability.

And, why haven’t many of the leading Washington journalists who pimped for those false WMD claims at least been fired from their prestigious jobs, if not also trundled off to The Hague for prosecution as propagandists for aggressive war?

Remarkably, many of these same “journalists” are propagandising for more U.S. wars today, such as attacks on Syria and Iran, even as they demand harsh penalties for Russia over its intervention in the Crimea, which incidentally was an historic part of Russia dating back centuries.

The WPost’s Double Standards

A stunning example of the U.S. media’s double standards is the Washington Post’s editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, who pushed for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 by treating the existence of Iraq’s non-existent WMD as “flat fact,” not an allegation in dispute. After the U.S. invasion and months of fruitless searching for the promised WMD caches, Hiatt finally acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its claims about the WMD.

“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Yes, that is a principle of journalism, if something isn’t true, we’re not supposed to say that it is. Yet, despite the enormous cost in blood and treasure from the Iraq War – and despite the undeniable fact that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a clear violation of international law – nothing happened to Hiatt. He remains in the same job today, more than a decade later.

His editorials also continue to state dubious points as “flat fact.” For instance, the Post’s belligerent editorial on Monday, entitled online as “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy,” resurfaces the discredited claim that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

The Post wrote, “Since the Syrian dictator crossed Mr. Obama’s red line with a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians, the dictator’s military and diplomatic position has steadily strengthened.”

Note how there is no attribution or doubt expressed regarding either the guilt of the Syrian government or the number of casualties. Just “flat fact.” The reality, however, is that the U.S. government assertions blaming the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for the poison gas attack and the death tally of 1,400 have both crumbled under examination.

The U.S. casualty figure of “1,429” always was regarded as a wild exaggeration, since doctors on the scene cited a much lower death toll of a few hundred, and the Wall Street Journal later reported that the strangely precise number was ascertained by the CIA applying facial recognition software to images of dead bodies posted on YouTube and then subtracting duplicates and those in bloody shrouds.

The problems with this “methodology” were obvious, since there was no way to know the dates when the YouTube videos were taken and the absence of bloody shrouds did not prove that the cause of death was poison gas.

More significantly, the U.S. claims about where the missiles were launched – more than nine kilometers from the impact site – turned out to be false, since expert analysis of the one missile that was found to carry Sarin gas had a maximum range of around two kilometers. That meant that the launch site was within territory controlled by the Syrian opposition, not the government. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mistaken Guns of Last August.”]

Though it remains unclear which side was to blame for the chemical attack, the Syrian government’s guilt surely was not a “slam dunk” anymore than the Iraqi government’s possession of WMD in 2003. In such a case – especially on sensitive matters of war or peace – responsible journalists reflect the uncertainty, not simply assert an allegation as “flat fact.”

However, since Hiatt was never punished for his earlier journalistic violation – even though it contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, including some 4,500 U.S. soldiers – he is still around to commit the same offenses again, in an even more dangerous context, i.e., a confrontation between the United States and Russia, two nuclear-armed states.

Pushing for a New Cold War

And, what do Hiatt and other neocons at the Washington Post say about confronting the Russians over the Ukraine crisis, which was stoked by neocon holdovers in the U.S. State Department, such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which was founded in 1983 to replace the CIA in the business of destabilizing targeted governments? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

The Post is demanding a new Cold War with Russia in retaliation for its relatively non-violent interventions to protect pro-Russian provinces of two countries that were carved out of the old Soviet Union: Georgia where Russian troops have protected South Ossetia and Abkhazia since 2008 and in Ukraine where Russian soldiers have taken control of Crimea. In both cases, the pro-Russian areas felt threatened from their central governments and sought Moscow’s assistance.

In the case of Ukraine, a neo-Nazi-led putsch – representing the interests of the western part of the country – overthrew the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, who came from the eastern region. Then, under the watchful eye of the neo-Nazi storm troopers in Kiev, a rump parliament voted unanimously or near unanimously to enact a series of draconian laws offensive to the ethnic Russian areas in the east and south.

Having fled Kiev for his life, Yanukovych asked Russia for help, which led to Putin’s request to the Russian parliament for the authority to deploy troops inside Ukraine, essentially taking control of Crimea in the south, an area that has been part of Russia for centuries.

Though the Russian case for intervention in both Georgia and Ukraine is much stronger than the excuses often used by the United States to intervene in other countries, the Washington Post was apoplectic about Russia’s “violation” of suddenly sacred international law.

The Post wrote, “as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not.”

The Post also laments what it sees as a “receding” tide of democracy around the world, but it is worth noting that the U.S. government has a long and sorry record of overthrowing democratic governments. Just a partial list since World War II would include: Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Allende in Chile in 1973, Aristide in Haiti twice, Chavez in Venezuela briefly in 2002, Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, Morsi in Egypt in 2013, and now Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014. The next target of a U.S.-embraced “democratic” coup looks to be Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela.

Perhaps the closest U.S. parallel to the Russian intervention in Ukraine was President Bill Clinton’s decision to invade Haiti in 1994 to reinstall Haiti’s elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to office, though Russia has not gone nearly that far regarding Yanukovych in Ukraine. Russia has only intervened to prevent the fascist-spearheaded coup regime in Kiev from imposing its will on the country’s ethnic Russian provinces.

Also, in the case of Aristide, the U.S. role wasn’t as pro-democratic as Clinton’s invasion on his behalf might suggest. Clinton ordered the action to reverse a 1991 military coup that ousted President Aristide with the support of President George H.W. Bush. Aristide was deposed a second time in 2004 in a coup partly engineered by the administration of President George W. Bush.

In other words, Clinton’s intervention on behalf of a popularly elected leader in Haiti was the anomaly to the more typical U.S. pattern of collaborating with right-wing military officers in the overthrow of elected leaders who don’t comply with Washington’s wishes.

Thus, the overriding hypocrisy of the Washington Post, Secretary Kerry and indeed nearly all of Official Washington is their insistence that the United States actually promotes the principle of democracy or, for that matter, the rule of international law. Those are at best situational ethics when it comes to advancing U.S. interests around the world.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.]


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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014 12:06 
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I will keep this short. I can agree with a lot of what is said in this post but not all. Was Iraq a mistake and were there WMD's. Yes it was a mistake to a degree. No there were no WMD's. Still Saddam was evil and needed to go. He had a lot of blood on his hands. The right thing would have been to go to the point where they got him and then get out. As far as Afghanistan we should never have gone in. We should have learned our lessons from Russia's efforts there. We should have learned as well from our bad experience in Vietnam that if you can't win the hearts and minds of the people you can't win the war. History has a lot of illusions in the reported decision making process such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident that never was reality.

As far as Putin invading Crimea to "protect the Russians" there that is a bunch of bunk. They were in no danger and there were no events going on that would put them in harm's way. Putin was advancing Russia's interests not protecting the Russians who live in Ukraine.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014 20:03 
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My friend Turbo

I am sorry to say but the American administration, always had double standards around the world. I find it amazing that you still think that the invasion of Irag was a legitimate action against an evil dictator and he had to go...... where the truth is that G.W. Bush just only played the game of the 7 oil sisters and on the way certain people made billions from the contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq granted to them.... well before the invasion took place and paid by the Iraq oil.

May I remind you what was the 1st action and priority of the invading armies, USA and UK in Iraq?

Didn't they secure first the oil production wells and them proceed to occupy the country.
The result ... 4500 American soldiers dead and hundred of thousands dead civilians..... and the killing continue daily!

Well Sadam was a nasty dictator and doing all you have said but he was keeping the country together and in control Look around what is been left there and every other country the USA has invaded after the WWII.

I must to remind you that Russia did not invade Ukraine or Crimea........ it was there already, legally and under the official leasing contract for the bases.

Sorry but Obama in his haste to prick Russia in its underbelly, Ukraine, he messed big time because that Putin, knew what was coming, after the Syria episode and was waiting for him.

Take a look at my last assessment of the situation.

viewtopic.php?p=12463#p12463

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014 20:07 
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Turboguy wrote:


As far as Putin invading Crimea to "protect the Russians" there that is a bunch of bunk. They were in no danger and there were no events going on that would put them in harm's way. Putin was advancing Russia's interests not protecting the Russians who live in Ukraine.


There were definatly reports of "maidan" people on their way to Simferopol to start the same as the crimea area was still pro-yanukovich (or so everyone thought)... The region quickly assembled the self-defense militia everyone talks about, but were eventually replaced by "non-official" russian troups.

In the end, the Russians are welcome, from the local Russian population. The Tatars are about 50/50 (yet the west keeps finding the ones that fear/hate the russians). I have no idea about the real ukrainians in the Crimea region, but my wife tells me its about 30/70 (more in favor of ukraine).

So, i think the coming "vote" will turn out 80%+ without election rigging, or higher , with.

Markje.
PS: My Russian babushka has no idea what she wants. But she tends to favor the Russians as that will double her pension and she can really stop working.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#9  PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014 13:57 
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Markje wrote:

Markje.
PS: My Russian babushka has no idea what she wants. But she tends to favor the Russians as that will double her pension and she can really stop working.

It does seem to me that the motivation for many votes in Crimea will be the fact that their pensions will be higher. I do expect the Crimea area to vote to join Russia and that it will be what happens. I also think it will be a poor decision but it is their life and their choice.

Wiz wrote:
I must to remind you that Russia did not invade Ukraine or Crimea........ it was there already, legally and under the official leasing contract for the bases.

I will agree that they were already there but the did send in 30,000 troops or so that were not already there.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ukrainian revolution is European and national
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014 19:39 
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Turboguy wrote:
It does seem to me that the motivation for many votes in Crimea will be the fact that their pensions will be higher. I do expect the Crimea area to vote to join Russia and that it will be what happens. I also think it will be a poor decision but it is their life and their choice.

Money is not the only factor. Many of the elderly vote because they used to be Russian, they hated being part of Ukraine ever since the USSR fell.

Turboguy wrote:
I will agree that they were already there but the did send in 30,000 troops or so that were not already there.


Plus, the Ukraine ordered them to stay inside their base on Sevastopol, which they didnt.

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