SOME THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON THE UKRAINIAN CRISIS
In all truth, when looking at the present “engineered” crisis in the Ukraine, one is at a loss for words, and even more so due to our hesitancy to provide a critique on geopolitical matters. But on the other hand, we are presented with very serious questions that also pertain to spiritual concerns, as the Ukraine is a staunchly Orthodox Christian nation that has faced down recent attempts to subvert its cultural and religious identity such as propaganda pushing for same sex marriage and so forth; and yet as we speak the Ukraine is now being torn apart and people are suffering immense hardships on top of their economic woes. And the disturbing point of all of this, is that it is outside interests that is fuelling the Ukraine’s crisis. Yet upon initial reflection, the only thing that seems to spring to mind are the prophesies of the late and beloved Elder Paisios of Mt Athos, who spoke in rather great detail regarding the dissolution and destruction of the Ukraine, the so-called economic crisis in Europe, the impoverishment of Greece, the agitation for war by Turkey, the Iraqi and Afghani turmoil, the battle for Syria, Kossovo separatism, Cyprus’ occupation and much more. And in looking at what he wrote or spoke of on these matters, the eerie truth is, he was correct or soon to be proven correct on all counts.
For Orthodox Christians, this should not come as a surprise, as our history attests time and again, as how our Holy Elders, Martyrs and Saints whose love for God, had opened their hearts to the trials, and tribulations of this world and the pain of their neighbour, whether they be a believer or not. And in opening themselves to the love and wisdom of God, strove to become living manifestations of that same love and wisdom, amongst which, they concerned themselves with the welfare and needs of their fellow human beings. And it is with a heavy heart that we observe another Orthodox Christian nation, now being torn apart by the same powers who provoked conflict in the Balkans in previous decades, using separatist movements, ultra-nationalist groups and Jihadist operatives that had links to groups like Al-Qaeda and other like-minded organisations (of some who had served in Afghanistan in the 1980s). It is the same powers who have been sponsoring jihadist groups to commit the horrible acts of violence and terrorism in the Middle East and across North Africa, where millions of Muslims and Christians have been slaughtered, supposedly in the name of faith and for the imposition of a blasphemous ideology of Islamofascism which does not recognise the God-given rights of all peoples to live freely and responsibly.
Yet in many respects, the worst part of the Ukrainian conflict has pitted one Orthodox Christian nation against another, with Ukrainians wishing to address certain grievances and realities within their country; while Russia wishing to ensure her own self-defence and survival against a very real threat of Western superpowers, which she had faced down and brought to account on the matter of Syria, and exposed the lies of Libya, Iraq and the events of the Arab Spring. In any event, the worse part of what can and could have easily been resolved, and not involve anyone outside the Ukraine, is that both Russia and Ukraine are embroiled in a mess that does not profit either of them and shatters the harmony between them; despite being two nations that have the same origin and common history, and were born in the kingdom of Kievan Rus. It is only due to Mongol, Tartar, Ottoman, Germanic and Polish invasions and colonisation, with the attempted impositions of Papal Catholicism and Islam, that created the distinctions and separate identities of what has now become Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, each with their own distinct dialect/language, in spite of being one and the same.
In actual fact, the name “Ukraine” comes from an Old Eastern Slavic term which means “borderland”, in order to denote the constant invasions and colonisations to which the “Rus” of the region were subjected to. And it was due to these historical events, that the Metropolitans of Kiev were encouraged by the Princes of Moscow, to reside in their free city for certain amounts of time, in order to ensure the survival of Orthodoxy in those “borderlands” which we now know as the Ukraine and Belarus. And it was because of Moscow’s relative independence, that encouraged the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople which had spiritual authority over the “Rus”, to found through synod, the establishment of the Patriachate of Moscow as opposed to Kiev, in order to serve the ecclesial needs of these lands which are now three separate nations.
In light of such facts, there should be a relationship of close cooperation, as the geography of both nations in itself, indicates they both have long-term mutual economic and strategic interests. But since the fall of the Soviet Union and the break-up of the Eastern Bloc, American and Western European governments and businesses have been quick to exploit the hardships of the peoples of all these lands from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland and so forth. And with it, has come a successful propaganda programme, selling to the peoples of Eastern Europe, the benefits of NATO and EU membership, free market globalised capitalism and other such things, without reference to the cost to their own nations’ strategic interests, economics, culture or sovereignty. The phenomenal growth of the sex and drug trades in places like the Ukraine, since the collapse of Communism and the opening to Western influence is a case in point. Yet the Ukraine has been enticed and propositioned by Western powers to set up NATO military and missile bases upon her territory, money grants have been offered, EU membership has been promoted as a solution to economic woes and other such things.
Consequently, many Ukrainians have been seduced by the idea that NATO and EU membership will bring gold, prosperity and a better life to the people, when in reality, the prospects are an uncertain future like that of debt-ridden Greece which is now being forced to adopt in addition to financial measures, policies which go contrary to that nation’s strategic interests, and attacks its own cultural norms and institutions, some of which, were debated about and rejected by the Ukrainian public (like questions of same sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research). Similar experiences have occurred in other nations such as Spain and Portugal, or Orthodox nations like Bulgaria, Romania or Slovakia to name a few. In full, there is no pot of gold at the end of the tunnel.
Suffice to say it, if we look at the longer term and not what is being offered to the Ukrainians here and now, we must bear in mind that the Ukraine’s infrastructure is dependent and serviced by Russian energy resources. And that as we have seen with the fall of Communism, in the absence of an effective counterbalance to the “Washington alliance” there are fewer options for countries like the Ukraine to ensure their own survival via their political and economic interests. Without doubt the resurgence and strength of a more dynamic and stronger Russia, that pursues an alternative and indepe
ndent foreign and economic policy, is certainly a thorn in the side of the West. And as we can see, the West is using the Ukrainians not for the benefit of the Ukrainians, but as a means to get at the Russians.
In full the Ukrainians are as expendable as past Western allies like Iran or Iraq, or current allies like Greece-Cyprus whose territorial existence have often been compromised or threatened by policies like the Acheson Plan and then threatened by fellow NATO “allies” for not complying. And as much as the West may scream about Russian intervention in Crimea, it cannot compare to the crimes that the West committed in creating Kossovo, by sponsoring the atrocities of the “Kossovo Liberation Army” that had proven links to CIA operatives and Jihadists from the Middle East, Sudan and Afghanistan. And the actions of the KLA, as many may recall, had prompted the heavy handed response of the dictator Milosevic, which of course then justified the NATO bombing of Serbia and the subsequent uprisings in Belgrade for Milosevic’s overthrow. Nor can the sponsoring of jihadists in Bosnia be forgotten, which prompted Croatians and Serbs to form their own militia and paramilitary groups that responded with similar atrocities. Though interestingly enough, only the Serb atrocities were reported, and Serbs demonised in Western mass media. This of course ignores totally, that the conflict which the West fuelled, has its origins in centuries of oppression and Islamic imperialism that Bosnian and Albanian overlords meted out to Croats and Serbs with Ottoman blessing, and to which these overlords had played the Croats and Serbs against each other, which was repeated in the so-called Bosnian war. Thus the Western powers’ knowledge of geopolitics and how to manipulate historic “faultlines” and “cleavages” were exercised to great effect.
The Ukraine is no different, in that the Ukraine’s difficult history of invasion and colonisation, has put it at odds with neighbouring countries, and that it has had some very negative experiences of Russian and Soviet rule, which naturally leaves the Ukrainians susceptible to Western manipulation and persuasion. The Western powers know very well that they can play on those historical experiences to great effect as well as Ukrainian nationalism, in order to put Russia on the defensive and threaten their very existence, which could then force the Russians to retreat on their foreign policy victories on Syria and Iran.
Yet in any case, the fundamental point that we must not forget, is that the Ukrainians have been struggling to work towards building their country and form democratic institutions. Such a process is long and arduous and cannot be achieved through violence and extremism. The rule of law and dialogue is a necessary pre-condition for success in such an endeavour, together with the imposition of a framework for accountability in decision-making processes. But to assert that a government is corrupt and grounds for riot, is counterproductive because the daily business of politics in an given part of the world, democratic or not, involves varying degrees of corruption, which reveals ultimately the imperfect and deceitful nature of political vocation. The key to overcoming the negative effects of corruption though, is to develop systems of clear responsibility in governance and to channel corruption into positive modes of functioning that can benefit a nation. That of course, some would call true politicking!
Nonetheless, the Ukraine has seen far more corruptible governments (IE. Tymoshenko) than that of the deposed Yanukovich in its recent history, and that in some sense the country was making progress, even though economic hardship does not reflect the slow successes that Ukrainians were achieving. In any case, elections were due and public opinion was varied, which could have easily seen Yanukovich voted out of power or retained, but the matter is now academic given his removal by violent extremists, whose sole aim was to begin a civil war, not too dissimilar to that which was sponsored by the West in Syria. However in Syria’s case the truth about its civil strife has come out, whereas in the Ukraine’s case it has yet to come out; and one wonders that if the troubles are prolonged long enough, we might actually get to see the real truth behind the crisis, just as questions over Venezuela are now being raised with civil strife there also.
But as one lecturer in political science once pointed out to me many years ago, always ask questions to analyse a situation, and at the core of the line of questioning, key amongst them must be the question, “Who stands to gain from the outcome?” If we take this suggestion and apply it to our Ukrainian scenario, then the winner without a doubt stands to be the West. Because if Russia intervenes out of self-defence, or actually invades the Ukraine, then it will be seen as the aggressor and lose much of its political capital in public opinion around the world, while the Western mass-media would demonise Russia and Putin further. The Ukrainians on the other hand, will be painted as the victims of Russia, and the feelings of hatred towards Russians will definitely be fanned, while those who are pro-Russian will fight to defend their perspective, and so the nation will be torn apart and become an easy target for Western business and political interests, with Washington using events there for grounds to establish military and missile bases in the Ukraine. Either way, as long as there’s conflict, the West stands poised to win this battle, but should Russia adopt a strong military stance, how far is the “Washington alliance” willing to back their disgusting foreign policy?
Suffice to say it, from an Orthodox Christian standpoint, humility and dialogue could have easily avoided the passions of bloodlust, greed, pride and lust for power that has now been given free reign in the Ukraine. The results speak for themselves. But then again, politics generally and from historical experience is by nature a deceitful, volatile and dirty profession, but that reflects of course the imperfections and volatility of humankind, which the Church Fathers cite is our preponderance and predisposition towards sin, despite our inherent goodness and creativity.
 We hesitate also in the fact that it is our duty to remain apolitical, and we are by interests apolitical, because what we see in the political realm on all sides of politics in every country makes us sick to the stomach; because when held before the harsh discerning and critical light of the Gospel, we see many things are lacking in sound governance or in political thought and vision across the globe, and the rights of people are overlooked or trespassed against, while communal responsibility is also eschewed by fashionable trends in political thought and practice.
 Yet from the Orthodox Christian viewpoint, these faultlines of Bosnia and Kossovo should have been overcome long ago and reconciliation occur, because all are guilty of crimes, whether the Bosnians, the Serbs, the Croats or the Albanians, but because there was greed and stubbornness, they are all left with the consequences of their actions and those outside of the Balkans have profited from their suffering.
GRAND PUPPETMASTER BRZEZINSKI DIRECTING WAR STRATEGIES FROM THE SHADOWS
By Mike Whitney
“From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders…This crisis is in part the result of a zero-sum calculation that has shaped US policy toward Moscow since the Cold War: Any loss for Russia is an American victory, and anything positive that happens to, for, or in Russia is bad for the United States. This is an approach that intensifies confrontation, rather than soothing it.”
– Stephen Kinzer, “US a full partner in Ukraine debacle”, Boston Globe
“We have removed all of our heavy weapons from the European part of Russia and put them behind the Urals” and “reduced our Armed Forces by 300,000. We have taken several other steps required by the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces Treaty in Europe (ACAF). But what have we seen in response? Eastern Europe is receiving new weapons, two new military bases are being set up in Romania and in Bulgaria, and there are two new missile launch areas — a radar in Czech republic and missile systems in Poland. And we are asking ourselves the question: what is going on? Russia is disarming unilaterally. But if we disarm unilaterally then we would like to see our partners be willing to do the same thing in Europe. On the contrary, Europe is being pumped full of new weapons systems. And of course we cannot help but be concerned.”
– Russian President Vladimir Putin, Munich Conference on Security Policy, February 2007
The Obama administration’s rationale for supporting the fascist-led coup in Ukraine collapsed on Wednesday when a “hacked” phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who fired on protestors in Maidan Square in Kiev were not aligned with President Viktor Yanukovych, but with the protest leaders themselves. The significance of the discovery cannot be overstated since the Obama team has used the killing of protestors to justify its support for the new imposter government. Now it appears that members of the new government may be implicated in the killing of innocent civilians. This new information could force Obama to withdraw his support for the coup plotters in Kiev, which would derail the administration’s plan to remove Russia from the Crimea and expand NATO into Ukraine. Here’s a short recap of the details from an article in Russia Today:
“Estonian foreign ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.
During the conversation, Paet stressed that “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”….
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement on its website, saying that the recording of the leaked telephone conversation between Paet and Ashton is “authentic.” (“Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call on Kiev snipers“, Russia Today)
To its credit, the UK Guardian published an article reporting the basic facts, but there’s been no coverage by the New York Times, the Washington Post or any of the major TV News networks. America’s elite media are engaged in a coordinated news blackout to keep people from seeing that the Obama administration and their EU collaborators are supporting a group of far-right extremists who were directly involved in the killing of civilians in order to topple a democratically-elected government. Here’s more from the same article:
“…there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet says…the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.” (“Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers“, Guardian)
There won’t be an investigation because an investigation would reveal the truth, and the truth would undermine Obama’s plan to install a puppet regime in Kiev. The new government has already shown that it is more than willing to do Washington’s bidding, that is, to impose austerity measures on the working people of Ukraine, to pay off fatcat bondholders in Berlin and Brussels via more extortionist IMF loans, to extend NATO to Russia’s border in contravention of agreements made with Bush the Elder following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and to pursue the crackpot dreams of global hegemony laid out in “The Grand Chessboard” by New World Order fantasist Zbigniew Brzezinski. These are the primary objectives of the present policy which could be upended by the allegations of foul play.
The smoking gun revelations of the hacked phone call came just hours before US officials indicated they were planning to increase their military footprint in Eastern Europe. According to the World Socialist Web Site:
“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon will boost joint training of NATO forces in Poland and step up NATO air patrols in the Baltics…US military officials said they were deploying six F-15 fighter jets and KC-135 transport planes. ….One guided-missile frigate, the USS Taylor, is still in a Black Sea port in Turkey after patrolling the region during the Sochi Olympics…
Turkish officials confirmed that they had given a US Navy warship permission to pass through the Bosphorus straits into the Black Sea, which borders Ukraine.” (“Amid Ukraine crisis, US launches military escalation in Eastern Europe”, World Socialist Web Site)
Also Russia Today reports that: “The guided missile destroyer, the USS Truxton, is heading to the Black Sea, for what the US military said is a “routine” deployment…The ship has a crew of about 300 and is part of an aircraft carrier strike group that left the US in mid-February.” (“US navy confirms missile destroyer USS Truxton approaching the Black Sea”, RT)
“Routine deployment”? So provoking a war with Russia is “routine”? Talk about understatement.
The military escalation occurs in an atmosphere of heightened tension between the two nuclear-armed powers and will certainly add to their mutual distrust. Hagel’s deployment is consistent with a plan for antagonizing Moscow that was proposed just days earlier in the Washington Post by the Obama administration’s ideological godfather, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Here’s a bit of what Brzezinski had to say in the article titled “What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response”:
“…the West should promptly
recognize the current government of Ukraine as legitimate. Uncertainty regarding its legal status could tempt Putin to repeat his Crimean charade…
“…the West should convey.. that the Ukrainian army can count on immediate and direct Western aid so as to enhance its defensive capabilities. There should be no doubt left in Putin’s mind that an attack on Ukraine would precipitate a prolonged and costly engagement, and Ukrainians should not fear that they would be left in the lurch.
Meanwhile, NATO forces, consistent with the organization’s contingency planning, should be put on alert. High readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U.S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful. If the West wants to avoid a conflict, there should be no ambiguity in the Kremlin as to what might be precipitated by further adventurist use of force in the middle of Europe.” (“What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response”, Washington Post)
“Adventurist”? Dr. Strangelove is calling the Kremlin adventurist when his recommendations would put NATO, the US and Moscow on hairtrigger alert increasing the chances of an error in judgment that could lead to thermonuclear war. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?
But listen to the tone of Brzezinski’s op-ed. In just a few short paragraphs, the author–who many respect as a restrained and brilliant global strategist–refers to Putin as a thug, a Mafia gangster, Mussolini, and Hitler. I imagine if he had another paragraph to work with, he would have added Beelzebub Satan to the list.
This isn’t politics; it’s hysterics. It’s incendiary, jingoistic mumbo-jumbo intended to rouse the public and fan the flames of nationalism. It’s the same kind of self-righteous raving that precipitated the invasion of Iraq.
And what is Brzezinski saying?
Is he saying that events in the Crimea are a threat to US national security? Is he saying that the US should now feel free to apply the Monroe Doctrine everywhere across the planet, sticking our big nose wherever the president sees fit?
The trouble in the Crimea has nothing to do with the United States. We have no dog in this fight. This is about military expansion into Eurasia, this is about pipeline corridors and oil fields, this is about dismantling the Russian Federation and positioning multinational corporations and Wall Street investment banks in Asia for the new century. And, finally, this is an ego-driven crusade by an old man who wants to see his looneybin NWO global hegemony vision enacted before they cart him off on a marble slab. That’s what this is really about; the glorious new world disorder, the dystopian wetdream of thinktank patricians everywhere whose only purpose in life is to initiate wars that other-peoples-sons will have to fight.
Entering Ukraine into the corporate-western alliance is a critical part of Brzezinski’s masterplan. The basic strategy has been underway since the fall of the Berlin Wall when neoliberal carpetbaggers from the US assisted in the looting of the former Soviet state leaving Russia politically broken and economically destitute. Since then, US policy towards Russia has been overtly hostile, making every effort to encircle the oil-rich nation while positioning nuclear missile installations on its perimeter. Now Washington is using its fascist-backed coup in Ukraine to force Moscow to relinquish its grip on a region that is vital to its national security.
Here’s a brief excerpt from an interview with Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies and history emeritus at New York University on Monday on PBS Newshour. Cohen helps to clarify what is really going on vis a vis the US and Russia:
“What we’re watching today is the worst kind of history being made, the descent of a new Cold War divide between West and East in Europe, this time not in faraway Berlin, but right on Russia’s borders through Ukraine. That will be instability and the prospect of war for decades to come for our kids and our grandchildren. The official version is that Putin is to blame; he did this. But it simply isn’t true. This began 20 years ago when Clinton began the movement of NATO toward Russia, a movement that’s continued.
…the fundamental issue here is that, three or four years ago, Putin made absolutely clear he had two red lines…One was in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. (Putin would not allow NATO in Georgia) The other was in Ukraine. We crossed both. You got a war in Georgia in 2008, and you have got today in Ukraine because we, the United States and Europe, crossed Putin’s red line.” (PBS News Hour)
There’s no doubt who is to blame for the present conflict in Cohen’s mind. It’s Washington.
So, here we are, between a rock and a hard place: Putin cannot back down on an issue that’s crucial to national security, and Washington is more determined than ever to pull Ukraine into –what Henry Kissinger calls–”a cooperative international system.” (aka–global capitalist rule) That means there’s going to be a war.
On Thursday, Crimea MPs voted unanimously to hold a referendum on whether the region should become a part of Russia or not. The balloting will take place in 10 days although Obama has already said that he will not honor the results. Apparently, other countries need to get the green-light from Washington before they conduct their elections now. This is how ridiculous things have gotten.
In 2008, Brzezinski revealed the real motives behind US aggression in Central Asia in an article that appeared in the Huffington Post that dealt primarily with the dust up in Georgia. (where Putin deployed Russian troops to defend Russian speaking civilians in South Ossetia.) Here’s what Brzezinski had to say:
“The question the international community now confronts is how to respond to a Russia that engages in the blatant use of force with larger imperial designs in mind: to reintegrate the former Soviet space under the Kremlin’s control and to cut Western access to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia by gaining control over the Baku/Ceyhan pipeline that runs through Georgia.
In brief, the stakes are very significant. At stake is access to oil as that resource grows ever more scarce and expensive and how a major power conducts itself in our newly interdependent world, conduct that should be based on accommodation and consensus, not on brute force.
If Georgia is subverted, not only will the West be cut off from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. We can logically anticipate that Putin, if not resisted, will use the same tactics toward the Ukraine. Putin has already made public threats against Ukraine.” (“Brzezinski: Russia’s invasion of Georgia is Reminiscent of Stalin’s attack on Finland”; Huffington Post)
Huh? It sounds a lot like Brzezinski thinks that oil should be his. Or maybe he thinks it belongs to the western oil giants; is that it?
So we’re not dealing with nat
ional security, sovereignty or spheres of influence here. What we’re really talking about is “access to oil.” Not only that, but Brzezinski is being quite blunt in his assertion that “the West” –as he calls it–has a legitimate claim to the resources on other people’s land. Where’d he come up with that one?
In another interview on Kavkacenter.com, in 2008, Brzezinski sounded the same alarm with a slightly different twist. Here’s an excerpt from the article titled ”Russia tends to destabilize Georgia”:
“Brzezinski said the United States witnessed “cases of possible threats by Russia… motivated not by some territorial disputes….but caused by intention to take control over the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline”.
“If Georgia government is destabilized, western access to Baku, Caspian Sea and further will be limited”, said Brzezinski …. he stated that Russia will try to consolidate its monopoly on these markets and will use all existing political and economic levers, including “politically motivated cessation of energy supplies” in Europe and Baltic states.
“Russia actively tends to isolate the Central Asian region from direct access to world economy, especially to energy supplies”, considers the political scientist.” (“Zbigniew Brzezinski: ”Russia tends to destabilize Georgia” kavkacenter.com)
Putin is not isolating anyone and he’s certainly not taking over anyone’s damned pipeline. He’s the president of Russia. He sells oil and makes money, that’s how the system works. It’s called capitalism. But the oil is theirs. The natural gas is theirs. The pipelines are theirs. Not ours. Get over it!
Don’t kid yourself, it’s all about oil. Oil and power. The United States imperial ambitions are thoroughly marinated in oil, access to oil, and control of oil. Without oil, there’s no empire, no dollar hegemony, no overbloated, bullyboy military throwing weaker countries against the wall and extorting tribute. Oil is the coin of the realm, the path to global domination.
Putin has audacity to think that the oil beneath Russian soil belongs to Russia. Washington wants to change his mind about that. And that’s why the situation in Ukraine is so dangerous, because the voracious thirst for oil is pushing us all towards another world war.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ACCUSES US OF PROVOKING UKRAINIAN CRISIS
Diverting from the typical Western line against “Russia’s invasion of Crimea,” former Ohio congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said it was driven by covert action by the United States.
Kucinich made the comments Tuesday evening while speaking to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, arguing American meddling in Ukraine’s affairs is what sparked the current situation in the first place and that Ukrainians were being exploited by Western powers.
Asked how he’d handle the tense standoff if he were president, Kucinich said the following:
“What I’d do is not have USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy working with U.S. taxpayers’ money to knock off an elected government in Ukraine, which is what they did. I wouldn’t try to force the people of Ukraine into a deal with NATO against their interest or into a deal with the European Union, which is against their economic interest.”
“So, it’s the USA’s fault that Putin rolled in? We made them do it?” O’Reilly asked.
“Bill O’Reilly, if you don’t believe in cause and effect, I don’t know what I can do for you,” Kucinich said.
In February, Kucinich penned a column for the Huffington Post in which he argued the Association Agreement floated between by the European Union would be used to draw Ukraine “into the broad military arrangement with EU nations,” ultimately giving NATO positioning in a country bordering Russia.
When now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovich turned down the EU agreement to move closer to Moscow, pro-Western protests erupted in Kiev. Eventually, Yanukovich fled the country, resulting in a split between pro-Russian populations in Ukraine and those in favor of closer ties to Europe.
“From what I’m hearing, you’re blaming the USA for subverting Ukraine in the first place, thereby giving Putin a pass to go in and invade,” O’Reilly said.
“That’s close,” Kucinich responded. “We should be concerned about the Ukrainian people, because they’re being used right now. They would be used by the IMF in a new austerity program, by NATO to go on the doorstep of Russia.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is no consensus between the United States and Russia regarding whether or not the troops in Crimea constitute an invading force. Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the idea on Tuesday, saying the soldiers are part of Crimea’s self-defense forces and that Moscow is not looking to go to war with Ukraine.
According to the Associated Press, a White House official said the US is not demanding a full withdrawal by Russia. Instead, he said the US is calling for Moscow to pull its troops back to their normal operating positions and reduce their number to the 11,000 sanctioned by its agreement with Ukraine. According to a report by RT on Tuesday, however, the Russian navy is permitted up to 25,000 troops on the Crimean peninsula.
THOSE WHO SEIZED POWER IN KIEV WANT TO SOUR RELATIONS BETWEEN WEST AND RUSSIA – LAVROV
The suggestion of Kiev’s new self-proclaimed government to swap economic aid for the placement of US missile defense shield looks too much like an attempt to sour relations between the West and Russia, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Financial aid to the self-proclaimed government in Kiev is currently being discussed, with US secretary of st
ate John Kerry arriving on Tuesday. Although the Russian Foreign Minister said it had heard no previous mention of the swap, earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Belorus, Mikhail Ezhal did mention that such an idea was in the works. When asked about this suggestion at a news conference with his Spanish counterpart, Lavrov said that ” if it is true, then we have another example wherein, completely unhindered by our Western partners, those who have taken over the Rada are trying to gamble on the relationship between Russia and the West, and are trying to cause frictions in this relationship with their attempts at fishing in murky waters.”
Lavrov, for his part, believes that such ways of doing business aren’t serious enough and that “our Western partners are well aware of these games.”
The American missile defense shield in Europe has been a continued topic of contention between Russia and the US. The idea was supposedly always aimed at deterring threats from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, but Russia was never convinced. In November 2013, a welcome progress was reached in the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program, but that was followed by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel making a phone call to his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu to say that this “does not eliminate the need for US and European allies to continue implementing missile defense plans in Europe,” according to the Department’s website.
The Russian FM made a number of other observations on how the Ukrainian crisis has unfolded, believing its escalation to be tantamount to an armed coup aided by the West. “We are certain that the root of all problems here is that the international community did not react to the anti-government protests in time; they were carried out by armed men and accompanied with grossly illegal violations. Instead, [the international community] praised those protests.”he said.
“In essence, it was an armed coup,” the Russian FM added
The foreign minister went on to say that Moscow pledges to do its utmost to prevent further bloodshed and threats to civilian lives.
In this sense, Lavrov believes that strong foreign praise for the unconstitutional uprising is counterproductive to those aims.
According to Lavrov, special attention should have been given to the February-21 agreement between ousted President Yanukovich and Ukraine’s opposition, which was designed to ease the political deadlock in the country.
The EU-brokered agreement, signed by President Yanukovich and the opposition, sought an immediate cessation of hostilities. Part of the agreement was a limiting of presidential powers in favor of giving the Rada more, as well as a return to the 2004 constitution. A national unity government was also promised by the two sides and Presidential elections were to be held as soon as the new Constitution was adopted, but no later than December 2014.
THREATS OF SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINE LOOK LIKE BLACKMAIL – LAVROV
Threats of sanctions against the Ukrainian government look like blackmail, and a demand for early elections is a way to force Kiev towards the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. The sanctions will only encourage extremists, he added.
Lavrov on Thursday blasted the sanctions against Ukraine, some of which have already been imposed by the US, and are now being eyed by the EU, as “double standards.” Such actions will only encourage extremists to continue violence in the country, he said.
“The [Ukrainian] opposition cannot or does not want to dissociate itself from extremists. The US lays all the blame on the Ukrainian government – this is a double standard,” Lavrov said.
“The EU is also trying to discuss the imposing of sanctions, at the same time there are uninvited missions coming to Ukraine. Such actions resemble blackmail,” the minister said.
Not only are such threats “inappropriate,” but also will aggravate the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, has said.
There is “no doubt” there is a “plain coup attempt” going on in Ukraine, with armed rioters widely using firearms, the spokesman added.
“We strongly condemn the actions of radicals and extremists, who are mostly responsible for violence and bloody riots. Serious responsibility also lies with the opposition, who have been unable to fulfill the agreements reached with the government,” Lukashevich said.
The so-called Maidan leaders must “immediately stop bloodshed” and “continue seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis without threats or ultimatums,” he stressed.
Russia’s President Putin, in response to Yanukovich’s proposal, is going to send ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to Kiev to mediate talks between the government and the opposition, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, after the two leaders spoke on the phone.
“It’s well known that Lukin has vast diplomatic service experience, is admired among rights activists and used to lead a large opposition party,” Peskov said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukashevich said that there are plenty of “false flag reports,” such as Russian riot police taking part in quelling the riots, which are distributed over social networks and by “some politicians.”
“As regards to the accusations of Russia, there is a proverb saying that guilty mind is never at ease. We are deeply concerned with what is happening and how the Western states are commenting on it and are trying to affect it. In Western media, the situation is presented in an extremely perverted way, some simple mantras are hammered into heads like that the West is calling on the government to keep its hands off Maidan,” Lavrov said.
However, the Western politicians and media prefer not to go into detail on what is happening on Maidan.
“Police pelted with Molotov cocktails, the killings, the seizure of buildings – none of that is being commented on or explained,” the minister said.
The individual sanctions that the US and the EU are trying to impose are “absolutely illegitimate” from the point of view of the international law, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The only legitimate sanctions can be imposed by the UN Security Council, the ministry stressed.
Another senior Russian diplomat said that an information war has begun in Ukraine creating a dangerous situation.
“Invented stories about mass hostage taking and murders are being spread via social networking services. All this creates a very dangerous atmosphere,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday. The official, who is
currently on a working visit to Kiev, said the issue was discussed during his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.
THE FOLLOWING ARE VARIOUS COMMENTS PASSED ONTO MODE OF LIFE
We may not agree with the following statements but their presence is to promote or challenge private thought. The comments have remained anonymous due to the nasty emails that were sent to Mode of Life Project’s email addressed to the names of those commenting in previous article pieces like comments we published on the Syria crisis.
*1. I wonder why the rioters are so well coordinated, so well equiped and now – as I see on news – they have weapons. It’s clear that the protesters have some paramilitary strategy. Ukraine is vast, western Ukraine is more pro-west but Ukraine should look at Eastern EU countries. There is no gold, no fairy tale palaces and Mercedes. Only EU Directives supporting homosexuals and forcing atheism and secularism
*2. What happens in Ukraine now is showing the weakness of president Yanukovich, lack of his leadership abilities through turbulence and lack of skills to navigate thru change. If he is a legitimate president than he has to put to an end the “armed riot” of those “euromaidan&quo t; supporters. There is a vast part of Ukrainians who also has a right choosing btwn CU and Euro:
Eastern Ukraine, Crimea & Odessa with their moreless strong (compared within their country) industrial potentials are more Custom Union oriented. So why only Euro-supporters are counted? where are the democratic values left such as a freedom of choice?
*3. The western media are saying that the Russians are the evil ones who cause the Ukrainian riots, while the Russian media are saying that the Western countries are the ones who’re evil and stirring the troubles… Personally, i think it’s a fight between Russia and the Euro-American alliance, OR that there are powergames played between politics and bankers about who can get the money from the Ukraine first. I say: Radicals, go away and the government must do what is needed to get peace back, and maybe resign after that, because they can’t solve the EU-Russia polarization. Choose what is best for the people!
*4. I don’t see how the Ukrainian population could have been duped by the EU propaganda. They have the same internet as everyone else. They could have learned how the EU, World Bank and IMF pillage the nations dumb enough to have anything to do with them. As one commentator noted, “Look at what happened to Poland.” Putin offered, “A discount in the cost of natural gas”. The EU notified Ukraine that there would be a “gradual increase” in the price of natural gas! Good luck digging yourselves out of the hole you have put yourselves in!
*5. Anyone with any respect for law and order, would recognize these provisional coup radicals in Keiv have clearly committed a breach of the agreement that would have brought transition smoothly and democraticaly . The UN has no choice but to intervene and adjudicate in this matter so that justice can be instituted in response to this clear violation of International Law. Russia has acted in good faith, and acted appropriately in it’s intervention and quelling any further violence of these terrorists overthrowing the Legal Authorities and killing of innocent civilians. Whether the legal authorities are corrupt or not, they are still the official authorities, and can be removed by less violent and radical means.
*6. The Ukraine needs to have the right of self determination and that means without the US, EU or Russian interference. While I believe Russia has the right to protect it’s military bases, it has no right to field troops in civilian areas of Ukraine. If it’s truly protection of Russians in Crimea that is of interest, then get them safely out of Crimea and pull troops out to allow calm
*7. There should be no support for Facist groups lie those which are now attacking civilians and waging war against the authorities. Shame on all Western Diplomats for even talking to these people. I cant believe this. Even if they are just a small minority, which they obviously are not, you don’t talk and make politics with these kind of people.
*8. lt cannot be excluded that the thugs conspired with the CIA to provoke a civil war, which Yanukovich tried to prevent by having the police abstain from any more harsh enforcement of law. Any civil war so started by the thugs would have been made into Yanukovich’s fault – same as in Syria, where the military was too quick to respond to isolated shots from the crowd. Yanukovich so far treaded quite intelligently and intentionally softly to prevent war. But now people want to hold that against him. It is true that the non-sensical comments from the EU and USA escalate the problem. The real difficulty of the situation is that Yanukovich was in a double bind: while he wanted to use force to stop the violent protests, with the EU and USA clamoring against any strict end to “peaceful protests”, the danger that the protests would have escalated into a full fledged civil war was very large. To prevent that, Yanukovich restrained the police into only cordoning off government buildings. That gave the thugs the time to further organize, build barricades and attack with more and more violence until the situation is now difficult to stop because the police is not strong enough without using force.
*9. The US is trying to spread its values. Mainly global tyranny, is what it wants.
At home the US pretends it has democracy while this is actually not at all true. Its a facade, the politicians try to brainwash into people everyday, that the US is a democracy, even though it is not (consider the powers bestowed by “Patriot Act” and other similar legislation). Yet by repeating the same message often enough, people go around thinking that this sub-standard pretend democracy is an actual democracy and a justice system for all.
Not at all. Its a savage state, ruled by a cynical political class willing to do anything for power. The US is morally bankrupt and completely corrupt and want to spread these values. And so the US continues to use and abuse its own satraps (slave states) in Europe. In any ccase, if I was a Christian, I would say that Satan resides in the US.
*10. This Ukraine situation is so sad and pathetic because you see the whole nation being bullied by couple of EU and US paid wannabees. If I was living in Ukraine, I would try to organise some peaceful pro-goverment protests to go in between police and these riot facist morons. If they did I anything to us, I would lead the attack against these traitors.
*11. The Ukrainian crisis reads for me as the story of the Netherlands. A handful of protesters started the rise of now leading politicians (neo liberals). They used deceitful tactics till today, in order to silence a majority. Many unpopular outcomes have been the results, like an unsustainable intake of immigrants, and violent desert religion import not willing to integrate or respect the nation’s culture or laws. These are the results we live with, and I see the same thing happening in the Ukraine which is being pushed towards a pro-NATO and pro-EU position by a minority who have deceived Ukrainians and utilise the memory of abuses by Russia in the past to valida
te their arguments. But, the EU is not known, whereas Russia is known, and so the EU has more appeal. But the truth is, the EU is a lot more devious in their dealings than Russia, and that has been made evident in Eastern European EU countries as well as Greece, Spain and Portugal. Of course the difference with the Netherlands, is that in Ukraine’s case, its gas and money, in the ground that is the reason for this whole lie of a crisis
*12. The assertion that the Ukrainian politicians are corrupt and take “corrupted money” is laughable as it sounds like a line from FOX News..!!!!! The truth is, corruption is everywhere, in every country of the world irrespective of their political and legal systems. Maybe Americans should look at their own political authorities, like how multinational corporations support Presidential canidates financially! And then what about all those senators in the senate and congressmen in the lower house? How is it that a lot of them are millionares or billionares? Does one really think they are there to serve the people?
Give me a break!
*13. It is interesting to observe how paid far right protesters, think they can pull off regime change in a country of 45 million that have been to the polls and elected Yanukovich.
*14. The US and the rest of the wild west are getting in the habbit of aiding rioters in destabilising various nations, and yet they ignore the majority will in those nations. Yet it seems that the Ukraine is a game plan to shift attention from Obama’s failure in Syria, when the whole world saw clearly, including Americans for a change, that it was all a web of lies, just like Iraq, Libya and Kossovo.
*15. To those who say: “The Ukraine government should have let the people decide”
I cite that the people did decide in 2010 – they chose Yanukovich, with all his faults over the corrupt Tymoshenko. The people will again decide in 2015. This time, I think Yanukovich will win again, as the Opposition has likely been disgraced in the eyes of most centralist voters. Who will vote for a party that uses violent thugs to try to force an elected president from his position in a non-constitutional manner?
*16. The situation in the Ukraine looks like blackmail against the Ukrainian authorities, because one can see the desperation being shown by the US and EU; since neither can obtain UN sanctions to remove the existing government. As far as it can be seen, is that the Western media has gone into over-drive in trying to demonise Russia and the Ukrainian government, and yet Mr. Yanukovich has still shown considerable restraint. Had these sort of protests happened in the US, many protestors would have been tasered–or worse, especially under the Patriot Act and other similar legislation which Mr Obama passed through in silence and even outside of Congressional sessions, including over New Year breaks. To call the Russians or Yanukovitch as questionable or tyrannical is stupid
*17. It seems that the so-called Ukrainian opposition forces, are paid mercenaries meddling with the elected government. These people are not demonstrators but thugs with weapons trying to force their will on the people of Ukraine and their elected officials. The EU/US are behind this as they try to impose their corporate, one world order on the rest of the planet. But this brings us to the questions that we should ask, Will President Yanukovich be re-elected and what do the current polls say?
*18. Undoubtedly amongst the protestors at Maidan, there are people that are against corruption and want better living conditions, etc. But we cannot escape the fact, that the main core of these protests, have been formed from the very beginning by the fascist faction of Svoboda, who have noted that they were and are willing to use violent force to achieve their desires, and to win popular support by utilising the grievances of those people protesting for a better life. And it is these people who are susceptible or gullible to accept Svoboda’s supposed “sincerity” about fighting their cause. This is not dissimilar to the rise of Communism, Nazism and Fascism that occurred in the post World War I era, (Hitler came to power on the tribulations that the Germans suffered, and he succeeded manipulating them to his own end). Thus the direction of the Ukrainian protests had only 1 goal – to bring down the government and stage a coup.
*19 There seems to be is a distinct pattern to how these things work as we are now seeing in Venezuela and Ukraine, and it is the same game plan that has been applied in Libya and Syria.
Step 1: Incite uprisings against the gov using provocateurs and social media.
Step 2: Increase violence against gov. using provocateurs to escalate situation.
Step 3: Grow uprising and allow them access to firearms.
Step 4: Use predictable government response of force as justification to invade country to help the ‘Oppressed people’, because Americans love a revolution for democracy right?
*20. Regime Change is the goal of the EU and USA. I can imagine how the USA would react if foreigners came to the US and supported Regime Change in the USA.
If only some foreigners did! What a great show that would be, seeing Washington politicians scuttling like the bugs they are for cover and screaming “unfair”!
*21. People are attacking the Russians for their policy stance, but what have they been saying all along? It’s the same thing they said in Syria’s case and have been saying in the Ukraine’s case: They are calling for Yanukcovych to step down, new elections and restoration of the 2004 constitution. Thus the Russian solution prior to any mobilisation in response to the deteriorating situation was a call for the protestors to stop the violence and settle this in a democratic and civil manner.
*22. It is said that Russia supports Assad in Syria and Iran, and does this not make Russia automatically an enemy of America, for does not the old saying go: the friend of my enemy is my enemy. So to remove Russia from the Middle Eastern scene, what better way to put them on the defensive, than to stir things up on their doorstep and encourage more Eastern European countries to join the EU and NATO and place missile and military bases on those lands facing Russia. And then to argue with Russia that there should be non-proliferation and push them to withdraw their forces behind the Urals so to not be a threat to Europe.
Thus, if Russia loses her base in the Crimea they cannot dock in Tartus either…
Yet behind the scenes I see the Israeli hand playing its role within the Ukrainian KERFUFFLE…. The irony is that to the Israeli people, it’s not in their interests to see the overthrow of Assad, but to their authorities, they seek Assad’s overthrow. And that adds to the paradox of world affairs in today’s current climate.
*23. Not enough debt! I suspect that this Ukrainian issue is about.
Money , money, money.
Ukraine’s debt to GDP ratio is about 40% and the Zionist banksters in NY want it to be 100% (like USA at 104%). That is about 100 billion US$ or $2400 per Ukrainian or $5000 per Ukraine taxpayer.
A country that does not have massive debt is a TARGET for US regime change. Don’t forget, 47 million impoverished Americans rely on food stamps to avoid starvation, while a few billionaires with their money in tax free offshore accounts tell the millionaires in Congress what to do.
*24. All the aid on the table being offered, including an IMF loan, are amounts half of what Russia offered in a single year. No wonder then tha
t Yanukovich chose Russia’s bid and deal over the EU’s. A no brainer as they say. Yes, the Ukrainian uprising was an armed coup, as Lavrov described it.
The Maiden traitors, now appear to have ordered the murders of their own people protestors, were installed while the Right Sector invaded many government buildings including the parliament, with weapons backing up threats and unlawful impositions.
*25. Why do the hawks in Washington think that other people are so stupid? Worst still, why do people not realise that the U.S is manipulating and wrecking their countries? I am sorry for the American citizens because they are led by a bunch of manipulators and liars. If they cannot see the misery they caused in Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. what hope is there for them. Pity the poor American soldiers that are sent to fight these dirty wars. I am glad that Russia can moderate the American onslaught. Hopefully they will run out of money soon or the Americans themselves have a revolution. It is in vogue these days.
*26. Very, very few American legislators have spoken out against the actions of the USA in Ukraine. When Kucinich was in Washington, before he was defeated by redistricting, because he told the truth, he was nearly alone in pointing out how successive US governments have been supporting innumerable wars over the past thirty or so years.
Go Dennis, I know the Democrats will not allow you to win but at least your message will be heard by more citizens, some of whom might actually use their brains for a change and see through the hypocrisy that parades as government in the USA.
*27. In the US you only have 2 political parties of any importance.And they are divided into factions.You have the Democratic Party,where you have a small growing left-wing faction. And the rest of the party goes to the right,from center-right,to a small hard-right. The Republicans are the opposite,a right-wing party mostly.A small moderate mini-faction,slightl y larger center-right.And a large and growing hard-right faction.Both parties are funded by the oligarch class .And rarely can agree on anything beneficial to the average citizen.The politicians are largely owned by wealthy special interests,and corporations.
*28. I wish the US population would listen to Kucinich on this Ukrainian crisis issue. But he belongs to a mini-faction of democrats. And is considered a joke of a candidate in his party. In the US you have to have multi-millions of dollars, mostly from the American oligarchs to buy the kind of propaganda you need to run for President. Without money, and elite backing, you get nowhere there.The right-wing “teaparty” groups were funded by the neo-nazi Koch brothers. A pair of billionaire oligarchs. And the real left doesn’t exist. What in the US is considered left, wouldn’t even be Social Democrats in Europe.
*29. Only a strong Russia can assure peace by counter-balancing American power. In the last few years, a weak Russia allowed the West to dominate the world. And we see the countless wars and takeovers that have resulted. The West is so mad at Putin, because Russia has finally stood up to them. If Russia wants to survive as a strong, united state, they have to continue to stand up. Weakness, will allow them to destroy Russia, and have free reign to control the entire world. It will be years before China would be able to rival them. And without Russia standing up to them. The West will turn on China as soon as they are through destroying Russia.
*30. It is wonderful to see Dennis Kucinich running again for president he is a very very brave man! The world is ruled by gangsters and thugs, through murder and mayhem they achieve their goals. Since their 911 stunt, America has not been America any longer. With Obama’s confrontation with Russia he has gone OVER THE LINE! The American people must wake up from their fluoride induced apathy and realize this is a dangerous man that occupies our Whitehouse that must be Impeached!
*31. Even former congressman.. like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are in line with the way RT explain everything about Ukraine. They are largely ignored in the west because their views does not promote the Globalist agenda. Therefore the American people need to back the men who speak the truth, Ron Paul, Jesse Ventura, Glenn Beck etc. Remember President John F Kennedy was assassinated under very questionable and mysterious circumstances of which documents that are slowly being declassified are only beginning to reveal.