March 10, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– TzVezda – Translated by James Harmon
March 10, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
March 10, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– TzVezda – Translated by James Harmon
From Fort Russ
Fort Russ, May 27th, 2016 by Tatzhit
Before we discuss the mindblowing-yet-ignored facts in an official report on the Maidan events written for the Council of Europe, let’s briefly discuss two more subjects:
Almost always, time dedicated to watching or reading the mainstream “news” would be better spent going through official documents and reports. Today’s theoretically “open” governments leave a lot of detailed information buried in their websites, as no one reads it anyway. Oftentimes, very interesting findings are just a couple Google searches away.
Let me repeat that: THE VAST MAJORITY OF PROTESTERS DIDN’T EVEN READ THE DOCUMENT THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY THE MAIN REASON THEY OVERTHREW THE GOVERNMENT.
I can’t even express how crazy this is.
Let me try to explain by comparing to Russia’s Bolshevik revolution:
In 1917, even the rank-and-file members of revolutionary factions knew the key ideological points, what were the main laws/reforms their parties wanted to implement, and why. Many/most activists actually read the source material, and could competently argue economics and government policy. Political factions were formed around councils that discussed all of these things.
On the other hand, the Maidan “revolutionary” structure wasn’t built around individual groups of thinkers. The organization included fighting units, the medical branch, the food&shelter branch, a transport/car branch… But no branch concerned with analysis and making decisions. Maidan was an animal with horns, stomach and legs, but no brain. And it was largely intentionally engineered that way – by outside forces, for their gain. The same is true of many other modern social movements [note 1].
<somewhat related video on the genesis and anatomy of Maidan, part of THIS larger article – ed.>
From DONi News
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague started an investigation of the Ukrainian Institute of legal policy and social protection’s complaint concerning the participation of the current authorities’ representatives in murders on Maidan – the Head of the Institute, the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Irina Berezhnaya.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague started an investigation of our complaint concerning the participation of members of the current Ukrainian authorities in massacre on Maidan.
She explained that the court would consider some episodes, in particular, the cases on the first dead on “Maidan” and an attempt of the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Sergey Pashinsky to bring away a sniper rifle without being seen, and also the shooting of participants of “Maidan” and law enforcement authorities by the unknown snipers on February 20, 2014.
Berezhnaya has also published the letter from the International Criminal Court in a social network with a promise to consider the complaint quickly.
DONi News Agency
From Fort Russ
“Maidan was also our operation. The snipers were trained in Poland. These terrorists shot 40 demonstrators and 20 police officers on the Maidan in order to provoke riots,” – said the EU Parliament Deputy and presidential candidate Janusz Korwin-Mikke.
From Fort Russ
April 19, 2015
Korwin-Mikke: Maidan snipers were trained in Poland.
By Joanna Stanislawska
Translated from Polish by J.Hawk
JKM: Poland does not have a conflict of interests with Russia. We have no problems on the Polish-Russian border. Fostering a militaristic state of mind is not useful to us, only to the US. It’s hard to agree with people like Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, since he is crazy, but he is fair to call us as Washington’s stooges.
Wirtualna Polska: But such sentiments are only natural given Russia’s aggressive policies. It’s difficult to ignore Iskander missiles on our borders.
JKM: Just a second! The Iskanders appeared there only recently, after Poland launched a hundred brutal verbal assaults on Russia, and after US armored cavalry paraded on Polish territory. I am a poker player, and in poker one has to think like the opponent. From Russia’s perspective, the situation looks as follows: in the last twenty years NATO had swallowed up the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and wants to lay its paws on Ukraine. Moreover, they tore Kosovo away from Serbia, attacked Muammar Qaddafi (may he rest in peace), and now are attacking the only defender of Christianity in the Middle East, His Excellency Bashar al-Assad, only because they are Russia’s allies. One can find an internet meme which says “Russians want war. Look how they placed their country close to NATO bases.” So I’m asking, who’s the aggressor?
Wirtualna Polska: The Ukrainians might have a different view on this matter.
JKM: Unfortunately they can thank the Americans for all that. Russia had a fairly friendly president in Ukraine in the person of Mr. Viktor Yanukovych. And Russia had no intention of taking anything away. It was also the ideal situation for us, because it is in Poland’s interest for Ukraine to exist as an independent state, but also a weak one. That’s what Maidan destroyed. US State Department official Victoria Nuland openly admitted that the US spent $5 billion to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. We are dealing with US aggression in Ukraine. Putin is only pulling chestnuts out of the fire.
Wirtualna Polska: But that’s the money that the US had spent since 1991 to democratize Ukraine. They were not spent to organize the Maidan. Do you believe that it was a CIA operation?
JKM: Yes—and it was also our operation. The snipers were also trained in Poland. Even Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung already wrote who was really shooting on the Maidan. The terrorists had shot 40 demonstrators and 20 police officers in order to provoke riots. The truth is finally coming out.
WP: Why would Poland want to train those, as you call them, “terrorists”?
JKM: Let me say this again: we are doing a favor to Washington [J.Hawk note: JKM here is making a play on words, because the word “favor” is only one letter away from “blow-job”, which was the word used, and also with reference to Washington, by the former Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski who complained Poland is not getting sufficient appreciation from the US.]
WP: Fine, but do you have any proof?
JKM: I sit in the EU Parliament next to Mr. Urmas Paetz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia who acknowledged in a telephone conversation with Baroness Catherine Ashton that it was “our people” who shot on the Maidan, and not Yanukovych’s people, or Putin’s people. Trained by us, in Western countries.
WP: I don’t know what Paetz and Ashton talked about, but Putin certainly said this. You are repeating Russian propaganda theses. It’s difficult to consider as consistent with Poland’s national interest.
JKM: His Excellency Vladimir Putin said it two months after Mr. Paetz. I believe in St. Augustine’s principle, “may the world perish, but justice must be done.” If the Russians, through the mouth of Sergey Lavrov, say that they did not violate the Budapest Memorandum, they are lying like dogs, but when they are right, we have to acknowledge it.
WP: NATO has a defensive doctrine, while Putin is arming on a massive scale, is sending tanks and heavy equipment to Ukraine, and you claim this is not an aggressive policy?
JKM: What NATO? The Americans! War is useful only from the American point of view. There are interest groups in the US which are pushing for armed conflict: defense industry, financiers, some politicians, generals, but also many people (some of whom I know personally) from among the neoconservatives. They are analyzing the situation with cold logic: we have built the mightiest army in the world, but we also have 14 trillion dollars in debt, and we can’t afford further development. China, which supports Russia, will soon overtake us, therefore if we are to preserve our global hegemony, we have to start a war, in a few years at the latest. Ukraine is a very convenient pretext. At present time Poland is in a position to prevent World War III.
WP: In what way?
JKM: By declaring neutrality when it comes to Ukraine. Like Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Belarus, which don’t take part in the anti-Russian frenzy. We might save the world if we deprive the US Army from access to Ukraine.
WP: The Kremlin occupied Crimea, and through the pro-Russian separatists it is lawlessly occupying the Eastern Ukraine, but we are supposed to say that nothing happened?
JKM: The Crimean situation is clear. Russia used the Kosovo precedent. Because why can one tear Kosovo away from Serbia, but can’t tear Crimea away from Ukraine? The Russians warned that whoever recognizes Kosovo’s independence gives assent to similar situations in the future. The Donbass is not as obvious, but here Ukraine made a mistake. It should have given up Crimea and placed its military on the border with Russia. Instead it began to scream, but the effect of screaming was that it lost Crimea regardless, while the inhabitants of the Donbass felt that they might succeed too.
WP: So we should have left Ukraine to its own devices?
JKM: It makes no difference to Poland whether Ukraine has Crimea and Donbass or not. We also have to remember that any help to Ukraine is help to people who, at least in Western Ukraine, hate us. Their heroes are Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych who are responsible for the genocide of Polish civilian population in Podolia, Volhynya, and Eastern Little Poland, where up to 100 thousand were killed. Those are fascists.
WP: Once again you are repeating Russian propaganda.
JKM: You have to admit that the Russians have a point when using the term “fascists” to describe, for example, the Right Sector. His Excellency Vladimir Putin should be thanked for one thing: thanks to his actions, the Ukrainians had begun to hate Russians more than Poles.
WP: Why do you believe that Putin would be a great president of Poland?
JKM: Because he is strong and decisive. The more unhappy they are with him in Europe, the better president he is from Russia’s point of view. We also need a president whom our neighbors would fear.
WP: Might Warsaw be hit with nuclear weapons?
JKM: I doubt Putin would use nuclear weapons against a country that does not have them and which does not threaten Russia. There is no such risk, in this matter Putin is entirely rational.
J.Hawk’s Comment: This is part of a longer interview dealing with a whole range of issues—the translation above covers only parts relevant to Russia and Ukraine. I should also note that Janusz Korwin-Mikke was one of the first Polish politicians to openly state that the CIA was operating a torture site on Polish soil, something that the Polish government strenuously denied—until the US itself acknowledged it. Will the “Maidan sniper” story follow a similar path?
Snipers firing on police and protestors. Repeating themes.
Global Research, Re-posted March 15, 2015
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Originally posted May 3, 2011
Four Years Ago, March 17, 2011:
Was it a Protest movement or an Armed insurrection integrated by US-Israeli supported death squads?
This article first published in May 2011 recounts the events of March 17-18, 2011 in Daraa, a small border town with Jordan.
The Daraa “protest movement” on March 17-18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence.
Government sources pointed to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel).
In chorus, the Western media described the events in Daraa as a protest movement against Bashar Al Assad.
In a bitter irony, the deaths of policemen were higher than those of “demonstrators”.
In Daraa, roof top snipers were targeting both police and demonstrators.
Reading between the lines of Israeli and Lebanese news reports (which acknowledge the police deaths) a clearer picture of what happened in Daraa on March 17-18 had emerged. The Israel National News Report (which can not have be accused of being biased in favor of Bashar al Assad) confirmed that:
“Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday. … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added)
The Lebanese news report also acknowledged the killings of seven policemen in Daraa.
[They were killed] “during clashes between the security forces and protesters… They got killed trying to drive away protesters during demonstration in Dara’a”
The Lebanese Ya Libnan report quoting Al Jazeera also acknowledged that protesters had “burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a” (emphasis added)
These news reports of the events in Daraa confirmed that from the very outset this was not a “peaceful protest” as claimed by the Western media. There was evidence of acts of arson directed government buildings as well sniper firing from rooftops, shooting at police and demonstrators, similar to what occurred in late February 2014 in Maidan square. Moreover, from an assessment of the initial casualty figures (Israel News), there were more policemen than demonstrators who were killed.
This is significant because it suggests that the police force may have initially been outnumbered by a well organized armed gang of professional killers.
What was clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson.
The title of the Israeli news report summarized what happened: Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protest
The US-NATO-Israel agenda consisted in supporting an Al Qaeda affiliated insurgency integrated by death squads. President Bashar al Assad was then to be blamed for killing his own people.
Does it Sound familiar?
The same “false flag” strategy of killing innocent civilians was used during the Ukraine Maidan protest movement.
A year ago, on February 20th, 2014, professional snipers were shooting at both demonstrators and policemen with a view to accusing president Viktor Yanukovych of “mass murder.”
It was subsequently revealed that these snipers were controlled by the opponents of president Yanukovych, who are now part of the coalition government.
The “humanitarian mandate” of the US and its allies is sustained by diabolical “false flag” attacks which consist in killing civilians with a view to breaking the legitimacy of governments which refuse to abide by the diktats of Washington and its allies.
Michel Chossudovsky, March 15, 2015
SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 3, 2011
There is evidence of gross media manipulation and falsification from the outset of the protest movement in southern Syria on March 17th .
The Western media has presented the events in Syria as part of the broader Arab pro-democracy protest movement, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia, to Egypt, and from Libya to Syria.
Media coverage has focussed on the Syrian police and armed forces, which are accused of indiscriminately shooting and killing unarmed “pro-democracy” demonstrators. While these police shootings did indeed occur, what the media failed to mention is that among the demonstrators there were armed gunmen as well as snipers who were shooting at both the security forces and the protesters.
The death figures presented in the reports are often unsubstantiated. Many of the reports are “according to witnesses”. The images and video footages aired on Al Jazeera and CNN do not always correspond to the events which are being covered by the news reports.
There is certainly cause for social unrest and mass protest in Syria: unemployment has increased in recent year, social conditions have deteriorated, particularly since the adoption in 2006 of sweeping economic reforms under IMF guidance. The IMF’s “economic medicine” includes austerity measures, a freeze on wages, the deregulation of the financial system, trade reform and privatization. (See IMF Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation Mission’s Concluding Statement, http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2006/051406.htm, 2006)
With a government dominated by the minority Alawite (an offshoot of Shia Islam), Syria is no “model society” with regard to civil rights and freedom of expression. It nonetheless constitutes the only (remaining) independent secular state in the Arab world. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is inherited from the dominant Baath party, which integrates Muslims, Christians and Druze. Continue reading
Posted on Global Research from Washington’s Blog
Random shootings are a type of false flag terror
…For example, in 1985 – as part of the “Gladio” (11-21) false flag operations – snipers attacked and shot shoppers in supermarkets randomly in Brabant county, Belgium killing twenty-eight and leaving many wounded.
Additionally, shooting both sides is a tip off that it may be a false flag.
Specifically, when authoritarian regimes want to break up protests, they might shoot protesters.
Likewise, when violent protesters shoot government employees, they might be trying to overthrow the government.
But when secretive snipers kill both protesters and the police, it is an indication of a “false flag” attacks meant to sow chaos, anger, disgust and a lack of legitimacy.
This has happened many times over the years. For example:
This happened during the Maidan protests which resulted in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, as well. Indeed, the ruthless slaughter of people by snipers was the event which turned world opinion against the then-current Ukrainian Prime Minister, and resulted in him having to flee the country.
BBC recently interviewed the head of the opposition’s security forces at the time, who confirms that snipers were killing both protesters and police:
Former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service has confirmed allegations that snipers who killed dozens of people during the violent unrest in Kiev operated from a building controlled by the opposition on Maidan square.
Shots that killed both civilians and police officers were fired from the Philharmonic Hall building in Ukraine’s capital, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine Aleksandr Yakimenko told Russia 1 channel. The building was under full control of the opposition and particularly the so-called Commandant of Maidan self-defense Andrey Parubiy who after the coup was appointed as the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Yakimenko added.
So both the chief of the government’s security forces and the head of the opposition’s security forces said that the same snipers were killing both protesters and police. While they disagree about who the snipers were, they both agree that the snipers were attempting to sow chaos.
[Current Ukrainian Health Minister Oleh] Musiy, who spent more than two months organizing medical units on Maidan, said that on Feb. 20 roughly 40 civilians and protesters were brought with fatal bullet wounds to the makeshift hospital set up near the square. But he said medics also treated three police officers whose wounds were identical.
Forensic evidence, in particular the similarity of the bullet wounds, led him and others to conclude that snipers were targeting both sides of the standoff at Maidan — and that the shootings were intended to generate a wave of revulsion so strong that it would topple Yanukovych and also justify a Russian invasion.
And the Estonian foreign minister [Urmas Paet] – after visiting Ukraine – told the EU foreign affairs minister [Catherine Ashton] that the Maidan opposition deployed the snipers – and fired on both the protesters and the police – to discredit the former government of Ukraine.
While the American media has proclaimed that the sniper fire was definitely from government forces, some of the above-cited sources dispute that claim.
Additionally, BBC reported at the time:
Reporting for Newsnight, Gabriel Gatehouse said he saw what looked like a protester shooting out of a window at the BBC’s Kiev base, the Ukraine Hotel.
And BBC recently interviewed a Maidan protester who admitted that he fired a sniper rifle at police from the Conservatory, and that he was guided by a military veteran within the Maidan resistance. Here are actual pictures a reporter took of Maidan snipers, recently published by BBC:
(There were reportedly at least 10 Maidan snipers firing from the Conservatory.)
The Frankfurther Allgemein reported last year that Maidan commander Volodymyr Parasjuk controlled the Conservatory at the time:
Volodymyr Parasjuk – the leader in “self-defense units” of the revolution who had called the night of Yanukovich’s escape, on the stage of Maidan to storm the presidential residence one year ago.
On the day of the massacre Parasjuk was staying with his unit in the colonnaded building of the Kiev Conservatory right at the Maidan. In the days before the death toll had risen, and the fighters grew the conviction alone with limited power as before will not be able to overthrow Yanukovych. “There were at that time many guys who said you have to take the weapon and attack,” said Parasjuk recalls. “Many,” he himself had since long ago it had firearms, often their officially registered hunting rifles.
Tagesschau – a German national and international television news service produced by state-run Norddeutscher Rundfunk on behalf of the German public-service television network ARD – also reported in 2014 that at least some of the sniper fire came from protesters.
And there are other photographs of protesters with rifles, such as this one from Reuters:
So the snipers might have been Maidan opposition forces shooting their own.
But – whoever the snipers were – the one thing that is clear is that they were shooting people from both sides as part of a “strategy of tension” to create maximum chaos. This hints that it may have been a highly-organized campaign of terror.
by Robert Parry
Posted on Information Clearing House, February 21, 2015
As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.
February 21, 2015 “ICH” – “Consortium News” – Many current members of Congress, especially progressives, may have envisioned how they would have handled the Tonkin Gulf crisis in 1964. In their imaginations, they would have asked probing questions and treated the dubious assertions from the White House with tough skepticism before voting on whether to give President Lyndon Johnson the authority to go to war in Vietnam.
If they had discovered what CIA and Pentagon insiders already knew – that the crucial second North Vietnamese “attack” on U.S. destroyers likely never happened and that the U.S. warships were not on some “routine” patrol but rather supporting a covert attack on North Vietnamese territory – today’s members of Congress would likely see themselves joining Sens. Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening as the only ones voting no.
Bravery in hindsight is always easy, but things feel quite different when Official Washington is locked in one of its pro-war “group thinks” when all the “important people” – from government to the media to think tanks – are pounding their chests and talking tough, as they are now on Russia and Ukraine.
Then, if you ask your probing questions and show your tough skepticism, you will have your patriotism, if not your sanity, questioned. You will be “controversialized,” “marginalized,” “pariahed.” You will be called somebody’s “apologist,” whether it’s Ho Chi Minh or Vladimir Putin.
And nobody wants to go through that because here’s the truth about Official Washington: if you run with the pack – if you stay within the herd – you’ll be safe. Even if things go terribly wrong – even if thousands of American soldiers die along with many, many more foreign civilians – you can expect little or no accountability. You will likely keep your job and may well get promoted. But if you stand in the way of the stampede, you’ll be trampled.
After all, remember what happened to Morse and Gruening in their next elections. They both lost. As one Washington insider once told me about the U.S. capital’s culture, “there’s no honor in being right too soon. People just remember that you were out of step and crazy.”
So, the choice often is to do the right thing and be crushed or to run with the pack and be safe. But there are moments when even the most craven member of Congress should look for whatever courage he or she has left and behave like a Morse or a Gruening, especially in a case like the Ukraine crisis which has the potential to spin out of control and into a nuclear confrontation.
Though the last Congress already whipped through belligerent resolutions denouncing “Russian aggression” and urging a military response – with only five Democrats and five Republicans dissenting – members of the new Congress could at least ascertain the facts that have driven the Ukraine conflict. Before the world lurches into a nuclear showdown, it might make a little sense to know what got us here.
The Nuland Phone Call Continue reading
Excerpt from annotated transcript below:
It is, and actually the only politician the people from civilian society mentioned positively was Poroshenko, so that he had some so to say trust among all these Maidan people and civilian society; and second, what was quite disturbing, the same oligarch [Poroshenko] told that well, all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers, from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides.
Well, that’s yes, …
So that and then she [Dr. Olga Bolgomets] also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can, you know, say that it’s 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; so that now there is stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.
I think that we do want to investigate. I mean I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh?
So that it was in this instance disturbing that if it’s us now to live its own life very powerfully, then it already discreditates from the very beginning also this new coalition.
Posted on Fort Russ
By Eric Zuesse, 3 Feb. 2015
That possible scenario is playing out in Ukraine, where the European Union and the United States provoked a political crisis on Russia’s border in November 2013, then backed a coup d’etat in February 2014 and have presented a one-sided account of the ensuing civil war, blaming everything on Russia.
Possibly the worst purveyor of this Cold War-style propaganda has been the New York Times, which has given its readers a steady diet of biased reporting and analysis, including now accusing the Russians for a resurgence in the fighting.
One way the Times has falsified the Ukraine narrative is by dating the origins of the crisis to several months after the crisis actually began. So, the lead story in Saturday’s editions ignored the actual chronology of events and started the clock with the appearance of Russian troops in Crimea in spring 2014.
The Times article by Rick Lyman and Andrew E. Kramer said: “A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the ‘little green men’ whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.”
In other words, the story doesn’t start in fall 2013 with the extraordinary U.S. intervention in Ukrainian political affairs – spearheaded by American neocons, such as National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain – nor with the U.S.-backed coup on Feb. 22, 2014, which ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and put one of Nuland’s chosen leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in as Prime Minister.
No, because if that history were included, Times readers might actually have a chance for a balanced understanding of this unnecessary tragedy. For propaganda purposes, it is better to start the cameras rolling only after the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from the failed state of Ukraine and rejoin Russia.
Except the Times won’t reference the lopsided referendum or the popular will of the Crimean people. It’s better to pretend that Russian troops – the “little green men” – just invaded Crimea and conquered the place against the people’s will. The Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of an agreement with Ukraine for maintaining the Russian naval base at Sevastopol.
Which leads you to the next paragraph of the Times story: “The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September  and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.”
That last point gets us to the danger of human miscalculation driven by hubris. The key error committed by the EU and compounded by the U.S. was to assume that a brazen bid to get Ukraine to repudiate its longtime relationship with Russia and to bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance would not prompt a determined Russian reaction.
Russia sees the prospect of NATO military forces and their nuclear weapons on its borders as a grave strategic threat, especially with Kiev in the hands of rabid right-wing politicians, including neo-Nazis, who regard Russia as a historic enemy. Confronted with such a danger – especially with thousands of ethnic Russians inside Ukraine being slaughtered – it was a near certainty that Russia’s leaders would not succumb meekly to Western sanctions and demands.
Yet, as long as the United States remains in thrall to the propagandistic narrative that the New York Times and other U.S. mainstream media outlets have spun, President Barack Obama will almost surely continue to ratchet up the tensions. To do otherwise would open Obama to accusations of “weakness.”
During his State of the Union address, Obama mostly presented himself as a peacemaker, but his one major deviation was when he crowed about the suffering that U.S.-organized sanctions had inflicted on Russia, whose economy, he boasted, was “in tatters.”
So, with the West swaggering and Russia facing what it considers a grave strategic threat, it’s not hard to imagine how the crisis in Ukraine could escalate into a violent clash between NATO and Russian forces with the possibility of further miscalculation bringing nuclear weapons into play.
The Actual Narrative
There’s no sign that the New York Times has any regrets about becoming a crude propaganda organ, but just in case someone is listening inside “the newspaper of record,” let’s reprise the actual narrative of the Ukraine crisis. It began not last spring, as the Times would have you believe, but rather in fall 2013 when President Yanukovych was evaluating the cost of an EU association agreement if it required an economic break with Russia.
This part of the narrative was well explained by Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, even though it has generally taken a harshly anti-Russian line. But, in a retrospective piece published a year after the crisis began, Der Spiegel acknowledged that EU and German leaders were guilty of miscalculations that contributed to the civil war in Ukraine, particularly by under-appreciating the enormous financial costs to Ukraine if it broke its historic ties to Russia.
In November 2013, Yanukovych learned from experts at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine that the total cost to the country’s economy from severing its business connections to Russia would be around $160 billion, 50 times the $3 billion figure that the EU had estimated, Der Spiegel reported.
The figure stunned Yanukovych, who pleaded for financial help that the EU couldn’t provide, the magazine said. Western loans would have to come from the International Monetary Fund, which was demanding painful “reforms” of Ukraine’s economy, structural changes that would make the hard lives of average Ukrainians even harder, including raising the price of natural gas by 40 percent and devaluing Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, by 25 percent.
With Putin offering a more generous aid package of $15 billion, Yanukovych backed out of the EU agreement but told the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 28, 2013, that he was willing to continue negotiating. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded with “a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. ‘I feel like I’m at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations,” according to Der Spiegel’s chronology of the crisis.
After the collapse of the EU deal, U.S. neocons went to work on one more “regime change” – this time in Ukraine – using the popular disappointment in western Ukraine over the failed EU agreement as a way to topple Yanukovych, the constitutionally elected president whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.
Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, a prominent neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, passed out cookies to anti-Yanukovych demonstrators at the Maidan Square in Kiev and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.”
Sen. McCain, who seems to want war pretty much everywhere, joined Ukrainian rightists onstage at the Maidan urging on the protests, and Gershman’s U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy deployed its Ukrainian political/media operatives in support of the disruptions. As early as September 2013, the NED president had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and an important step toward toppling Putin in Russia. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]
By early February 2014, Nuland was telling U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt “fuck the EU” and discussing how to “glue this thing” as she handpicked who the new leaders of Ukraine would be; “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
As violent disorders at the Maidan grew worse – with well-organized neo-Nazi militias hurling firebombs at police – the State Department and U.S. news media blamed Yanukovych. On Feb. 20, when mysterious snipers – apparently firing from positions controlled by the neo-Nazi Right Sektor – shot to death police officers and protesters, the situation spun out of control – and the American press again blamed Yanukovych.
Though Yanukovych signed a Feb. 21 agreement with three European countries accepting reduced powers and early elections, that was not enough for the coup-makers. On Feb. 22, a putsch, spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias, forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.
Remarkably, however, when the Times pretended to review this history in a January 2015 article, the Times ignored the extraordinary evidence of a U.S.-backed coup – including the scores of NED political projects, McCain’s cheerleading and Nuland’s plotting. The Times simply informed its readers that there was no coup. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]
But the Times’ propaganda on Ukraine is not just wretched journalism, it is also a dangerous ingredient in what could become a nuclear confrontation, if Americans come to believe a false narrative and thus go along with more provocative actions by their political leaders who, in turn, might feel compelled to act tough because otherwise they’d be attacked as “soft.”
In other words, even without computers seizing control of man’s nuclear weapons, man himself might blunder into a nuclear Armageddon, driven not by artificial intelligence but a lack of the human kind.