U.S. troops will train Ukrainian forces (Including Azov Battalion) in ultra-nationalist stronghold

On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.

This bill violates the Minsk agreements. These actions by the United States and by Ukraine violate the Minsk agreements.

From Rick Rozoff

Interfax-Ukraine
March 30, 2015

U.S. army personnel to train National Guardsmen in Lviv region

On April 20, U.S. army personnel will arrive at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region to participate in a joint military exercise with National Guard of Ukraine personnel, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.

American commandos, numbering 290, will come to Yavoriv training ground, Lviv region, on April 20. This is where a long-term military exercise of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and combat units of the National Guard will be held,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Avakov said that 900 guardsmen will participate in the exercise.

“Three parts with 300 national guardsmen each. Three parts for eight weeks each. Then the joint exercise [will be held],” he said.

According to Avakov, the following battalions will take part in the exercise – Azov [Right Sector], Kulchynsky Yahuar (jaguar), Omega, and others from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia.

“Our American partners will present special ammunition and communication devices to the National Guard detachments that underwent training at the end of the exercise,” he said.

Avakov also said that preparative work between the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Guard had been completed.

I’m grateful to Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and the employees of U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Without their vigor, the important and complicated preparation of training would have been impossible,” Avakov said, and he added that the agreement on the military exercise had been reached during negotiations between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.

On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.

On March 22, U.S. Department of Defense reported it was taking the necessary measures to organize the military exercises, and that it would dispatch U.S. army personnel to Ukraine to train National Guard personnel

In keeping with the scheduled exercises, the Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukraine-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 drills scheduled for March through November 2015. Up to 2,200 servicemen will participate: up to 200 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, up to 1,000 National Guard of Ukraine personnel, and up to 1,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel.

From July to October 2015, the international center for peacekeeping and security in Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015 exercises. The total number of participants will be up to 2,100 servicemen. This will include 1,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, 500 U.S. Armed Forces personnel, and up to 600 from NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program.

Servicemen from the 173rd Sky Soldiers airborne brigade stationed in Vicenza, Italy, will be sent to Ukraine to train six National Guard companies with an emphasis on domestic security and territorial defense, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren had said.

He said that the training program is part of a long-term strategy to improve Ukraine’s defense potential and capabilities, and to increase the professionalism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

According to Warren, the program will be similar to the ones held in Ukraine since 1995, and he added that the United States was holding joint exercises with parties and allies in Europe, and also throughout the world.

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Argo vs. Waking up in Tehran — what happened in 1979? Hollywood propaganda vs. historical reality

The book Waking Up in Tehran by Margot Lachlan White, which David Swanson describes as a “magnificent modern epic”, was apparently never published. What happened to her and the book? It is not hard to imagine the pressure from Israel and the United States to make sure it did not see the light of day, especially in light of the experiences she describes. There are a few reviews online and a podcast interview.

It’s more timely than ever to get this book published and/or posted online.

Posted on War is a Crime.org, January 11, 2013
Waking up in Tehran
by David Swanson

According to one theory, U.S.-Iranian relations began around November 1979 when a crowd of irrational religious nutcases violently seized the U.S. embassy in Iran, took the employees hostage, tortured them, and held them until scared into freeing them by the arrival of a new sheriff in Washington, a man named Ronald Reagan.  From that day to this, according to this popular theory, Iran has been run by a bunch of subhuman lunatics with whom rational people couldn’t really talk if they wanted to.  These monsters only understand force.  And they have been moments away from developing and using nuclear weapons against us for decades now.  Moments away, I tell you!

According to another theory — a quaint little notion that I like to refer to as “verifiable history” — the CIA, operating out of that U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1953, maliciously and illegally overthrew a relatively democratic and liberal parliamentary government, and with it the 1951 Time magazine man of the year Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, because Mossadegh insisted that Iran’s oil wealth enrich Iranians rather than foreign corporations.  The CIA installed a dictatorship run by the Shah of Iran who quickly became a major source of profits for U.S. weapons makers, and his nation a testing ground for surveillance techniques and human rights abuses.  The U.S. government encouraged the Shah’s development of a nuclear energy program.  But the Shah impoverished and alienated the people of Iran, including hundreds of thousands educated abroad.  A secular pro-democracy revolution nonviolently overthrew the Shah in January 1979, but it was a revolution without a leader or a plan for governing.  It was co-opted by rightwing religious forces led by a man who pretended briefly to favor democratic reform.  The U.S. government, operating out of the same embassy despised by many in Iran since 1953, explored possible means of keeping the Shah in power, but some in the CIA worked to facilitate what they saw as the second best option: a theocracy that would substitute religious fanaticism and oppression for populist and nationalist demands.  When the U.S. embassy was taken over by an unarmed crowd the next November, immediately following the public announcement of the Shah’s arrival in the United States, and with fears of another U.S.-led coup widespread in Tehran, a sit-in planned for two or three days was co-opted, as the whole revolution had been, by mullahs with connections to the CIA and an extremely anti-democratic agenda.  They later made a deal with U.S. Republicans, as Robert Parry and others have well documented, to keep the hostage crisis going until Carter lost the 1980 presidential election to Ronald Reagan.  Reagan’s government secretly renewed weapons sales to the new Iranian dictatorship despite its public anti-American stance and with no more concern for its religious fervor than for that of future al Qaeda leaders who would spend the 1980s fighting the Soviets with U.S. weapons in Afghanistan.  At the same time, the Reagan administration made similarly profitable deals with Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq, which had launched a war on Iran and continued it with U.S. support through the length of the Reagan presidency.  The mad military investment in the United States that took off with Reagan and again with George W. Bush, and which continues to this day, has made the nation of Iran — which asserts its serious independence from U.S. rule — a target of threatened war and actual sanctions and terrorism.

Ben Affleck was asked by Rolling Stone magazine, “What do you think the Iranians’ reaction is gonna be?” to Affleck’s movie Argo, which depicts a side-story about six embassy employees who, in 1979, avoided being taken hostage.  Affleck, mixing bits of truth and mythology, just as in the movie itself, replied:

“Who the FUCK knows – who knows if their reaction is going to be anything? This is still the same Stalinist, oppressive regime that was in place when the hostages were taken. There was no rhyme or reason to this action. What’s interesting is that people later figured out that Khomeini just used the hostages to consolidate power internally and marginalize the moderates and everyone in America was going, ‘What the fuck’s wrong with these people?’ You know, ‘What do they want from us?’ It was because it wasn’t about us. It was about Khomeini holding on to power and being able to say to his political opponents, of which he had many, ‘You’re either with us or you’re with the Americans’ – which is, of course, a tactic that works really well. That revolution was a students’ revolution. There were students and communists and secularists and merchants and Islamists, it’s just that Khomeini fucking slowly took it for himself.”

The takeover of the embassy is an action virtually no one would advocate in retrospect, but asserting that it lacked rhyme or reason requires willful ignorance of Iranian-U.S. relations.  Claiming that nobody knew what the hostage-takers wanted requires erasing from history their very clear demands for the Shah to be returned to stand trial, for Iranian money in U.S. banks to be returned to Iran, and for the United States to commit to never again interfering in Iranian politics.  In fact, not only were those demands clearly made, but they are almost indisputably reasonable demands.  A dictator guilty of murder, torture, and countless other abuses should have stood trial, and should have been extradited to do so, as required by treaty.  Money belonging to the Iranian government under a dictatorship should have been returned to a new Iranian government, not pocketed by a U.S. bank.  And for one nation to agree not to interfere in another’s politics is merely to agree to compliance with the most fundamental requirement of legal international relations.

Argo devotes its first 2 minutes or so to the 1953 background of the 1979 drama.  Blink and you’ll miss it, as I’m betting most viewers do.  For a richer understanding of what was happening in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s I have a better recommendation than watching Argo.  For a truly magnificent modern epic I strongly encourage getting a hold of the forthcoming masterpiece by M. Lachlan White, titled Waking Up in Tehran: Love and Intrigue in Revolutionary Iran, due to be published this spring.  Weighing in at well over 300,000 words, or about 100,000 more than Moby Dick, Waking Up in Tehran is the memoir of Margot White, an American human rights activist who became an ally of pro-democracy Iranian student groups in 1977, traveled to Iran, supported the revolution, met with the hostage-takers in the embassy, became a public figure, worked with the Kurdish resistance when the new regime attacked the Kurds for being infidels, married an Iranian, and was at home with her husband in Tehran when armed representatives of the government finally banged on the door.  I’m not going to give away what happened next.  This book will transport you into the world of a gripping novel, but you’ll emerge with a political, cultural, and even linguistic education.  This is an action-adventure that would, in fact, make an excellent movie — or even a film trilogy.  It’s also an historical document.

There are sections in which White relates conversations with her friends and colleagues in Iran, including their speculations as to who was behind what government intrigue.  A few of these speculations strike me as in need of more serious support.  They also strike me as helpful in understanding the viewpoints of Iranians at the time.  Had I edited this book I might have framed them a little differently, but I wouldn’t have left them out.  I wouldn’t have left anything out.  This is a several-hundred-page love letter from a woman to her husband and from an activist to humanity.  It is intensely romantic and as honest as cold steel.  It starts in 1977.

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“U.S. human rights abusers not welcome in Venezuela.” President Maduro calls for “global rebellion against US imperialism”

Posted on Global Research
From Venezuela Analysis.com, March 2, 2015
By Raphael Boothroyd

Caracas, March 2nd 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) The Venezuelan government has responded to increased pressure from Washington by revoking visa rights for former US politicians such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, described by President Nicolas Maduro as “terrorists against the peoples of the world” on Saturday.

“I have decided on a prohibition list for people who will not be permitted visas and who can never enter Venezuela, for a set of chief US politicians who have committed human rights violations. They have bombed the people of Iraq, the people of Syria, the people of Vietnam… It is an anti-terrorist list,” declared the head of state to an impassioned crowd.

The statements were part of a rousing speech delivered by the president on Saturday to thousands of marchers who had taken to the streets of Caracas to reject White House interference in the South American country. The march was a direct response to a string of further US sanctions enacted against the Venezuelan government in early February and to what Maduro characterised as a “moment of increased aggression” from the Obama administration. The head of state went on to call for a “global rebellion against US imperialism”.

“The US thinks it is the boss, the police of the world… Something happens somewhere, let’s say in Asia, and a spokesperson for the US comes out saying that the US government thinks that such and such a government shouldn’t do such and such a thing in Asia… Are we going to accept a global government? Enough of imperialism in the world!” stated an incensed Maduro.

During his speech, the head of state also announced a slew of new diplomatic measures against the US which include the implementation of visa requirements for all US citizens visiting Venezuela.

“They must pay what Venezuelans pay when they want to travel to the United States,” said the president.

Maduro explained that the changes were designed to “protect” Venezuelans, after a number of US citizens were discovered to be taking part in acts of espionage by Venezuelan authorities.

One of the most recent detections includes the pilot of a US airplane who was stopped and questioned by authorities on the border last week. A number of US citizens were also detained last year for their participation in the armed barricades or Guarimbas which sought to bring down the government and led to the deaths of at least 43 Venezuelans.

Despite the latest measures, Maduro emphasised that Venezuela continued to value its relationship with US citizens.

“You can count on the fact that the people of Bolivar respect the people of the US, and recognise in you a brother peoples, these decisions are against the imperialist elite,” he stated.

The new measures will see the number of staff at the US embassy in Caracas significantly reduced and US representatives obliged to inform Venezuelan authorities of any meetings that they intend to hold.

The diplomatic institution currently has over 100 employees, in comparison to just 17 who work at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, has explained that the US diplomatic mission will be obliged to reduce its staffing numbers to 17 over the next 2 weeks.

Tense Relations 

Recently the US embassy in Caracas has become embroiled in a diplomatic altercation with the Maduro administration which has intensified since the discovery of a planned coup against the government in February. The Venezuelan head of state has accused the White House of conspiring against his government and charged embassy personnel with having advanced knowledge of the coup plot, which was allegedly being funded in US dollars from Miami.

Prior to the discovery of the coup, the US embassy was reported to have attempted to bribe senior military and government officials to partake in insurrectionist actions against the government. US Vice-president Joe Biden also made a series of statements accusing the Venezuelan government of repression following a meeting with the wife of jailed opposition leader, Liliana Tintori.

Current opinion polls suggest significant support amongst the population for government actions against the US. According to a February poll conducted by opposition aligned think tank, Hinerlaces, 92% of Venezuelans oppose any kind of foreign intervention while 62% think that the US should not be allowed to pass judgement on the country’s internal affairs.

In 2014, the US government issued 103 statements against Venezuela and another 65 since the start of the year. Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration also approved increased funding for Venezuelan opposition groups and Non-Governmental Organisations.

 

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11245

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-human-rights-abusers-not-welcome-in-venezuela-president-maduro-calls-for-global-rebellion-against-us-imperialism/5434546

Former Ukrainian security chief: EuroMaidan leaders hired the snipers that killed police and protesters

Andriy Parubiy, named in this report, visited Washington DC this week (February 25) to ask for more weapons for the Kiev regime.

From Kyiv Post, March 13, 2014
Katya Gorchinskaya

Former State Security Head of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakimenko blames Ukraine’s current government for hiring snipers on Feb. 20, when dozens of people were killed and hundreds more wounded. The victims were mainly EuroMaidan Revolution demonstrations, but some police officers were also killed. This was the deadliest day during the EuroMaidan Revolution, a three-month uprising that claimed 100 lives.

Yakimenko also blamed the United States for organizing and financing the revolution by bringing illegal cash in using diplomatic mail.

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine dismissed the charges as ludicrous, while another official with the current government called the accusations “cynical” propaganda with no factual basis.

… … …

Yakimenko made these and other accusations in a 10-minute exclusive interview to Russia’s Vesti channel in an undisclosed location.

“The shots sounded from the building of Philharmonics,” Yakimenko told Vesti. “This was the building supervised by (now National Security Council Chief Andriy) Parubiy.”

He said the snipers were shooting in the back of the running police, as well as at protesters. He said there were two groups of “well-dressed” snipers, each composed of 10 people, operating in the building. Yakimenko said their exit was witnessed by both SBU operatives and protesters themselves.

He said one of the groups of snipers disappeared, but the other one relocated to Hotel Ukraina and continued to kill the protesters at a slower pace. Yakimenko said at that point representatives of Svoboda and Right Sector appealed to him to deploy SBU’s special unit Alfa to destroy the snipers.

Yakimenko claims that he was ready to do it, but did not get the permission of Parubiy, who supervised the self-defense forces.

“To get inside EuroMaidan I needed Parubiy’s permission because the forces of self-defense would hit me in the back,” Yakimenko said. “But Parubiy did not give me such a permission.”

Not a single weapon could get onto Maidan without Parubiy’s permission,” he said, adding that EuroMaidan protesters used mercenaries from former defense ministry’s special units, as well as foreign mercenaries, including those from former Yugoslavia.

… … ….

Yankimenko says that Parubiy, as well as a number of other organizers of EuroMaidan, received direct orders from the U.S. government. Among those people he named former and current intelligence chiefs Mykola Malomuzh and Viktor Gvozd, former Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and leader of the opposition Petro Poroshenko.

“These are the forces that were doing everything they were told by the leaders and representatives of the United States,” he says. “They, in essence lived in the U.S. embassy. There wasn’t a day when they did not visit the embassy.”

… … …

SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko is also accused of playing to the tune of the Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine commented on these accusations in just one word: “ludicrous.”

All orders were given either by the U.S. or EU ambassador Jan Tombinski, “who in essence is a Polish citizen.”

“The role of Poland cannot be underestimated,” Yakimenko said. “It dreams about restoring its old wish, Rzeczpospolita.”

The EU Delegation had no comment about the accusations.

The former SBU chief also talked at length about the financing of EuroMaidan protests, saying much of it came directly from the U.S., and that some Ukrainian oligarchs, including Poroshenko, Dmytro Firtash and Viktor Pinchuk.

“From the beginning of Maidan we as a special service noticed a significant increase of diplomatic cargo to various embassies, western embassies located in Ukraine,” says Yakimenko. “It was tens of times greater than usual diplomatic cargo supplies.” He says that right after such shipments crisp, new U.S. dollar bills were spotted on Maidan.

He said Ukraine’s oligarchs were also financing Maidan because they were “hostages of the situation and had no choice” because most of their assets are located in the west.

Source with extensive information on the Maidan snipers:
http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fifth_column/Color_revolutions/Euromaydan/sniper_gate.shtml

Original post (WARNING: this is a Ukrainian media website)http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/yakimenko-blames-maidan-organizers-for-hiring-snipers-us-for-financing-revoultion-in-ukraine-339179.html