What America should know about “annexed” Crimea”: “We the People of Crimea…”

Global Research, February 09, 2017
Oriental Review 8 February 2017

The speech by the new US permanent representative to the UN Security Council, Nikki Haley, at a Security Council meeting on 3 February backed up the idea that the new administration policy on Crimea will be followed up. Haley said exactly the same nonsense as Samantha Power before her: «Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine». The White House supported Haley’s statement the same day.

It is interesting that Mrs Haley was speaking about the territory of Crimea rather than the people. I wonder how she seeks the «return» of the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine – with the people or without them? It’s a pity that this question has remained unanswered yet.

Does Nikki Haley know whether the Crimean people regard themselves as Ukrainians or not?

It is unlikely that the US ambassador to the UN wants to move the people out of Crimea so that she can give the peninsula back to Ukraine.

Especially as she would have to move not only the living, but also the dead, since the ‘Ukrainian’ history of Crimea is very short, around a quarter of a century. It is surprising that the citizen of a country whose constitution begins with the words «We the people of the United States…» is doing everything to avoid a conversation in terms of «We the people of Crimea…»

From the point of view of the people who live on the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine annexed Crimea in 1991, grossly violating the rules of international law. Crimea became part of independent Ukraine illegally, and repeated attempts by the Crimean people to redress this injustice met with opposition from Kiev.

In order to understand this, Nikki Haley just needs to be made aware of a few facts.

In 1990, the Parliament of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, which hid behind the words «Expressing the will of the people of Ukraine…» and spoke of a new state being established within the existing boundaries of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic based on the Ukrainian nation’s right to self-determination. But did the Ukrainian nation have the right to self-determination in Crimea if the number of Ukrainians on the peninsula made up only 25.8 percent of the population?

The answer is obvious – no, it did not. This was the first step in the annexation of Crimea by the Ukrainian state, which, at that point, was the Ukrainian SSR separate from the Soviet Union.

On 20 January 1991the first Crimean referendum was held on the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a subject of the USSR and as a party to the Union Treaty. (Between 1921 and 1945, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.) With a high turnout of 81.37 percent, 93.26 percent of the Crimean population voted in favour of restoring autonomy. On 12 February 1991, the restoration of the Crimean ASSR was confirmed by law: the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR accepted the results of the referendum. The Crimean people were clearly self-determining, and this self-determination differed hugely from the self-determination of the Ukrainian nation.

The Ukrainian SSR 1991 law on establishment of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, signed by the Chair of the Supreme Council of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk

So what did the Ukrainian state do next? On 24 August 1991, the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR, again on the basis of self-determination, declared the independence of Ukraine, arbitrarily identifying the Crimean ASSR as a territory of the newly established state. By doing so, the founders of Ukraine ignored a law requiring a separate referendum to be held in Crimea on the Crimean ASSR’s status within Ukraine. This was done deliberately, since Kiev knew perfectly well that the people of Crimea would never vote in favour of becoming part of Ukraine. At the same time, a huge scam to manipulate history was being prepared: on 1 December 1991, another referendum was held in the whole Ukraine including the Crimean ASSR, known as “the Ukrainian independence referendum”. The results in Crimea and Sevastopol were notably different from those in the mainland Ukraine (most of the Crimeans ignored the plebiscite), but the quorum was reached thanks to non-residents were allowed to vote at the Crimean poll stations. In this underhand way, Ukraine took its second step towards the annexation of Crimea.

A Crimean boy standing for boycott of the Ukrainian elections

The Crimeans did not agree with the Ukrainian sharp cookies, however. From the start of 1992, the number of protests began to increase – the Crimean people were outraged at the deception and demanded secession from Ukraine. Under pressure from the people, the Supreme Council of Crimea adopted the Act of State Independence of the Republic of Crimea, approved its own constitution(link in Russian), and passed a resolution to hold a referendum on 2 August 1992. It was another step towards the self-determination of the Russian majority of Crimea was pushing for lawfully and legitimately. The Constitution of Crimea began with the words: «We the people, who make up the multi-ethnic nation of Crimea and are united by centuries-old ties of a common historical fate, are free and equal in dignity and rights…»

By this time, however, Kiev had already gotten a taste for political tricking. The referendum was postponed to a later date (it was held in 1994 in the form of a public opinion poll) and the Constitution of Crimea, under pressure from Kiev, was rewritten dozens of times until the peninsula was tied to Ukraine for good. The first presidential elections took place in Crimea in 1994, but by 1995, both the position of president and the Constitution of Crimea had been abolished. In late 1998, the Ukrainian authorities brought the legislation of the Autonomous Republic of Ukraine completely in line with the legislation of Ukraine. This was the penultimate step in the annexation of Crimea, the final step being to deprive Crimea of its autonomous status by establishing a Crimean region as part of Ukraine.

Over the next decade, Kiev did not dare do this, since any attempt to raise the issue of abolishing Crimean autonomy led to large-scale protests and demands to restore the 1992 Constitution and the statehood of the Republic of Crimea. Creeping Ukrainization was also unsuccessful – moulding Crimea to be more like Ukraine did not work even in light of the 2001 census:

The February (2014) uprising in Kiev was not supported in Crimea, but attempts by Crimeans to oppose it led to tragedy: on the night of 20 and 21 February, buses taking protesting Crimeans home from a chaotic Kiev were stopped by armed nationalists in the small city of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi. The Crimeans were beaten, tortured, forced to sing the Ukrainian national anthem under threat of death, and made to pick up broken glass from the buses’ windows, which had been smashed with sticks, with their bare hands. This episode was reported in details in Andrei Kondrashov’s 2015 documentary “Crimea: way back home”:

In the referendum on 16 March 2014, the Crimean people once again confirmed their historical choice, just as the United States once did when they broke away from the British Crown. In the US Declaration of Independence, it says that the Creator endowed people with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just like Americans, Crimeans also want to live, be free and be happy. That is precisely why they spent decades trying to break away from the Ukrainian dictate, something they finally achived in 2014 when they returned to Russia.

It seems that Nikki Haley, like millions of her fellow Americans, does not know the history of the Crimean people’s struggle against its illegal annexation by Ukraine, which began in 1990 and ended in 2014. Questioning the choice of the Crimean people in 2014 seems to be the reason why the US permanent representative to the UN Security Council is keeping quiet about the Ukrainian annexation of Crimea in the 1990s. After all, no one in the world could doubt the results of the Crimean referendum held on 20 January 1991. If it is a case of the deliberate distortion of facts, however, then the situation looks a lot worse.

If you were to side with the Crimean people, then the history of Crimea’s reunification with Russia becomes simple and understandable. It is enough to know that for each territory, whether that is the US or Crimea, exactly the same words are key: «We the people…»

Source:Strategic Culture

CIA releases 1957 study on feasibility of anti-Soviet uprising in Ukraine

 Details  including maps at https://stalkerzone.org/%E2%80%8Bcia-archives-us-preparing-anti-soviet-operation-ukraine/

February 7, 2017 – Fort Russ News

BBC Russian – Translated by Kristina Kharlova

American analysts argued in a classified study from the archives of the CIA that many regions of Ukrainian SSR would have supported the anti-Soviet operation.

Written in August 1957, a report entitled “Resistance Factors and Special Forces Actions. Ukraine” was recently declassified and published.

The work on more than 200 pages was written by a group of researchers at Georgetown University by request of one of the divisions of the Ministry of Defense.

It is a complete analysis of the prospects of conducting anti-Soviet armed uprising in the Ukrainian SSR using US special forces.

Analysts laid out the mood of the population, linguistic characteristics and possible ethnic tensions in various regions of the country.

Classified report in many ways is similar to the political and social distribution in Ukraine half a century later.

Certain conclusions of the report miraculously predicted the course of the so-called “Russian spring”, particularly in respect to Donbass.

The “beatification” of Barack Obama. The “good guy” storyline is set…

By Kit
Global Research, January 16, 2017
Off Guardian 15 January 2017
Obama's farewell speech tear, one more than he ever shed for Libya, Syria or Yemen.
Obama’s farewell speech tear, one more than he ever shed for Libya, Syria or Yemen.

As the eight-year term of America’s first black President draws to a close, the media are already in the process of myth-making. There’s room for an honest autopsy of a man who promised a new kind of world, and delivered merely warmed-over soundbites and a few fake tears.

“With Barack Obama’s exit the US is losing a saint.” writes Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, whilst Ann Perkins praises his “grace, decency and defence of democracy”. Lola Okolosie rhapsodises on his legacy of “warmth, love, resilience”.

Already the storyline is set – Obama was a good man, who tried to do great things, but was undone by a Republican senate, and his own “sharp intelligence”.

These people, as much as anybody, reflect the cognitive dissonance of the modern press. “Liberals”, to use their own tortured self-descriptor, now assign the roles of good guy and bad guy based purely on aesthetics, convenience and fuel for their vanity. Actions and consequences are immaterial.

For the sake of balance, here is a list of Saint Obama’s unique achievements:

  • Obama is the first President in American history to be at war for every single day of an 8 year presidency.
  • Obama has carried out 10x more drone strikes than Bush ever did. Every Tuesday a military aide presents Obama with a “kill list”, and the “decent, gracious” Obama picks a few names off a list…and kills them. And their families. And their neighbours. These illegal acts of state-sanctioned murder have killed hundreds of civilians in 5 different countries in 2016 alone. The only reason that number isn’t higher, is that the Obama administration re-classified all males over 18 as combatants, regardless of occupation.
  • After declaring he wanted to build a “nuclear free world”, Obama committed to spending $1 TRILLION dollars on rebuilding America’s nuclear weapons.
  • Under Obama, the NSA et al. were able to spy on, essentially, the whole world. When this was revealed, not a single intelligence officer or government official was prosecuted. Instead…
  • Obama’s administration declared a “war on whistleblowers”, enacting new laws and initiating what they call the “Insider Threat Program”. Manning was prosecuted, Snowden sent into exile and Assange was set-up, discredited and (they hoped) extradited. It has never been more dangerous to be a government whistle-blower, than under Barack Obama
  • In terms of foreign policy, despite his press-created and non-sensical reputation as a non-interventionist, American Special Forces are currently operating in over 70% of the world’s 195 countries. The great lie is that, where Bush was a warmonger, Obama has sought to avoid conflict. The truth is that Obama, in the grand tradition of the CIA and American Imperial power, has simply turned all America’s wars into covert wars.
  • Before Obama came into office, Libya was the richest and most developed nation in Africa. It is now a hell-hole. Destroyed by war, hollowed-out by corruption. The “liberal” press allow him to agonise over this as his “greatest mistake”, and then gently pardon him for his good intentions. The truth is that Libya was not a mistake, or a misjudgment, or an unforeseen consequence. Libya is exactly what America wanted it to become. A failed state where everything is for sale, a base to pour illegal CIA weapons south into Africa and east into the ME. When war is your economy, chaos is good for business. When secrecy is your weapon, anarchy is ammunition. Libya went according to plan. A brutal plan that killed 100,000s and destroyed the lives of millions more. Libya, like Iraq, is a neocon success story. Syria on the other hand…
  • Syria, probably the word that will follow Obama out of office as “Iraq” did his predecessor, is a total failure. Both of stated intent and covert goals. Where the press will mourn Obama’s “indecisive nature” and wish he’d “used his big stick”, the real story is one of evil incompetence, so great that it would be almost comical…if it hadn’t destroyed an ancient seat of civilisation and killed 100,000s of people. Syria (along with Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Iran and Sudan) was on the list of the 7 countries America intended to destroy, famously “leaked” by General Wesley Clark. After the fall of Libya, Syria was (essentially) surrounded by American military on all sides. Iraq, Israel, Turkey and America operating out of Libya could pour “freedom fighters” into Syria to bring down “the regime”. When that didn’t work they deployed the trusty “WMD” method, to demand “humanitarian intervention”…the Russians saw that off. Then “ISIS” was created by the CIA, as al-Qaida were before them, and their manufactured barbarism was used as a pretext for invasion. The Russians, again, saw to it that this would not happen.
  • Perhaps in the hope of distracting Russia from the ME, or perhaps merely as a short-sighted punitive measure, the Obama’s administration next foreign policy target was Ukraine. Victoria Nuland’s own voice proves how much that “color revolution” was an American creation. Ukraine is broke, even more broke than it was, its people starve and freeze through the winter. The new “democratic government” has shelled 10,000 people to death in the East of the country….using American weapons.
  • In Yemen, the poorest country in the ME is being bombed to shreds by the richest….again, using American (and British) weapons. Obama’s “defense of democracy” doesn’t extend to criticising, or even discussing, the abhorrent Human Rights record of America’s Saudi Arabian allies, and in an act of brazen hypocrisy, even supported their chairing of the Human Rights Council of the UN.

This is the world Saint Obama has created. Guantanamo is still open, and terrorist “suspects” are still held there without trial or charge (they are probably still tortured). Other “suspects” can be simply declared guilty, and unilaterally executed…anywhere in the world. The NSA and CIA are illegally monitoring the communications of half the world. If any other leader in the world claimed even 1% of this power, they would be decried as “autocratic”, and their country denounced as a “pariah state”.

The Middle-East is ablaze from Libya to Afghanistan, and from Yemen to Turkey. Relations with Russia are as precarious as at any time since WWII, thanks to America’s efforts to break Russia economically and shatter their global influence. There is no sign that America intends to back-down (see the recent red-scare style hysteria in the American press). Likewise America has positioned itself to have a massive conflict with China in the South China Sea. Obama is, in terms of influence, nothing more than a used-car salesman. His job is not to create policy, but to sell neocon ideas to the general public, but his lack of agency cannot excuse his lack of vision or morals. Under Obama’s notional leadership the world has moved to the very brink of self-immolation in the name of protecting American hegemony. Domestically America still crumbles.

He had a nice smile, and a good turn of phrase. He was witty, and cool, and looked good in a suit…but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t just more of the same. He could say the right things, and sound like he meant them, but he was still a monster. As he moves out to pasture, the press will try to spit-shine Obama’s tarnished halo, to try to convince us that he was a good man at heart and that, as politicians go, we can’t do any better.

But yes, we can.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-beatification-of-barack-obama-the-good-guy-storyline-is-set/5568823

Ukraine in full-blown collapse; nuclear reactors at extreme risk

And so the nightmare scenario for the Ukraine is a simple one. Temperature drops below freezing and stays there for a couple of weeks. Coal and natural gas supplies run down; thermal power plants shut down; the electric grid fails; circulator pumps at the 19 nuclear reactors (which, by the way, probably haven’t been overhauled as recently as they should have been) stop pumping; meltdown!
—–
 The U.S. leaves a ticking time bomb on the doorstep of Russia, and of course, Belarus, Poland, and all the surrounding countries. Is the milk from dairy farms in North Wales safe yet to drink post-Chernobyl? 
This is a dangerous game and a trap rigged for Russia. If Russia intervenes, the U.S. and the West will cry “Russian aggression” and attack. Yet Germany, one of the U.S.’s closest allies, has so much to lose, such a wealthy country that is unplugging from nuclear, yet has Ukraine just a hair breadth away.
Wake up, Poland! The anti-Russia slander shows only how bereft of sanity some Poles are. Your future hangs in the balance, and your well-paid officials will flee to their faraway lairs if nuclear disaster erupts. 
But where can one flee on this small Earth from nuclear fallout? And if all 19 reactors go….? What then?
Your “allies”, the U.S. and Canada, are broad oceans away. This is part of the “away game.” They leave others and even their own soldiers (who they repeatedly abandon) to be at Ground Zero, while they plot from a distance. Who is their next domino?
———————-
Global Research, December 27, 2016
ClubOrlov 22 December 2016

With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what’s left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better.

In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse—all five glorious stages of it—setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.

Phase 1. Financially, the Ukrainian government is in sovereign default as of a couple of days ago. The IMF was forced to break its own rules in order to keep it on life support even though it is clearly a deadbeat. In the process, the IMF stiffed Russia, which happens to be one of its major shareholders; what gives?

Phase 2. Industry and commerce are approaching a standstill and the country is rapidly deindustrializing. Formerly, most of the trade was with Russia; this is now over. The Ukraine does not make anything that the EU might want, except maybe prostitutes. Recently, the Ukraine has been selling off its dirt. This is illegal, but, given what’s been happening there, the term “illegal” has become the stuff of comedy.

Phase 3. Politically, the Ukrainian government is a total farce. Much of it has been turned over to fly-by-night foreigners, such as the former Georgian president Saakashvili, who is a wanted criminal in his own country, which has recently stripped him of his citizenship. The parliament is stocked with criminals who bought their seat to gain immunity from prosecution, and who spend their time brawling with each other. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk was recently hauled off the podium by his crotch; how dignified is that? He seemed unfazed. Where are his testicles? Perhaps Victoria Nuland over at the US State Dept. is keeping them in a jar. This sort of action may be fun to watch on Youtube, but the reality is quite sad: those who “run” the Ukraine (if the term still applies) are only interested in one thing: stealing whatever is left.

Phase 4. Ukrainian society (if the term still applies) has been split into a number of warring factions. This was, to some extent, inevitable. What happens if you take bits of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Russia, and stick them together willy-nilly? Well, results may vary; but if you also spend $5 billion US (as the Americans did) turning the Ukrainians against Russia (and, since they are mostly Russian, against themselves), then you get a complete disaster.

Phase 5. Cultural collapse is quite advanced. The Ukraine once had the same world-class educational system as Russia, but since independence they switched to teaching in Ukrainian (a made-up language) using nonexistent textbooks. The kids have been taught a bogus history hallucinated by rabid Ukrainian nationalists. They’ve been told that Russia is backward and keeping them back, and that they deserve to be happy in the EU. (Just like the Greeks? Yeah…) But now the population has been reduced to levels of poverty not commonly seen outside of Africa, and young people are fleeing, or turning to gangsterism and prostitution, to merely survive. This doesn’t make for a happy cultural narrative. What does it mean to be “a Ukrainian” now? Expletives deleted. Sorry I asked.

Now, here’s what it all really means. With so much going wrong, the Ukraine has been unable to secure enough natural gas or coal supplies to provide a supply cushion in case of a cold snap this winter. A few weeks of frosty weather will deplete the supply, and then pipes will freeze, rendering much of the urban areas unlivable from then on (because, recall, there is no longer any money, or any industry to speak of, to repair the damage). That seems bad enough, but we aren’t quite there yet.

You see, the Ukraine produces over half of its electricity using nuclear power plants. 19 nuclear reactors are in operation, with 2 more supposedly under construction. And this is in a country whose economy is in free-fall and is set to approach that of Mali or Burundi! The nuclear fuel for these reactors was being supplied by Russia. An effort to replace the Russian supplier with Westinghouse failed because of quality issues leading to an accident. What is a bankrupt Ukraine, which just stiffed Russia on billions of sovereign debt, going to do when the time comes to refuel those 19 reactors? Good question!

But an even better question is, Will they even make it that far? You see, it has become known that these nuclear installations have been skimping on preventive maintenance, due to lack of funds. Now, you are probably already aware of this, but let me spell it out just in case: a nuclear reactor is not one of those things that you run until it breaks, and then call a mechanic once it does. It’s not a “if it ain’t broke, I can’t fix it” sort of scenario. It’s more of a “you missed a tune-up so I ain’t going near it” scenario. And the way to keep it from breaking is to replace all the bits that are listed on the replacement schedule no later than the dates indicated on that schedule. It’s either that or the thing goes “Ka-boom!” and everyone’s hair falls out.

How close is Ukraine to a major nuclear accident? Well, it turns out, very close: just recently one was narrowly avoided when some Ukro-Nazis blew up electric transmission lines supplying Crimea, triggering a blackout that lasted many days. The Russians scrambled and ran a transmission line from the Russian mainland, so now Crimea is lit up again. But while that was happening, the Southern Ukrainian, with its 4 energy blocks, lost its connection to the grid, and it was only the very swift, expert actions taken by the staff there that averted a nuclear accident.

I hope that you know this already, but, just in case, let me spell it out again. One of the worst things that can happen to a nuclear reactor is loss of electricity supply. Yes, nuclear power stations make electricity—some of the time—but they must be supplied with electricity all the time to avoid a meltdown. This is what happened at Fukushima Daiichi, which dusted the ground with radionuclides as far as Tokyo and is still leaking radioactive juice into the Pacific.

And so the nightmare scenario for the Ukraine is a simple one. Temperature drops below freezing and stays there for a couple of weeks. Coal and natural gas supplies run down; thermal power plants shut down; the electric grid fails; circulator pumps at the 19 nuclear reactors (which, by the way, probably haven’t been overhauled as recently as they should have been) stop pumping; meltdown!

If this winter stays very, very warm, then the “19 Fukushimas” scenario just may be averted. This is not impossible: we’ve been seeing one freakishly warm winter after another, and each passing month is setting new records. The future is looking hot—as in very warm. Let us pray that it doesn’t also turn out to be hot—as in radioactive.

Why the Brookings Institution and the Washington establishment love wars

Global Research, October 24, 2016

Washington’s public relations operations for the military contracting firms that surround the US Capitol aren’t by for-profit PR firms, so much as they’re by ‘non-profit’ foundations and think tanks, which present that ‘non-profit’ cover for their sales-promotion campaigns on behalf of the real beneficiaries: owners and top executives of these gigantic ‘defense’ contracting corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Among the leading propagandists for invading Iraq back in 2002 were Kenn Pollack  and Michael O’Hanlon, both with the Brookings Institution; and both propagandists still are frequently interviewed by American ‘news’ media as being ‘experts’ on international relations, when all they ever really have been is salesmen for US invasions, such as that 2003 invasion, which destroyed Iraq and cost US taxpayers $3 trillion+ or $4.4 trillion – benefiting only the few beneficiaries and their agents, such as the top executives of these ‘non-profits,’ which receive a small portion of the take, as servants usually do.

More recently, Brookings’s Shadi Hamid headlined on 14 September 2013, «The US-Russian Deal on Syria: A Victory for Assad», and the PR-servant there, Dr Hamid, argued that

 «Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is effectively being rewarded for the use of chemical weapons, rather than ‘punished’ as originally planned… Assad and his Russian backers played on Obama’s most evident weakness, exploiting his desire to find a way – any way – out of military action… One might be forgiven for thinking that this was Assad’s plan all along, to use chemical weapons as bait, to agree to inspections after using them, and then to return to conventional killing».

Three weeks after that Brookings ‘expert’ had issued it, the great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann, on 7 October 2014, headlined and offered facts to the exact contrary at his nsnbc news site,

«Top US and Saudi Officials Responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria», and he opened by summarizing his extensive case: «Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry».

Then, on 14 January 2014, the MIT professor Theodore Postal and the former UN weapons-inspector Richard Lloyd performed a detailed analysis of the rocket that had delivered the sarin, and found that it had been fired from territory controlled by the anti-Assad rebels, not by Assad’s forces. Then, yet another great investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, bannered in the London Review of Books, on 17 April 2014, «The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour M Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels», and he reported that what had actually stopped Obama from invading Syria was Obama’s embarrassment at British intelligence having discovered that Obama’s case against Assad regarding the gas attack was fake.

Obama suddenly needed a face-saving way to cancel his pre-announced American bombing campaign to bring down the Assad government, since he wouldn’t have even the UK as an ally in it: 

«Obama’s change of mind [weakening his ardor against Assad] had its origins at Porton Down, the [British] defense laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff».

Did Dr Hamid or any other Brookings ‘expert’ ever issue a correction and make note of of their earlier falsehoods, or did they all instead hide this crucially important reality – that not only was the rocket fired from rebel territory but its sarin formula was different from that in Syria’s arsenals, and the actual suppliers were the US, Sauds, Qataris, and Turks – did they not correct their prior war-mongering misrepresentations, but instead hide the fact that the Obama allegations had been exposed to have been frauds and that Obama himself had been one of the planners behind the sarin gas attack? They hid the truth.

Back on 14 June 2013, a Brookings team of Dr Hamid, with Bruce Riedel, Daniel L Byman, Michael Doran, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, had headlined, «Syria, the US, and Arming the Rebels: Assad’s Use of Chemical Weapons and Obama’s Red Line», and they alleged that, although «President Obama has been extremely reluctant to get involved in Syria», «Regime change is the only way to end this conflict», and they applauded the «confirmation that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria», but doubted that Obama would bomb Syria hard enough and often enough. None of them ever subsequently acknowledged that, in fact, they had misstated (been suckered by a US government fraud, if even they had believed it), and that Obama actually drove this hoax harder than his Joint Chiefs of Staff had advised him to.

Continue reading

On Ukraine’s support of ISIS

Posted on Doubting Steven
Source: Medium.com

2-29-16

Since complete international isolation of Islamists isn’t achieved, any military confrontation with ISIS would be inefficient. Meanwhile Middle Eastern terrorism gets support not only of Islamic countries but also of those ones that pretend to belong to European democratic community. Also this community seems to consider that relations with terrorist structures of such countries as Ukraine are a common thing. At any rate, neither Berlin, nor Paris, nor Rome have ever condemned Kiev or called to do away with the Dudayev battalion (an armed group of radical Islamists mainly consisting of Chechens but also including militants from other Caucasian regions, and some Ukrainians) or the Sheikh Mansur battalion (seceded from the Dudayev battalion, placed not far from the Mariupol city in south east of Ukraine). No one also demanded to eliminate either Hizb ut-Tahrir organization banned by the majority of civilized governments, the ultra-radical UNA-UNSO, or the Right Sector. However all those organizations have been openly fraternizing with ISIS and even blew horn about it until recently.
The leader of the UNA-UNSO Dmytro Korchynsky and his Right Sector counterpart Oleksandr Muzychko succeeded in Middle Eastern bridge building. The first one thought that terrorists had been the only Kiev’s allies in its fight against Russia and called Islamists for ‘taking a good aim’ at Russians. The other one was one of a general connecting links between Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and Islamists and liked to vaunt of success in dealing with ISIS. They say that the information about sale of Israeli and Soviet missiles and allegedly nuclear weapons elements to Daesh leaked to mass media due to his excessive garrulousness. However, after his death (which has been considered no-coincidence — he was killed during Ukrainian police-involved shooting) the leaks to the media died out. Some people believe that all relations with Ukrainian group of ISIS and its Syrian leaders have been monopolized by power structures annoyed with public rodomontade of Muzychko and his ‘associates’.
It is clear that there is no trustworthy information in this respect. This is just a buzz. But there is no smoke without fire. They say that regular (!) contacts with ISIS are under the jurisdiction the Verkhovna Rada MP and the Minister of the Interior’s adviser Anton Herashchenko (!) famous of his proposal to publish personal data of Russian pilots in Syria, so that the militants could have the opportunity to take revenge.
Apropos, Ukraine being represented by the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksandr Turchinov occurred to be nearly the only state applauding the attack on the Russian Su-24M bomber by the Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter. By doing so Kiev has distinctly defined which side it’s been standing and whom it’s been supporting. The speech of Ukroboronprom Deputy Director General responsible for Foreign Economic Activity Denis Gurak that Ukraine and Turkey had reached agreement on joint projects in many fields of defense industry, in particular aerospace, aviation, armor sectors and boosting security and protection in the Black Sea waters refers to the same.
On top of that Ukraine has given Turkey all scientific resources in the field of nuclear research remaining since Soviet times. Thus Ukrainian engineers of carbon-uranium commercial reactors meant for production of weapons plutonium participate in research works organized in Turkish Nuclear Research and Training Center. In this way, Islamists can gain access to technology of making plutonium nuclear bomb through the agency of Turkey!
It’s a remarkable fact that a representative of Syrian Turkomans Alparslan Çelik who is deemed to be responsible for the murder of the Russian pilot expresses thanks to Ankara and both ISIS and Ukrainian authorities as well in his appeal to Turkish government.
His appeal was detected by Anonymous Group on one of Islamist sites نداء الى تركيا و داعش و اوكرانيا.
There is every ground to believe that the alliance between Kiev and jihadists exists and that both sides have been actively engaging. For Ukraine, ISIS is a considerable leverage in its confrontation with Russia and an inexhaustible source of ‘black’ money at the same time. In particular ISIS supplies Ukraine with hit men from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and some former socialist republics for military conflicts in the territory of Novorossia. The most illustrative example of illegal export is a confession of the Kuwait ISIS group Osama Hayat of the deal to buy Chinese MANPADs FN-6 in Ukraine designed to engage low flying targets with maximum altitude of 3.8 km, which they conveyed through Turkey to Syria. The money was transferred through a Turkish bank.
The Islamic State has also created several bases for terrorists’ training (according to various opinions, the largest training camps have been located in the Dnipropetrovsk suburbs and Perevalnoye place) and ‘recreation camps’, where it is possible to buy legal Ukrainian IDs. In the view of the visa-free regime for Ukrainians, those jihadists with new legal status obtain a very easy access to the Western countries. As a result, Ukraine turns into a terminal for Islamists in their way to Europe and transient center for committing acts of terrorism in Russia and other countries.

America threatens a protracted war, ‘ground operations’ in Syria — Interview with Russia’s Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev

Global Research, February 15, 2016
euronews 14 February 2016
medvedev

Featured image: Russia’s PM Dimitri Medvedev

Transcript of the PM interview with Euro News. Emphasis by GR

Syria

Isabelle Kumar: Many thanks for being with us on The Global Conversation. The issue of Syria is dominating the international agenda. But we feel we could be reaching the turning point yet it’s unclear which way it is going to go. What do you think?

Dmitri Medvedev: You know, as I was heading to this conference, I had a feeling that the situation in this area is very complex and challenging because we have yet to come to an agreement with our colleagues and partners on key issues, including the creation of a possible coalition and military cooperation.

All interactions in this respect have been episodic so far. That said, I note that here, in Munich, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Secretary of State John Kerry, and other colleagues acting in various capacities later joined them. They agreed on what should be done in the short run. For this reason, I’m cautiously optimistic about the prospects for cooperation on this issue. Let me emphasise that this cooperation is critical, because unless we come together on this issue, there will be no end to the war in Syria, people will keep dying, the massive influx of refugees to Europe will continue, and Europe will have to deal with major challenges. Most importantly, we will be unable to overcome terrorism, which is a threat to the entire modern civilisation.

Isabelle Kumar: What precise military actions and other, in that case, is Russia prepared to take to help in this de-escalation of the conflict in Syria?

Dmitri Medvedev: Let me remind you the reasons behind Russia’s involvement in Syria. The first reason that compelled Russia to take part in this campaign is the protection of national interests. There are many fighters in Syria who can go to Russia at any time and commit terrorist attacks there. There are thousands of them in Syria.

Second, there is a legal foundation in the form of the request by President al-Assad. We will therefore take these two factors into account in our military decisions and, obviously, the developments in the situation. What matters most at this point is to agree on launching the talks between all the parties to the Syrian conflict. Another important thing is to coordinate a list of terrorist groups, since this issue has been a matter of endless debates on who’s good and who’s bad. This is the first point I wanted to make.

My second point is the following. I learned that Secretary of State John Kerry said that if Russia and Iran do not help, the US will be ready to join other countries in carrying out a ground operation. These are futile words, he should not have said that for a simple reason: if all he wants is a protracted war, he can carry out ground operations and anything else. But don’t try to frighten anyone. Agreements should be reached along the same lines as Mr Kerry’s conversations with Mr Lavrov, instead of saying that if something goes wrong, other Arab countries and the US will carry out a ground operation.

I’ve answered this question only recently. But let me reiterate that no one is interested in a new war, and a ground operation is a full-fledged, long war. We must bear this in mind.

“We want sound, advanced relations both with the United States and the European Union”

Assad’s future

Isabelle Kumar: Clearly, one of the key issues is the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Will Russia continue to support him at this crucial moment in time?

Dmitri Medvedev: Russia does not support President al-Assad personally, but maintains friendly relations with Syria as a country. These ties were built not under Bashar al-Assad, but back when his father, Hafez al-Assad, became president. This is my first point in this respect.

Second, we have never said that this is the main issue for us in this process. We simply believe that there is currently no other legitimate authority in Syria apart from Bashar al-Assad. He is the incumbent president, whether anyone likes it or not. Taking him out of this equation would lead to chaos. We have seen that on numerous occasions in the Middle East, when countries simply fell apart, as it happened with Libya, for example.

It is for that reason that he should take part in all the procedures and processes, but it should be up to the Syrian people to decide his destiny.

Syria’s future

Isabelle Kumar: Are you therefore already working on ideas of political transition now in Syria?

Dmitri Medvedev: I don’t think that we should go into too much detail on these issues. I’m talking about Russia, the European Union and the United States. We should focus on facilitating the launch of this process. We must make sure that everyone sits down at the negotiating table, in fact, make them talk to each other. Let’s be honest and recognise that it will be anything but simple given the parties involved. On one side, you have President al-Assad, supported by a part of society and the military, and, on the other side, the other part of society, often representing different confessions, people who don’t like al-Assad but have to sit with him at the same negotiating table. Nevertheless, they need to come to an agreement for the sake of keeping Syria united.

Ukraine crisis

Isabelle Kumar: I’d like now to switch focus and look at the conflict in Ukraine. We talk of the frozen conflict there with, it appears, renewed fighting in the east. What can Russia do to bring about the thaw in that conflict, to bring an end to this conflict?

Dmitri Medvedev: Well, understandably, the answer here is somewhat easier than in Syria’s case. It is not just because this conflict is not as brutal, but because there is a clear understanding of how to move forward – by implementing the Minsk Agreements.

They should be implemented fully and in their entirety by all the parties. In fact, Russia calls on all the parties to do so, both those in power in the southeast, and the Kiev authorities. It is not a matter of Russia having some disagreements with Kiev or mutual dislike.

It would be fair to say that most of the provisions that were the responsibility of southeast Ukraine have been fulfilled. Most importantly, hostilities have ceased almost completely. Unfortunately, some action takes place from time to time, but not often. Finding political and legal solutions in keeping with the Minsk Agreements has now become vital. Whose responsibility is it? Of course, it is Ukraine’s responsibility. If Ukraine regards the southeast as part of its territory, it is within the jurisdiction, competence and authority of the President, Parliament and Government of Ukraine.

Isabelle Kumar: If you meet President Poroshenko here, at the Munich security conference, what will you say to him?

Dmitri Medvedev: I haven’t seen him and, to be honest, I haven’t missed him. President Poroshenko is in contact with President Putin. There is no doubt that the main thing my colleagues should undertake is to do everything it takes to implement the Minsk Agreements. It would benefit them, as well as the Ukrainian state, which, no matter what anyone says, is a close, neighbouring country for Russia.

Crimea

Isabelle Kumar: Obviously, one of the major sticking points in this, for Ukraine, but also for the international community, is Crimea. Is the future of Crimea up for negotiation?

Dmitri Medvedev: No, there is no such issue for Russia. This issue was settled once and for all. Crimea is part of Russia. A referendum was held there, we amended the constitution. The Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are part of the Russian Federation.

Russia’s relations with the world

Isabelle Kumar: So the conflict in Syria, the situation in Ukraine has contributed to a real degradation of relations with Russia, with the EU and the US. Do you think a reset is possible?

Dmitri Medvedev: The question is how and for whose sake. If something is to be reset, it should be done on a fundamentally different basis. What kind of basis? Equitable, fair, solid basis for relations, considering that Russia is not the only nation that needs this – the European Union and the United States need it as well. We want sound, advanced relations both with the United States and the European Union.

The European Union is our most important trade partner, a group of countries located on the same continent as us, so we are bound by our shared European identity, history and values. These continuing tensions aren’t doing us any good. But if we are told that they no longer want us around, of course, the first steps towards reconciliation should be taken by those who initiated the alienation. As for us, we are ready to discuss any issues.

Russia’s economy

Isabelle Kumar: Well, one of the repercussions of the souring of relations has been the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, which are hitting hard. How much of a priority is it for your government to get those sanctions lifted?

Dmitri Medvedev: They told us we were the bad guys and had to be punished. And then they made some calculations and began to weep: it turns out that for some reason it was hitting their own business.

We had a trade turnover with the European Union at 450 billion euros. It was 450 billion! Now it is down to 217 billion euros. Why don’t they ask the people in the EU who are employed by the various companies that used to make products for Russia – how do they like all of this?

Again, we are not the ones who started this, so it is not up to us to undo it. They have always been trying to intimidate us with some sanctions, which were introduced even in the Soviet period, many times. It never brought them anything but lost profits. What is happening now is no different. They will have to have the courage to say, guys, we’ll just scrap all this from day X, and could you please reciprocate by lifting your response measures as well. That would be the right approach.

Isabelle Kumar: So how are ordinary Russians feeling this economic crisis? Because the sanctions are contributing towards this, the falling oil prices are also contributing to this. What’s it like for ordinary Russians?

Dmitri Medvedev: Indeed, we aren’t in the best economic situation right now, with the dramatic fall in oil prices probably contributing the most to the overall state of the economy, to the decline in revenues. This is something we haven’t seen for 17 years. The current prices are comparable to those in 1998. Unfortunately, our budget remains very dependent on oil prices. Although the structure of revenues has been improving, in terms of the share of oil and other sources, but yes, it remains commodity-dependent to a great extent. This could not but affect the incomes and the general standing of our people with their jobs and their real incomes.

The sanctions have had some effect as well. This is obvious, since some of our companies, for example, lost the financing they used to have from European banks, which means they cannot grow, some of them anyway. Therefore, in this sense, the economic situation is not the easiest. But there is also a positive effect. The economy is healing, it is becoming less dependent on oil, and we have an opportunity to develop our own industry and agriculture.

Perhaps one of the advantages of these sanctions and our response measures is that we started concentrating harder on domestic agriculture, so, to a large extent, we are now satisfying our demand for food, while wheat, for example, is now exported in large quantities. In this sense, the sanctions have helped. But they probably didn’t help farmers in the European Union.

Isabelle Kumar: I was asking about the ordinary Russians and how this was affecting them. And we hear of possible social unrest as their lives become more and more difficult in Russia. Is that something you are concerned about?

Dmitri Medvedev: Of course, the government must first of all think about the social impact of economic changes and the economic situation. Frankly, we have been compelled to cut budget spending in many areas, but we never touched social spending, or the public sector wages and benefits.

Moreover, we even indexed pensions last year, and this year, too, maybe not completely, but we did. We will try to continue doing this in the future. That is, the government’s social spending is large, but it is inviolable. In this sense, we will try to do everything towards Russian citizens’ social wellbeing, to keep them as comfortable as possible under these conditions. It is truly a priority for the government.

Russia’s human rights record

Isabelle Kumar: If we take an international perspective once again, a black mark on Russia’s reputation is the issue of human rights and freedom of speech, which Russia seems to continually backslide on. Why is that?

Dmitri Medvedev: To be frank, we’ve always differed in our views on the situation with the freedom of expression and the media in Russia. We’ve often been criticised and we are still coming under criticism. We have our own position on the issue. Perhaps in Russia, the media are somewhat different, for example, from the European media.

There are historical differences and there are growth issues. I rarely watch TV or read newspapers in print and I receive virtually all of my information from the Internet. And over half of Russia’s population does the same. As you know, on the Internet, there is no regulation in this sense. All points of view are represented there, including, to put it bluntly, even extremist ones. So I believe it’s not serious to think that some people have no access to different kinds of information in today’s global world.

Litvinenko enquiry

Isabelle Kumar: Yes, but also it seems that dissidents are silenced. In Britain, as you know, there has been – the results of the inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, which the inquiry said – it pointed the finger at President Vladimir Putin, saying that it was likely that he ordered that murder. Will you be pursuing the British Government on this? There was talk of you suing the British Government over this inquiry.

Dmitri Medvedev: You’ve mentioned some report by some retired judge, in which practically every paragraph and each section opens with the word “probably”. What is there to comment on? What is regrettable about this whole story is that the British Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary comment on a report that abounds in words like “probably”.

This is reminiscent of a witch-hunt. When all is said and done, let it be on the conscience of the commentators. As for any legal action, this is simply ridiculous. We don’t need this and the Russian Federation will never sue any country over some foolish fabrications or funny films.

Highlights

Isabelle Kumar: Finally, Mr Prime Minister, you’ve held the post of prime minister and also held the presidency, so you’ve got an overview, a full perspective of the issues we’ve been talking about, but if I were to ask you about one of the highlights of the your time in power, could you say what that’s been?

Dmitri Medvedev: Well, there’ve been plenty. Both these posts are very serious and challenging. These eight years of my life – and it has been almost eight years – you know, it’s this constant drive. As for events, there have been plenty, both in Russia – very good ones for me personally, notable, major, and sometime tragic events, like the ones we’ve been talking about now, and international events.

After all, we have not only argued and quarrelled. We’ve also accomplished a thing or two. For example, at some point we agreed on a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. That was not bad at all. The document was signed. It is in force. It is being implemented and therefore we can work together and agree on different things. There have been contacts with my colleagues, including here in Germany, as well as in other European countries. We have dealt with a lot of issues. All of this is remarkable and exciting. Maybe one day I’ll talk about this in detail. For the time being I continue working and this work is interesting.

Prime Minister, many thanks for joining us.