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E. Ukraine 'Terrorists’ Threaten w/ Voter-Ballot Paper-Cuts?

Forgive my flippant sarcasm. Actually I feel serious concern with every unfolding fresh hell I manage to hear about the Ukraine fiasco -- no thanks to our corporate media propaganda.

I want to celebrate the courage of referendum-voting local eastern Ukrainians, despite the threats to them of physical harm even death in pushing back against an illegitimate and lawless Kiev coup government. The referendum organization, voting and attempts at peaceful protest role model REAL COLLECTIVE, SELF-DETERMINING DEMOCRACY to us in the West who are watching what’s left of our democracy circle the proverbial bowl.

The real story behind the regime change in Ukraine seems to have been dizzyingly spun 180 degrees by the Obama administration and media to a hysterical and demonizing focus on President Putin as the latest version of “Hitler”.

I don’t know about you but that “Hitler” (special hat tip to Hillary) label inspires no little degree of cognitive dissonance since our government and media are cheer-leading and sponsoring a new, heavily neo-Nazi Ukrainian government. A "neo-Nazi" by any other name, say, “freedom fighter” or “Ukrainian national” that the Obama administration and mainstream media prefer, doesn’t change reality. Yet, how easily the “Hitler” label gets attributed to the Russian leader. Must be crazy-making for him and the Russians, as well, since 20 million Russians lost their lives fighting Hitler.

For a brief time back in February during the mass protests there seemed hope of a democratic and constitutional regime change resolution in Ukraine. But the momentum of that CONSTITUTIONAL transition was sabotaged by sudden and extreme violence by neo-Nazi militias. The US and NATO countries appreciated and undoubtedly stoked the violent coup. A government accountable to the people was not as preferable as this illegitimate, oligarch-run one with neo-Nazi collusion and enforcement. They are assuming they now have a more controllable and exploitable -- economically and militarily -- puppet regime.

It seems more and more Ukrainians are coming to recognize how more deeply impoverished they will soon become thanks to the IMF’s austerity program for their country. Especially alarmed are the citizens of the industrialized eastern Ukraine who seem as earnest and committed to protecting themselves as their Crimean neighbors were. They refused to postpone the May 11th referendums, even at the request of President Putin trying to de-escalate the level of violence being perpetrated against them. Despite a sense of terror anyone in their situation would feel, they showed up to vote for autonomy from the coup Kiev government en masse.

Alex Lantier in “NATO and Kiev Escalate Threats after Eastern Ukraine Referendums”:

Western officials denounced Russia and pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine after referendums were overwhelmingly passed in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces calling for federalization of Ukraine’s government and greater autonomy for eastern Ukraine from the US puppet regime in Kiev.

The vote was a stinging repudiation of the government installed in a Western-backed putsch in February. The referendums passed with 89 percent support in Donetsk and 96 percent in Luhansk. Voter participation was 74 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

US, European, and Kiev regime officials attacked the vote as illegal, ignoring with monumental hypocrisy the fact that the Kiev regime is itself the product of an extra-legal putsch led by fascist thugs from the Right Sector militia and is widely opposed by the Ukrainian people. A poll last week found that 59 percent of the Ukrainian population has a negative opinion of the Kiev regime. This percentage rises to 67 percent in the largely Russian-speaking east.


Yesterday, Kiev regime forces bombarded the village of Andreevka, near Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine. The government used howitzers and heavy mortars, together with attack helicopters, pro-Russian militias reported. They could not provide casualty figures, but reported that many houses and cars were on fire or had been destroyed.

The escalating crackdown came amid multiple reports that US Blackwater mercenaries are helping to coordinate the Kiev regime’s assault on eastern Ukraine.

Pepe Escobar in “Ukraine: The Waiting Game” writes:

The referendums may have been a last-minute affair; organized in a rush; in the middle of a de facto civil war; and on top of it at gunpoint - supplied by the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta, which even managed to kill some voters in Mariupol. An imperfect process? Yes. But absolutely perfect in terms of graphically depicting a mass movement in favor of self-rule and political independence from Kiev.

This was direct democracy in action; no wonder the US State Department hated it with a vengeance.

Turnout was huge. The landslide victory for independence was out of the question. Same for transparency; a public vote, in glass ballot boxes, with monitoring provided by Western journalists - mostly from major German media but also from the Kyodo News Agency or the Washington Post.


So this is the key message of the referendums. We reject the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta. It's an illegal "government" of putschists. We are not "pro-Russian" separatists. We don't want to secede. What we want is a unified, federal and civilized Ukraine, with strong autonomous provinces.

Escobar refers to the US as the “Empire of Chaos” and connects the dots between faux-humanitarian US posturing in Ukraine and its posturing in Libya and Syria. Escobar calls out the Obama administration for minimizing and reframing the Odessa massacre in which anti-government protesters were burned alive, strangled, thrown out windows, shot, etc. by a supposed “National Guard” made up of neo-Nazi goons and foreign operatives.

Escobar speculates on the numbers of CIA and FBI agents on the ground helping to terrorize anti-government protesters into compliance in Ukraine. He also mentiones the presence of over 300 Academi -- formerly known as Blackwater -- mercenaries who are helping with the “real terrorism” against “faux terrorism” operation.

Escobar asks, “What else to expect when the current Ukrainian Secretary for National Security is neo-nazi Andriy Parubiy, the previous commander of the Maidan's "self-defense forces" and a cheerleader of World War II nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.”


US ambassador to the UN and top R2P cheerleader Samantha Power exceeded all her previous levels of batshit craziness when she depicted the NATO junta onslaught against civilians as "reasonable" and "proportional", adding that "any of our countries" would have done the same in face of such a threat.

Alex Lantier, aforementioned:

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the “so-called” referendums were “a transparent attempt to create disorder… We do not recognize the results.”

Such invocations of law and constitutional process by the putschist regime in Kiev and its Western backers are steeped in cynicism. Is there any doubt that, if the roles were reversed, and the right-wing, pro-Western forces had succeeded in organizing a referendum to separate parts of the country from a Russian-backed regime, the White House and the EU would be applauding it as a great advance for democracy and self-rule?

Instead, the Ukrainian armed forces and the NATO powers are escalating their threats against Russia and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. The Kiev regime stepped up its offensive to crush pro-Russian self-defense militias across eastern Ukraine and retake control of the region—moving Ukraine even closer to civil war and a possible military clash between the NATO-backed regime and Russia.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in “The Strange Logic of the US, EU: East Ukraine’s Referendums Aren’t Democratic But the Coup-Imposed Kiev Regime Is?”:

Fraud. Farce. Fake. Undemocratic. No legality. Alternate realities. Zero credibility. Absurd. These are just some of the words used to describe the May 11, 2014 referendums in Eastern Ukraine by the US government and the member states of the European Union.  ...


British Foreign Secretary William Hague declared that the votes carried no weight, had zero credibility, and did not “meet any standards.” ...


Dividing the world into the “civilized” and “uncivilized” before the referendums, John Kerry vowed that no “civilized” nations would recognize the results of the voting in Eastern Ukraine. In ethnocentric terms that displayed the desperation of Washington, what the top US diplomat pretentiously meant was that the US and its allies represented “civilization” and that any country that did not follow the lead of Washington was outside of the boundaries of those boundaries and, therefore, “uncivilized.” ...


The irony should not be lost here. The very same words used by the US government and the European Union to describe the voting in Eastern Ukraine actually describe the unelected regime led by Arseniy Yatsenyuk that was installed by a US-backed violent coup in February 2014 very accurately. The blatant double-standards involved on the part of the US and its allies in their condemnations of the referendums in the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk are clear. When an actual democratic process has peacefully occurred in Ukraine and people actually vote, the US and the European Union ironically and comically declare that it has “no democratic legitimacy.”

Regardless of what one thinks about the legitimacy of the referendums in Eastern Ukraine, they were popularly supported and had high participation. Despite, the fact that the regime in Kiev tried to use fear tactics against them, Eastern Ukrainians gathered in droves and waited in long lines to vote. Large crowds gathered to vote even though the the unelected US-supported Yatsenyuk regime, which incorporated the ultra-nationalist gunmen that executed the February 2014 coup into the ranks and files of the Ukrainian military and security apparatus under official capacities, sent its armed militias into their cities to disrupt the voting. In the process of trying to prevent the voting from taking place under the pretext of anti-terrorism operations the US-backed regime even wounded and killed several unarmed civilians.

They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Then the photographs and videos from the voting in Eastern Ukraine should be able to drown out all the noise from the spin doctors occupying Kiev and their masters in Washington and the European Union.

Good point from Nazemroaya. What will we in the United States believe? What the propagandists are saying or our own non-lying eyes and hearts if we are willing to open them? Are we willing to stop assuming the ostrich position? Are we willing to stop bobbling our heads to media propaganda?

The will of the people should count for something. A citizenry should be self-determining in a humanist not patriarchy-controlled world. Is our own “learned helplessness” at such a pathetic stage that we can’t recognize and take heart from a healthy assertion of collective will from fellow endangered and courageous human beings?

[cross-posted on open salon]

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

john pilger in guardian:

Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a "brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis", as if the truth "never happened even while it was happening".

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his "updated summary of the record of US foreign policy" which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.


Washington's role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of Nato, the last "buffer state" bordering Russia – Ukraine – is being torn apart by fascist forces unleashed by the US and the EU. We in the west are now backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler.

Having masterminded the coup in February against the democratically elected government in Kiev, Washington's planned seizure of Russia's historic, legitimate warm-water naval base in Crimea failed. The Russians defended themselves, as they have done against every threat and invasion from the west for almost a century.

But Nato's military encirclement has accelerated, along with US-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.

Instead, Putin has confounded the war party by seeking an accommodation with Washington and the EU, by withdrawing Russian troops from the Ukrainian border and urging ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon the weekend's provocative referendum. These Russian-speaking and bilingual people – a third of Ukraine's population – have long sought a democratic federation that reflects the country's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous of Kiev and independent of Moscow. Most are neither "separatists" nor "rebels", as the western media calls them, but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland.Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a CIA theme park – run personally by CIA director John Brennan in Kiev, with dozens of "special units" from the CIA and FBI setting up a "security structure" that oversees savage attacks on those who opposed the February coup. Watch the videos, read the eye-witness reports from the massacre in Odessa this month. Bussed fascist thugs burned the trade union headquarters, killing 41 people trapped inside. Watch the police standing by.

A doctor described trying to rescue people, "but I was stopped by pro-Ukrainian Nazi radicals. One of them pushed me away rudely, promising that soon me and other Jews of Odessa are going to meet the same fate. What occurred yesterday didn't even take place during the fascist occupation in my town in world war two. I wonder, why the whole world is keeping silent."

Russian-speaking Ukrainians are fighting for survival. When Putin announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border, the Kiev junta's defence secretary, Andriy Parubiy – a founding member of the fascist Svoboda party – boasted that attacks on "insurgents" would continue. In Orwellian style, propaganda in the west has inverted this to Moscow "trying to orchestrate conflict and provocation", according to William Hague. His cynicism is matched by Obama's grotesque congratulations to the coup junta on its "remarkable restraint" after the Odessa massacre. The junta, says Obama, is "duly elected". As Henry Kissinger once said: "It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but what is perceived to be true."

In the US media the Odessa atrocity has been played down as "murky" and a "tragedy" in which "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) attacked "separatists" (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal damned the victims – "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says". Propaganda in Germany has been pure cold war, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning its readers of Russia's "undeclared war". For the Germans, it is a poignant irony that Putin is the only leader to condemn the rise of fascism in 21st-century Europe.

A popular truism is that "the world changed" following 9/11. But what has changed? According to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules. The Pentagon currently runs "special operations" – secret wars – in 124 countries. At home, rising poverty and a loss of liberty are the historic corollary of a perpetual war state. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question is: why do we tolerate this?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

This from Alex Lantier about the Blackwater assassins who killed so many innocent Iraqis with total impunity. Now they are helping to slaughter Ukrainians. Death squads aren't new working for "American interests" that are NOT the interests of the lower 99% mind you.

This information was communicated to the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials on April 29. Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) said that 400 Blackwater troops are supporting Kiev’s security forces in eastern Ukraine, including in Slavyansk. Der Spiegel wrote, “This information reportedly comes from US intelligence services and was communicated during a so-called Intelligence Situation meeting, a regular discussion chaired by Chancellery Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier (CDU). The Presidents of the intelligence services and of the Federal Criminal Office and the intelligence coordinator of the Chancellery as well as high-ranking government officials attended the meeting.”

Though the BND apparently did not say who had hired the Blackwater mercenaries now fighting in Ukraine, they are undoubtedly working closely with US intelligence. Prince himself said last year that after the US invasion of Iraq, his firm “became a virtual extension of the CIA.”

The German government reports confirm Russian Foreign Ministry allegations last month that hundreds of mercenaries from Greystone, a subsidiary of Academi, were leading Right Sector fighters and other pro-Kiev forces in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the presence and the activities of US mercenaries “threaten to trigger civil war.” It subsequently alleged that English-speaking fighters were seen coordinating the fascist thugs and football hooligans who carried out the May 2 massacre of dozens of anti-Kiev regime protesters in Odessa. (See: “Washington responsible for fascist massacre in Odessa”)

Significantly, US news media have completely blacked out both the German and the Russian reports of Blackwater involvement in Ukraine.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

and apologize that I don't have time to "clip it."

The Washington Journal interviewee is a former Clinton Administration "Ambassador At Large" for the former Soviet Union. Here's the interview below:

Washington Journal: Russia and Ukraine Policy

[C-Span, Washington Journal]

I've been watching C-Span (almost) since its inception. Not many guests are as dismissive of callers as this Council Of Foreign Relations "Fellow," was.

It appears (to me) that Sestanovich's mission was to put out a "sanitized version" of what is happening in the Ukraine and in Russia.

Sestanovich actually tells callers "to get over it," after chastising them for calling out Neo-Nazis. I couldn't believe my ears, frankly.

Here's a link to his one-page CFR Biography.

BTW, just now, didn't "see" the video, although I've copied the embed code. Hopefully, "it takes." [I've posted numerous C-Span videos here, in the past.]

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...I listened to the whole interview. Anodyne, as one caller noted; and the facts on the ground appear to vary widely from *the official line*.