he Western intervention in Ukraine has now led the region to the brink of war.
Political opposition to government of President Viktor Yanukovych -- a corrupt and thuggish regime, but as with so many corrupt and thuggish regimes one sees these days, a democratically elected one -- was funded in substantial part by organizations of or affiliated with the U.S. government, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (a longtime vehicle for Washington-friendly coups), and USAID.
It also received substantial financial backing from Western oligarchs, such as billionaire Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and sole bankroller of the new venue for "adversarial" journalism, First Look, as Pandodaily reports
Yanukovych sparked massive protests late last year when he turned down a financial deal from the European Union and chose a $15 billion aid package from Russia instead. The EU deal would have put cash-strapped Ukraine in a financial straitjacket, much like Greece, without actually promising any path for eventually joining the EU.
There was one other stipulation in the EU's proffered agreement that was almost never reported: it would have also forbidden Ukraine to "accept further assistance from the Russians," as Patrick Smith notes in an important piece in Salon.com
It was a ruthless take-it-or-leave-it deal, and would have left Ukraine without any leverage, unable to parlay its unique position between East and West to its own advantage in the future, or conduct its foreign and economic policies as it saw fit. Yanukovych took the Russian deal, which would have given Ukraine cash in hand immediately and did not come with the same draconian restrictions.
It was a policy decision. It might have been the wrong policy decision; millions of Ukrainians thought so.
Created on Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:47
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Missing in Action: What Happened to War and the Imperial Drive to Organize the Planet?
here is, it seems, something new under the sun.
Geopolitically speaking, when it comes to war and the imperial principle, we may be in uncharted territory. Take a look around and you’ll see a world at the boiling point. From Ukraine to Syria, South Sudan to Thailand, Libya to Bosnia, Turkey to Venezuela, citizen protest (left and right) is sparking not just disorganization, but what looks like, to coin a word, de-organization at a global level.
Increasingly, the unitary status of states, large and small, old and new, is being called into question. Civil war, violence, and internecine struggles of various sorts are visibly on the rise.
In many cases, outside countries are involved and yet in each instance state power seems to be draining away
to no other state’s gain. So here’s one question: Where exactly is power located on this planet of ours right now?
Created on Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:31
Written by Chris Cook
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
ith the Olympics now over, it's time for the Great Game to begin again...or continue still. A constant thread has run throughout the Carter-Reagan-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Obama-Obama presidencies; each has, in its turn, followed Zbigniew Brzezinski's plan to isolate the Soviet Union, undermining its component parts and thus reducing the Great Bear to a size Grover Norquist might drown in his bathtub.
Last week, Brzezinski suggested Ukraine could be a kind of Finland, a former Soviet satellite allowed to drift into the orbit of the European Union without posing an existential threat to Mother Russia. So far, Putin and his friends in Crimea, and Ukraine, disagree. The whole scenario has many fearing a return to the nuclear stand-off days between the superpowers, emblematic of the last half of the 20th Century.
Peter Lee is a freelance commentator whose columns appear at the Asia Times Online among other places. He's also author of the news blog, China Matters
, where he quote: "[W]rites on East and South Asian affairs and their intersection with US foreign policy."
Peter Lee, China hand in the first half.
And; it's been ten years since populist Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Arisitide was hustled, in the wee hours of February 29th, out of the presidential palace in his pajamas. It was a disastrous day for Haiti's poor, the vast majority, and ones who made Aristide the single-most popular political leader in the Western Hemisphere.
is an American journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker
who has reported on the coming and goings of Haiti's democrats and dictators for more than twenty years.
Kevin Pina and Haiti's sad anniversary in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft
will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our city, and beyond it too, in the coming week. But first, Peter Lee and just who is f-ing whom in the Ukraine coup?
Created on Saturday, 01 March 2014 16:15
Written by F. William Engdahl
The Rape of Ukraine: Phase Two Begins
by F. William Engdahl
- 21st Century Wire T
he events in Ukraine since November 2013 are so astonishing as almost to defy belief.
An legitimately-elected (said by all international monitors) Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, has been driven from office, forced to flee as a war criminal after more than three months of violent protest and terrorist killings by so-called opposition.
His “crime” according to protest leaders was that he rejected an EU offer of a vaguely-defined associate EU membership that offered little to Ukraine in favor of a concrete deal with Russia that gave immediate €15 billion debt relief and a huge reduction in Russian gas import prices. Washington at that point went into high gear and the result today is catastrophe.
A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government.
But the West is not finished with destroying Ukraine. Now comes the IMF with severe conditionalities as prerequisite to any Western financial help.
Read more: Second Phase of Operation Ukraine Begins
Created on Saturday, 01 March 2014 15:52
Written by Chris Cook
Beyond the Index: Life in Fragile Times
t's the first day of March, 2014. I mention it because the speed and breadth of change swirling around us may make this column entirely antiquated by the time your eyes fall upon it. In the last week of February, I heard the title phrase, carried on the ether by either the CBC or Democracy Now, referring to the current air "quality" over Beijing as being, "Beyond the Index."
That is to say; the air is of such low, or no, quality there exists no rating benchmark for it, but to say it exceeds our worst-case expectations.
I expect any day now, if it hasn't happened already, BTi will be all over the textosphere, used by key-tapping youngsters to describe all manner of superlative events and situations. Doubtless soon to be followed by breathless reports on staid Old Media platforms like the CBC, with a desperate-to-keep-pace Anna Maria Tremonti perhaps relating to her listeners: "BTi has become the new OMG!"
LOL, that's totally awesome!
Created on Friday, 28 February 2014 16:02
Written by Mike Whitney
Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet
The United States helped defeat Nazism in World War 2. Obama helped bring it back.
As you probably know by now, Obama and Co. have ousted Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, with the help of ultra-right, paramilitary, neo-Nazi gangs who seized and burned government offices, killed riot police, and spread mayhem and terror across the country.
These are America’s new allies in the Great Game, the grand plan to “pivot to Asia” by pushing further eastward, toppling peaceful governments, securing vital pipeline corridors, accessing scarce oil and natural gas reserves and dismantling the Russian Federation consistent with the strategy proposed by geopolitical mastermind, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Created on Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:26
Written by Jonathan Cook
New report details ‘brutal’ Israeli policies
by Jonathan Cook
he first bullet struck 16-year-old Samir Awad in his left leg. He staggered away as fast as he could, but was too slow. A second round slammed into his left shoulder, exiting from the right side of his chest. Then, moments later, a third bullet penetrated the back of his skull and exited from his forehead.
The live rounds were fired by a group of Israeli soldiers guarding a section of Israel’s separation barrier built on the lands of Samir’s village in the occupied West Bank. The wall has been used by Israel to make large areas of the town of Budrus’ farmland inaccessible to the villagers.
On the day he died in January 2013, Samir and his friends had celebrated the end of the school term by walking into the hills along a path close to the steel barrier, said Ayed Murrar, head of Budrus’ popular struggle committee. An army patrol, laying in wait, ambushed them. Samir was grabbed as his friends fled. When moments later he managed to break free, the soldiers opened fire.
Samir’s friend, Malik Murrar, who witnessed the shooting, said: “How far can an injured child run? They could easily have arrested him. Instead they shot him in the back with live ammunition.”