lunes, 9 de diciembre de 2013

Puntos de vista

El sitio ruso Strategic Culture Foundation viene posteando seguido sobre la situación de los últimos días en Ucrania. Fieles a nuestra costumbre de proponer información alternativa a la de la telebasura occidental, acá van cuatro comentarios sucesivos que aparecieron en dicho sitio sobre los sucesos de este país.

Título: Why Is Ukraine Being Stirred Up?

Autor: Nikolai MALISHEVSKI 

Fecha: 05.12.2013

Texto: Demonstrators in Kiev are blockading the cabinet building, picketing the Rada and seizing state institutions... Looking at these actions, magnified many times by the television screen, many see what is going on in Ukraineas a rehearsal for «Orange Revolution 2». In a certain sense this may be true. However, why is this happening just now? After all, ostensibly Ukraine has not declined to sign the association agreement with the European Union, but has merely postponed it; furthermore, despite the failure of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, it is not rushing to enter the Customs Union. 

The answer to the question of why all this is happening, as well as the causes of the feverish activity of the Ukrainian opposition, which, by the way, is not very numerous, apparently consists of several aspects.

First, several days before the beginning of the Vilnius summit, construction of the South Stream in Serbia began, and documents were signed for Turkey to join the project, circumventing Ukraine.

Second, a number of high-ranking euroofficials have a personal interest in Ukraine's association with the EU; these include Barroso and Fule, who have rashly tied their political careers to Ukraine's opting in favor of eurointegration. The disturbances in the Ukrainian capital have given them a tenuous hope of compelling Kiev to sign the agreement before February-March 2015, that is, before the start of elections to the European Parliament, to which European voters are unlikely to reelect failures. That is why European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule is so anxiously urging the government and opposition in Ukraine to «begin negotiations immediately», and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara stated on the first day of the disturbances on the Ukrainian television channel «1+1» that a Ukrainian delegation would go to Brussels for negotiations regarding the association of Ukraine and the EU «next week».

Third, the China-Eastern Europe summit which took place in Bucharest demonstrated the parties' intention to realize investment projects in the Eastern European region without the participation of the European Union, let alone the United States. This event, together with the signing of a variety of agreements between Eastern European countries and the PRC, has caused a real panic in Brussels. For example, EU Commissioner Gucht stated that China is acting against the European Union in the spirit of «divide and conquer», the European Commission sent out ultimatum memos to the countries that participated in the summit forbidding them to sign independent agreements with the Chinese, etc. However, all this has turned out to be in vain, especially with regard to Ukraine. Most likely that is why Viktor Yanukovich, who on the eve of the summit in Vilnius was able to negotiate the lease of 9% of Ukraine's arable land (3 million hectares) to the Chinese for 99 years, set off on an official visit to China, which will take place December 3-6, as soon as the disturbances in Kiev began.

Fourth, the position of the United States on the Ukrainian issue has great significance; the U.S. is interested in accomplishing a number of interrelated goals: 

a) Not allowing its competitors on the Eurasian continent, i.e., Russia and the European Union, to become stronger. 

b) Preserving the Eastern Partnership, now unneeded after Vilnius, for the resolution of the «Ukrainian question»; according to the final declaration of the Vilnius summit, the Partnership has taken on an auxiliary military dimension. (Something similar happened with the GUAM organization on the threshold of Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia, provoked by the West). This «auxiliary military dimension» will begin to reveal itself as early as January 2014, when a frigate from the Ukrainian navy will join an EU naval operation off the coast of Somalia, and then it will take the form of the participation of Ukrainian military personnel in EU Battlegroups in 2014 and 2016. 

c) Testing fine-tuning all the tools for ensuring Washington's desired outcome in the Ukrainian presidential election in 2015. 

Polish political scientists answer the question posed in the title of this article without hesitation. For example, Mateusz Piskorski openly writes that «a certain part of the 'Ukrainian' protest was developed and prepared in the United States Embassy in Kiev. This is not even the European Union, but an overseas center of power»...

Título: Euromaidan in Kiev or Poland against Poland War

Autor: Vladislav GULEVICH

Fecha: 07.12.2013

Texto: The December 1, 2013 session of Poland’s National Security Council was called by President Bronislaw Komorowski to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Warsaw said it would work out a new strategy defining its policy towards this country under the conditions of «post-Vilnius reality». It would also apply efforts to achieve the goals set by Eastern Partnership…

The Civil Platform Party led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the opposition Law and Justice Party headed by Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski compete in their fervor to express support for the Euromaidan. It strikes the eye that Polish politicians have no strategy to unite them on the issue of Ukraine. The media has already come up with a term for this occasion saying there is a «Poland against Poland political war» going on. It proves that in general terms the West is at crossroads, it urgently needs to work out a definite policy towards Ukraine…

It has got stuck halfway while trying to implement a large-scale geopolitical project aimed at encircling the Eurasian power center (Russia) by unfriendly regimes. The fact that Komorowski speaks about the new reality after Vilnius is actually the recognition of the fact that the West have suffered the first serious defeat while implementing its East European policy. It’s a matter of delicate character and great importance for Poland. Warsaw has always viewed the European integration process (be it NATO or the European Union) expanding further to the East as a success for Polish diplomacy. Now two Eastern Partnership links are missing - Armenia and Ukraine. As far as official rhetoric is concerned, the words about the general economic and political course aimed at European integration are still pronounced, but the West has understood that the Eastern Partnership project is doomed to failure after the Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union and the refusal of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union.

According to Donald Tusk, the West should not let the big game for Ukraine’s future end up in tragic defeat.

He said Europe did not like the decision taken by Yanukovych. There are other things which are disliked, for instance the radicalization of Euromaidan and the appearance of Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski under the red-black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which stuck to the principle of nationalism while eliminating Poles during WWII. Poland understands that these people are the followers of Bandera and the successors of those who were involved in the massacres of Polish civilian population in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943 (Volyn tragedy). Poland is afraid of repeating the mistakes of 2004 when Warsaw fervently supported the «orange revolution» to the detriment of its foreign policy goals: the relations with Russia were ultimately deteriorated while the new Ukrainian government started to sing praises to boost the heroic image of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army’ groups - OUN and UPA.

Eccentric Janusz Marian Palikot, the leader of pocket-size political party Palicot’s Movement, lashed out against Jarosalw Kaczy?ski criticizing him for the support of Euromaidan. He remembered the deeds of those who joined the Bandera’s movement in the days of WWII executing Polish civilians. According to him, the European Union deprives Poland of national identity, legacy and land…Why should the head of the Law and Justice Party bear the Ukrainian brothers- chasteners so much rancor and ill-will?

To the contrary, European member of parliament Janusz Wojciechowski criticized Foreign Minister Rados?aw Sikorski for blasting the speech by Jarosalw Kaczy?ski delivered at Euromaidan. He called Sikorski a monkey with a razor. Then Andrzej Duda, the Law and Justice Party’s spokesman, said Sikorski was a smatterer in international affairs.

Jacek Protasiewicz (Civic Platform) was standing side by side with Jarosalw Kaczy?ski in Kiev making an attempt to make the Euromaidan look like an action above the divisions along the political parties’ lines. Seeking sympathy, Kaczy?ski had to address the street, while Bronislaw Komorowski has other options, for instance to sit down at the round table with Victor Yanukovych and start talks. Sooner or later the Polish President will use this opportunity. Those who are close to him say it is expedient to have contacts with all Ukrainian political forces, including Yanukovych. Poland cannot let the 2015 presidential election be won by a candidate, who will doubt the need for the Polish presence in Ukraine.

Donald Tusk said Poland is in for hard times. It will have to «play a few pianos» in Europe to form a relationship with the Ukrainian government and the opposition at the same time. Until now it has been building contacts with the opposition only. This affirmation is supported by the recent meeting held by Foreign Minister Rados?aw Sikorski with Vitali Klitschko and some Ukrainian pro-Western media outlets.

No details about the announced Polish new Ukraine’s policy have become public as yet. Reasonable voices call for diplomatic support of the protesters while abstaining from brazen political pressure and sending Western politicians to be unexpectedly landed as air-borne troops in Kiev to support the Euromaidan. Moreover the hindrances on the way of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine will backlash in Poland.

Will Warsaw manage to hold a balance walking a narrow tightrope between the interests of the European Union, the United States of America and Poland itself? We’ll see. Until now we can hear from it the European dissonance and the words about the «Poland against Poland political war». We can also see the massive pressure with the use of propaganda and diplomacy exerted on Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych.

Título: Euromaidan and OSCE: West Imposes Itself as Peacemaker


Fecha: 08.12.2013

Texto: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council meeting was held in Kiev on December 5-6. Actually it was to be a kind of wrap-up session devoted to summing up the results of Ukraine’s leadership in 2013. But the Euromaidan inserted its corrections.

As far back as December 3, it became known that US State Secretary John Kerry would skip the visit to Kiev changing the route for Chisinau instead. The US State Department put it plainly that it was a demarche related to the Ukraine’s refusal to sigh the Association Agreement with the European Union, «We wanted to send a very strong signal of support for those countries that have moved forward with the EU because of what it means to their commitment to reform», a senior US State Department official told reporters.

The same day Steven Pifer, former US ambassador to Ukraine, called for boycott of the meeting, «When police assault peaceful demonstrations, Kiev is hardly natural for a meeting of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe» he said citing what Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted on November 30.

Some answered the call. David Lidington, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Minister for Europe, went to Kiev instead of Foreign Secretary William Hague. His French counterpart Laurent Fabius was not there too. But Germany, Poland and Sweden ignored the Pifer’s call sending ministers of foreign affairs to Ukraine. Looks like the drawn-out crisis in the relations between the European Union and the United States starts to make European capitals less attentive to Washington’s wishes.

The meeting was filled with reproaches and claims to Kiev. The participants got carried away to the extent that the formal agenda (global security) was tackled only by representatives of post-Soviet states. The speech by Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov was really pithy. He addressed the key problems the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will have to tackle soon: working out principles of crises prevention and crises management, some thoughts on the issue of establishing rules for the use of Internet, expanding the authority of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the continuation of the Helsinki Plus 40 process.

But the Western diplomats fell the «smell of blood» coming from Ukraine, they hardly wanted to discuss anything else but the events in Euromaidan rebuking Kiev for human rights violations even if the protesters attack police with metal bars, toss Molotov cocktails and try to ride an excavator to press police ranks.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland challenged Ukrainian authorities to meet the protests constructively. «This is Ukraine's moment to meet the aspirations of its people or disappoint them», she told the OSCE meeting. «Democratic norms and the rule of law must be upheld».

David Lidington said with passion, «The eyes of the world are on Ukraine now, and that will continue to be the case after the close of this Ministerial meeting». The Sweden’s Foreign Chief Carl Bildt was more radical than others, «There have been unacceptable instances of violence and provocation surrounding these protests. The violence on the part of the police last Saturday was a breach of OSCE values and principles - principles that all of us have agreed to uphold. I therefore call on the President, the Government and the authorities of Ukraine to ensure freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, and to stay true to the fundamentals of the OSCE. I call on each and every one to avoid any violence».

Mainly the addresses delivered by Western representatives were far from sticking to diplomatic language. The supremacy of law was also seemed to be a thing of the past. Without even waiting for first results of the recent events’ investigation, Western diplomats put the blame on Ukrainian authorities for provoking the escalation of violence. The accusations were related to the Ukraine’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union.

The words of Lavrov sounded as a sobering warning when he highly appreciated the Ukraine’s work as the OSCE chairman in 2013. According to him, the European Union’s response to the fact that Ukraine used its sovereign right to decide which international agreements it wanted to sign or not looks more like a hysteric action.

An interesting intrigue took place related to the position of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation. On December 5 the three Ukrainian opposition leaders called on the Organization for Security and Co-operation to condemn President Yanukovych and express the support for the protesters... ««Peaceful protests are an important tool of public expression», the OSCE PA President Ranko Krivokapic said. «Protests, initially, helped lay the foundation for democracy in Ukraine – and the right to assemble publicly and peacefully must remain completely protected. Dialogue between political factions through democratically elected institutions and adherence to the rule of law are essential in the process of democracy-building», he added. On December 5 it became known there would be no meeting between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation and Ukrainian opposition leaders who found the OSCE PA’s position was not radical enough. The opposition wanted total criticism, instead the OSCE PA called for a comprehensive dialogue with the authorities. Later, asked about the idea of holding three-parties talks between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia, Ranko Krivokapic said that the tripartite talks between the EU, Russia and Ukraine could be of use for the settlement of crisis in Ukraine. «As for the EU, Russia, and Ukraine – these are three international entities and it depends on them. Any such meeting or any model could be of use for the settlement and overcoming conflicts», he said at a press conference during the OSCE Ministerial Council in Kiev. He happened to be a European the Ukrainian opposition leaders had nothing to talk about.

A new tendency in the OSCE policy towards Ukraine became visible during the December 5-6 meeting: the goal is to internationalize the events, make the Euromaidan their symbol and then step in as a «peacemaker». OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannie said the Organization for Security and Co-operation could step in as a mediator to facilitate finding a way out of the crisis that hit Ukraine. The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament (the parliament’s top governing body) made public the decision to urgently send the Koks - Kvasnevsky mission to Kiev. Ukraine was not asked if it needed the mission –it was simply presented with a fait accompli...

T. Yaglend, the head of Council of Europe, proposed to form an expert’s group to monitor and investigate the events in Kiev comprising three members - one member from opposition, one from the government and one representing the international community. He knows who to nominate from the European Union.
According to unconfirmed reports, Washington joined the process of imposing the decisions of «international community» upon Ukraine. Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, proposed to form a «peace cabinet» including the persons acceptable for the both conflicting parties. Of course, the United States will help to create such a cabinet.

According to the proposals, Ukraine should not consider itself a sovereign state able to solve its own internal problems anymore. This is the first attempt to introduce the regime of external governance… The European Union is confidently introducing its experts and politicians into the sphere of decision making process in Ukraine, something the Ukrainian authorities do not actively oppose. If it continues this way, then a transition period from «soft» to «hard» external governance will not take long.

Título: From Bahrain to Ukraine: Hail the Western Salesmen of Subversion and Deception

Autor: Finian CUNNINGHAM

Fecha: 09.12.2013

Texto: The Manama Dialogue held in Bahrain at the weekend – attended by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague, among other senior Western officials – is presented with gravitas and self-importance as a forum to «earnestly» discuss «security issues» in the Middle East and beyond.

In reality, the event – held in the Bahraini capital, Manama – is nothing but a talking shop of fake concepts, hollow posturing and boilerplate verbosity. A talking shop, complete with garish window dressing and manikins, to hide the gruesome nature of the real Western political business that goes on in the basement of the oil-rich region.

Like the general position of Washington and London towards the Persian Gulf Arab regimes, the Manama Dialogue is all about selling propaganda and deception to cover the most brutal facts of life, sold with the guise of genial, virtuous vendors.

One of these brutal facts is that the Western governments are fully complicit in the repression of their Persian Arab clients against their own people. Another brutal fact is that it is Western governments and their Persian Arab clients who are fuelling insecurity and violence across the Middle East, as in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, by covertly supporting extremist regime-change mercenaries, such as Al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, both of which are linked to Al Qaeda.

Yet another brutal fact is that the Persian Gulf is one of the most militarized and insecure locations in the world, partly because of Western support for illicitly nuclear-armed Israel, and partly because of reckless weapons sales by America and Britain to the tinderbox region. 

Nevertheless, senior representatives of the war-dealing Western states have the audacity to address a conference in the region on «peace and security».

Like a parallel universe, speakers and delegates were ensconced in a plush hotel by their Bahraini hosts to hold forth on democracy, rule of law and terrorism. Meanwhile, a few kilometres away from the venue, the Western-backed Bahraini regime was deploying its riot police to club and gas peaceful pro-democracy supporters. The protesters were trying to exercise their universal right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression – the same human rights that Washington and London repeatedly declare they are champion retailers of.

These rights have been systematically denied to Bahraini civilians for the past three years (and before) by the US and British-backed absolute monarchy in Bahrain.  Since February 2011, when the pro-democracy movement rekindled in the Persian Gulf kingdom, regime forces have killed nearly 100 civilians, some of whom died under torture during detention; hundreds have been maimed with grotesque injuries, such as the loss of eyes and limbs from shot gun pellets; infants and elderly have been poisoned in their homes from the deliberate, excessive use of tear gas; and thousands of families have been plunged into misery because fathers and sons have been locked up in jails without a semblance of due legal process.  All this barbarity is done with the tacit support of Washington and London, and with the shameful indifference of the Western news media.

For a tiny population of only 600,000 native Bahrainis (an expatriate foreign worker population is of the same size) the toll of brutality and suffering inflicted by the Khalifa regime has been immense. And in this fierce assault on the mainly Shia population, the Bahraini rulers have been fully assisted by Saudi Arabia, which sent troops into the neighbouring island back in March 2011 to crush the pro-democracy demonstrations. Saudi troops have remained in Bahrain ever since – albeit covertly, by donning Bahraini uniforms. Washington and London are fully apprised of the situation. In fact, it was the US and Britain that gave the green light to the House of Saud to embark on the crushing of protests in Bahrain, just as the Saudi rulers have been doing in their own Eastern Province and other parts of that oil-rich kingdom.

It is instructive to compare and contrast what is happening in the Ukraine and the official Western response. The protests in Kiev have evidently been driven by a determined minority, using violent and organized subversion, and calling for the overthrow of the elected authorities.  This is not the exercise of international human rights, as in Bahrain; in the case of the Ukraine, it is a call to sedition.

Furthermore, the agitating groups in the Ukraine, such as the Fatherland Party and the neo-fascist Freedom Party, are known to have well-established logistical links to foreign agencies that are committed to fomenting regime change in targeted nations. These agencies include the American CIA and the benign-sounding National Endowment for Democracy. Certainly, the methodical tactics of disruption deployed recently against government buildings in Kiev strongly imply a covert military input…

To upbraid the Ukrainian state for responding with a heavy-hand in the face of this wanton subversion against its sovereign authority, as Western governments have charged, is at best naive and at worst blatant propaganda to distort the real situation.

Apparently, innocent civilian bystanders were caught up in the melee and incurred injuries. There were, however, no deaths, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov later issued a public apology for police conduct. Since the height of the commotion a week ago, the demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital have subsided. This pattern again implies that the protests and public were manipulated for an ulterior agenda – an agenda that was not merely about expressing dissent against the government’s EU rejection, but rather was more sinister in scope, namely to destabilize the state.

The contrast with Bahrain could hardly be more lucid. Here the «authorities» are an unelected regime comprised largely of one family – the al Khalifas, headed by a self-appointed king, Hamad bin Issa al Khalifa. His hereditary successor will be his eldest son, Crown Prince Salman. The Bahraini regime rules by absolute decree with the guise of a consultative «parliament» that is «elected» through a heavily gerrymandered process.

The Bahraini regime and its foreign supporters – Washington, London and Saudi Arabia – have claimed that the largely peaceful pro-democracy protests are manipulated by foreign agents. It is claimed that these agents include Shia Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah. The US and British governments do not reiterate this too often or loudly because they know full well that the accusation is an utter figment of imagination. There is not an iota of evidence for the involvement of Iran, Hezbollah or any other foreign agency in the Bahraini demonstrations. These protests have been sustained for nearly three years simply by the civilian population’s own desire to have the right to democratically elect a government, rather than being lorded over by a corrupt and venal crony family racket. 

Unlike the Ukraine, Bahrain is a simple and straightforward case of democracy being brutally denied to a civilian population that has remained peaceful despite relentless provocation from an unelected regime.

The double standards and hypocrisy of the Western governments and the mainstream news media as shown by the differing response to events in the Ukraine and Bahrain is glaring. A short-lived bid to sow chaos in the Ukraine by a provable foreign-backed subversion against an elected government is given the highest profile by Western governments and media as «a noble bid for democracy against an autocratic regime». Whereas in Bahrain, a sustained pro-democracy movement by unarmed, peaceful civilians against a brutal, unelected autocrat is, well, simply ignored by the West.

Indeed, Bahrain is not merely ignored by the West. It is indulged and tacitly backed to the hilt by Washington and London.  The attendance of such prominent figures as Chuck Hagel and William Hague at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain at the weekend – during which they spouted platitudes about security, democracy and rule of law – is the US and British government’s way of reassuring the Bahraini and Saudi regimes of their ongoing support to crush democracy. 

Meanwhile, Chuck Hagel announced during the weekend forum that the US has no intention of scaling back its military presence (read: arms sales) in the Persian Gulf despite the recent diplomatic detente with Iran. «Diplomacy, must be backed up with military power,» Hagel told delegates. The Pentagon chief also disclosed that the US was going ahead with the sale of 15,000 anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia worth $1 billion. These missiles will probably end up in the hands of Al Qaeda militants waging a war of terror against Syria for the Western-backed objective of regime change in that country.  Ironically, and ludicrously, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned delegates that «extremists» operating in Syria (with the covert support of the US, Britain and Saudi Arabia among others) present a grave security threat to the Middle East region and Europe.

Outside the Manama conference, where peaceful protesters were having their heads cracked open by Bahraini riot police, one banner held up by the crowd read: «Why do Western governments not support calls for democracy in Bahrain?»

What a cruel joke. Western governments do not support democracy in Bahrain – or anywhere else for that matter – because they make money from oil and arms sales by supporting dictatorships, and from crushing and subverting democracy. Bahrain and the Ukraine are just two examples of the general concept. Despite their polished and preening rhetoric, Washington and London are nothing but the salesmen for subversion and deception.

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