Sunday, March 02, 2014

For what?

How many demonstrators do you need to legitimise the overthrow of a democratically elected president - 1000, 20000, a million?  It's clearly not a question that bothers most of our mainstream media, the demonstrators were good, the president was bad and actual votes cast by ignorant folk in far-off cities count for nothing.

It's a familiar playbook: occupy a central square, provoke the authorities, complain loudly about repression, hang-on until something cracks.  The various occupy movements read the same book but what chance did they have, a bunch of hippies, no money, no press support.  What is needed is a sponsor with deep pockets and some guys who are up for a fight.  Maybe you remember that football tournament a couple of years ago, the one where the Western media worried about how black supporters would be treated?  Do you remember the interviews with scary men in training camps and their dreams of "racial purity?"  Those are the type who are needed, ship them off to a neighbouring country, train them in police tactics, they're good soldiers - brave and cruel.

Imagine 13 policemen being killed in Central London or New York or Berlin. Would the media fail to mention it?  Of course not, but let's remember who is pulling the strings here, the ones with the deep pockets.  So instead we hear the most powerful man in the West talking about "peaceful demonstrators" and we disbelieve our lying eyes.  After days of holding a line, of being beaten by the guys with 14 and 88 on their shields, the president finally lets the cops off the leash and the inevitable happens.  The inevitable which was the plan all along, the desired outcome.

Now the suits from Germany and France broker a deal.  The president will bring forward the elections, he'll go back to the old constitution, he'll send the riot-cops back to their barracks.  The political parties sign-up, the EU signs-up, the Russians sign-up .... but not everyone is happy.  The people with deep pockets aren't happy and neither are the street fighters, the ones hired to slug-it-out, not voice an opinion.

The president flees, a new government is formed under the watchful eye of those thugs the liberals thought they could control.  Their crazy dream of "racial purity" is becoming a reality and they ensure the new body passes laws, laws aimed at the national minorities, the folk who don't fit in with the world view of the worst elements now struting through the corridors of power.

Of course the deep-pockets are happy, those billions spent have shown results, regime change, a big step forward.  Why they might soon take over that Black Sea naval base.  Even with that hopeless guy in the Oval Office, the Neo-Cons have still chalked up a victory.

Is Berlin happy?  For sure the thugs who did the fighting really hate the EU, but they'll soon be gone.  This is a long game, Mitteleuropa, and all achieved without a shot being fired .... well just a few.

But there was something they all forgot, big nations have rights too.  Did they think Russia would just sit back and take it?  The proposed looting of the industries in the east, the military threat, the new laws against a population who look to them for protection?  Did the deep-pockets think that a great nation which once drove Nazism from the face of the earth, would tolerate those swaggering goons?

So what now?  The guy in the Oval Office must decide between humiliation and war.  Names you thought were long gone appear on our TV screens, they don't care if it's Putin or Obama who backs off, the old battle lines will have been redrawn, it's win win.

Update: I wish to apologize for the suggestion that the Ukranian police or President Yanukovych had anything to do with the sniper attacks on the crowd in Kiev.  The leaked conversation between Ashton and the Estonian Prime Minister suggests clearly that the killings were the work of elements within the new regime.


Jac o' the North, said...

I had guessed what you were going to say before I came here. Yes, there is a hard-core, extreme nationalist element bordering on fascistic among the 'freedom' protestors. Many of these revere the men and women who fought with the Germans against the Red Army in WWII. So they're easy targets.

I knew some of those WWII veterans back in Swansea. When I was young they could be found down town, in the Three Lamps, on a Saturday night. There was even a Ukrainian Club in Morriston. A mate of mine married the daughter of one of these veterans.

But put yourself in the position of someone living in the Ukraine in 1941. You might have lost your whole family to the terror-famines engineered by Stalin that may have killed as many as 7.5 million people. Then the Germans arrive. You don't see an enemy; you don't see Nazis; you see liberators, so you join them to get revenge.

The Ukrainians were victims three times over. First from the terror-famines, then the war, and then Stalin's retribution. You wonder that some of them, the grandchildren of those who suffered, are a little extreme in their attitudes to Russia and Russians?

Come on, you can do better.

Anonymous said...

Whilst I would agree that the media has portrayed this affair in a very one sided way and there is certainly some truth in the Russian accusations that ethno-centric ultra-nationalists have had a hand in the overthrow of Yanukovich, I think it is going a bit far to suggest, as you appear to do, that the Russians are the good guys in all of this. Putin is himself a hard line nationalist with a distinctly imperialistic agenda. I suspect he is seeking the re-absorbtion of Ukraine, in whole or in part, back in to the Russian Federation. As a Welsh nationalist, I would have thought your sympathies would have been with the Crimean Tartars. They have no love of Russia. And with good reason.

radnorian said...

But I haven't mentioned the war Jac or Bandera's later campaign against the Soviets.

Despite the history you mention the vast majority of Ukrainians have always rejected the extreme right, while the Svoboda party's heartland in Western Ukraine was part of Poland during the time of famine and forced collectivisation.

Since most Ukrainians reject the extreme right, I see no reason to make excuses for them.

The Feb 21 agreement was signed by the major Ukrainian parties, the EU and the Russians. It was not acceptable to the street-fighters (the only body of armed men in Kiev when the police were withdrawn) or their American sponsors.

The way ahead must surely be free and fair elections. If Crimea votes to secede from the Ukraine, that is their right, just as Scotland has a right to quit the UK.

The legality of all this is a matter for the lawyers. Did the Duma act under duress when it voted to dismiss the president, can the Russians claim that their occupation of Crimea was OK'd by a democratically elected and illegally deposed president.

Obviously you, and from what I can see most Welsh opinion, disagrees with me. I find it strange that so few can see the CIA's hand in all of this. Like the break up of Yugoslavia it is part of their obsession with limiting the power of Russia. There too the western media were united in telling a partial and very one-sided story.

Perhaps I'm wrong, let history judge.

radnorian said...

Anon 10.59

I don't think the Russians are the good guys. I do think that they have big power interests and that America's adventurism has been very dangerous and counter-productive, not least for the Ukrainians.

As for the Crimean Tatars, you have to look at the broader historical picture. Up until the Russian conquest at the end of the 18C this was a khanate whose main economic activity was slave hunting in Russia, Poland and Ukraine for the Ottoman market. Their victims numbered in the millions and their cruelty was legendary.

Since the fall of communism the Crimean Tatars have been able to return to their homeland and their language has seemingly received official recognition. This is a good thing.

I don't think the Russians have threatened those language rights although the new regime in Kiev certainly has, passing a law stripping minorities of such rights.

Someone on twitter suggested arming the Tatars, this is madness. They are and likely to remain a minority and arming them to fight their neighbours would be disasterous for them. Peaceful co-existence would seem to be the way ahead.

Anonymous said...

You’re not alone in you thinking that America/the West was involved in the coup, only an idiot would deny it, but both sides are as bad as the other. And far from swallowing BBC/ITV/SKY propaganda most welsh people don’t care what’s happening in Eastern Europe.

However after today’s photos in Downing Street of the UK Government’s negotiating position will Plaid Cymru be raising the hard proof of Cameron and his chums protecting their own and the City of London interests above the UK and Wales national interest, I doubt the SNP will be so slow.

Jac o' the North, said...

"What is needed is a sponsor with deep pockets and some guys who are up for a fight." suggests to me that you are suggesting it was - as the Russians allege - a 'coup'. One in which US money backed a bunch of Ukrainian fascist thugs.

What I'm saying is yes, there were extremists involved, but I'd still argue that most of those involved in getting rid of Yanukovych were fighting for democratic values. Talking of which, how democratic was the election of Yanukovych?

radnorian said...

Well the EU and the international observers deemed Yanukovych's election to be fair.

I do believe that the democratic majority lost control of events in Kiev to small but highly organised groups of extreme-right fighters.

Someone refused to accept the Feb 21 agreement signed by the EU, Russia and the main political parties?

Yes the great majority in Kiev are decent people but they were not the ones willing and able to crack skulls.

Look I'm in Elfael viewing all this from afar, so what do I know. To me the whole thing smacks of a coup. It wouldn't be the first time.

And surely I'm not alone in thinking that our media is telling a one-sided tale here. Just as they did in Yugoslavia.

Jac o' the North, said...

OK, we're both a long way away and the media can't be relied upon. And as I mentioned in response to an earlier post, this time we certainly can't trust RT.

I suggest we apply to the 'Welsh' Government for a grant, so that we can undertake a fact-finding and vodka-tasting mission to the region. Justified in order to keep the followers of the Welsh blogosphere informed, and bloggers suitably lubricated.

Yes, in Yugoslavia there was a clear anti-Serb bias in the West, for two principal reasons: 1/ Weakening Serbia limited Russian influence in the region, 2/ Helping Muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia gained the West Brownie points with the oil sheiks and others.

radnorian said...

We're the wrong sort Jac, we'd have more chance of getting a grant from the Saudis.

Anonymous said...

Radnorian - in response to your post at 11.26, I would make a few short points.

Firstly, I can't see why the 'broader historical picture' (by which you mean the one-sided European/Western view of Crimean Tatar history up to late 18th century) is relevant to the Tatars' current situation. None of us should be held accountable for the sins (real or otherwise) of our forefathers.

Secondly,the legislation on 'regional' minority languages brought under Yanukovich and repealed last month, was designed to bolster the position of Russian at the expense of Ukrainian. It had nothing to do with protecting the Crimean Tatar language. Indeed, the Russophone dominated regional government in Crimea ensured that the linguistic rights the legislation confered never extended to the Tatar language.

Thirdly, the Tatars have returned to their homeland, in part, because it is no longer part of Russia. Should that situation change, it is a fair bet that the position of the Crimean Tatars will be made more difficult.

radnorian said...

Yes uou're right about the sins of the fathers .... yet the sins of the Soviet regime of 70 and 80 years ago are constantly brought up to attack the Russia of today.

So the new language laws are only aimed at Russian. Brilliant. This is how you solve the National Question in Ukraine by legislating against the largest national minority.

I don't know enough about the status of Tatar in Crimea to argue with you, certainly Tatars within Russia have linguistic rights - it's an official language in Tatarstan.

I'm sure Washington and London would love to support the Crimean Tatars if they make trouble for Putin. Then a couple of years down the road they will move-on and forget all about them. The Tatars should turn their back on all those big-power games and live in peace with their neighbours.

Fferllys said...

Re: the repeal of the language law.

A very important follow-up has been missed by almost everyone in the west.

The interim President of Ukraine vetoed the repeal of the law, which was then quietly dropped.

Another important fact to understand about the vote to repeal the law was that it did not apply in Crimea, but only to Eastern Ukraine.

As so often, we understand, hear and know only a part of what the reality is, and the media pass over and move on from much news and facts that could enlighten us. Pace Syria... does anyone know what's going on there now?

radnorian said...

I did tweet that the president had refused to sign the language law.

What this does show is the chaotic nature of the regime in Kiev. For example James Mates of ITV witnessed and tweeted about a gang of football ultras who invaded the Rada and forced the deputies to pass a law releasing two convicted murderers.

Hopefully this was not signed by the president either.

The media and the Western governments paint this as a black and white issue. It's harder for them to do this when we have Youtube and twitter.