Tag Archive | "Ukraine War"

Challenging Klobuchar on Ukraine War


NOVANEWS

Image result for Ukraine War CARTOON

As Democrats compete to become the new War Party – pushing for a dangerous confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia – some constituents are objecting, as Mike Madden did in a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

From Mike Madden (of St. Paul, Minnesota) 

Dear Senator Klobuchar, I write with concern over statements you have made recently regarding Russia. These statements have been made both at home and abroad, and they involve two issues; the alleged Russian hack of the presidential election and Russia’s actions in the aftermath of the February 22, 2014 coup in Kiev.

U.S. intelligence services allege that President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to denigrate Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump. The campaign is purported to include the production of fake news, cyber-trolling, and propaganda from Russian state-owned media. It is also alleged that Russia hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, subsequently providing the emails to WikiLeaks.

Despite calls from many quarters, the intelligence services have not provided the public with any proof. Instead, Americans are expected to blindly trust these services with a long history of failure. Additionally, the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, have both been known to lie to the public and to Congress, Mr. Clapper doing so under oath.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange maintains the emails did not come from Russia (or any other state actor) and his organization has an unblemished record of revealing accurate information in the public interest that would otherwise remain hidden. While responsible journalists continue to use the word ‘alleged’ to describe the accusations, Republicans with an ax to grind against Russia, and Democrats wishing to distract from their own failings in the campaign, refer to them as fact. Indeed, on the ‘Amy in the News’ page of your own website, Jordain Carney of The Hill refers to the Russian meddling as “alleged”.

A congressional commission to investigate the alleged Russian hacking is not necessary. Even if all the allegations are true, they are altogether common occurrences, and they certainly don’t rise to the level of “an act of aggression”, “an existential threat to our way of life”, or “an attack on the American people” as various Democratic officials have characterized them. Republican Senator John McCain went full monty and called the alleged meddling “an act of war”.

Joining War Hawks

It is of concern that you would join Senator McCain and the equally belligerent Senator Lindsey Graham on a tour of Russian provocation through the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia, and Montenegro. The announcement of your trip (December 28, 2016) on the ‘News Releases’ page of your website renewed the unproven claim of “Russian interference in our recent election”. It also claimed that the countries you were visiting were facing “Russian aggression” and that “Russia illegally annexed Crimea”.

Sen. John McCain  and Sen. Lindsey Graham

It is unfortunate that these claims have become truisms by sheer repetition rather than careful examination of the facts. Russia has not invaded eastern Ukraine. There are no regular units of the Russian military in the breakaway provinces, nor has Russia launched any air strikes from its territory. It has sent weapons and other provisions to the Ukrainian forces seeking autonomy from Kiev, and there are most certainly Russian volunteers operating in Ukraine.

However regrettable, it must be remembered that the unrest was precipitated by the February 22, 2014 overthrow of the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych which, speaking of meddling, was assisted by U.S. State Department, other American government agencies, and one Senator John McCain. The subsequent military and paramilitary operations launched by the coup government against the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk were described by President Putin as “uncontrolled crime” spreading into the south and east of the country. In American parlance, both the interim coup government in Kiev and the current government of President Petro Poroshenko have engaged in “killing their own people”.

Ignoring the Details

If Russia’s actions are to be considered “aggression” or an “invasion”, one must find a whole new word to describe what the United States did to Iraq in 2003. If, like your colleague Senator McCain, you hold the annexation of Crimea to be illegal under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, I urge a closer look.

On February 21, 2014, an agreement brokered by the European Union was signed between President Yanukovych and the leaders of three major opposition parties. The agreement contained terms for a cessation of violence, immediate power sharing, and new elections. Smelling blood in the water, the opposition in Maidan Square did not withdraw from the streets or surrender their illegal weapons as agreed, but instead went on the offensive. Yanukovych, under threat to his life, fled Kiev along with many others in his Party of Regions.

Nor did the opposition party leaders honor the agreement. The next day, they moved to impeach Yanukovych, however they failed to meet several requirements of the Ukrainian Constitution. They failed to indict the president, conduct an investigation, and have that investigation certified by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Instead, they moved directly to a vote on impeachment and, even on that count, they failed to obtain the required three-fourths majority vote. So, even though the Budapest Memorandum did offer assurances of Ukrainian security and territorial integrity in exchange for surrender of Soviet-era nuclear weapons on its soil, the sovereign government of Ukraine had fallen in a violent unconstitutional putsch.

Yanukovych remained its legitimate president-in-exile and he, along with the prime minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, requested Russian intervention on the peninsula to provide security and protect the human rights of ethnic Russians threatened by the new coup government and neo-Nazi elements within it.

One can now see how real that threat was by looking to eastern Ukraine where the Ukrainian military and neo-Nazi paramilitaries such as the Azov Battallion, have moved with force against the defenders of the Donbass region whose people seek autonomy from a government in Kiev that they do not recognize. Approximately 10,000 people have died in the Donbass War, whereas only six people were killed during the period of annexation (February 23-March19, 2014) in Crimea.

While the Donbass War drags on, Crimea remains stable today. The popular referendum conducted on March 16, 2014 lent legitimacy to the subsequent annexation. Official results claimed 82% turnout with 96% of voters favoring reunification with Russia. Independent polling conducted in the early weeks of March 2014 found 70-77% of all Crimeans favored reunification. Six years prior to the crisis in 2008, a poll found that 63% favored reunification. Even though many ethnic Ukranians and Tatars boycotted the election, rejoining Russia was clearly the will of the majority of Crimean people.

President Putin, characterizing the situation in Ukraine as a revolution, claimed that Russia had no agreements with the new state and therefore no obligations under the Budapest Memorandum. He also cited Chapter I: Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect for the principle of self-determination of peoples. The 1975 Helsinki Accords, which affirmed post-World War II borders, also allowed for the change of national boundaries by peaceful internal means.

The Kosovo Precedent

It is also useful to consider parallel occurrences in Kosovo. In 1998 ethnic cleansing by Serbian troops and paramilitaries led to a NATO intervention without U.N. authorization. There is little question that the move was illegal, but legitimacy was claimed due to the urgent humanitarian need. Ten years later, Kosovo would declare independence from Serbia and the disputed matter would end up before the International Court of Justice. In 2009 the United States provided the Court with a statement on Kosovo that read in part: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.”

The United States should accept the Russian annexation of Crimea both as a pragmatic matter, and one of principle. In 1990, during negotiations for the re-unification of Germany, the United States promised that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO. That promise has now been broken three times and eleven new nations have been added to the alliance. Ukraine has also entered in partnership with NATO, and at various times, full membership has been discussed. Russia has consistently expressed its disapproval. According to your website, an objective of your trip was “to reinforce support for NATO”. If this weren’t provocative enough, your three-senator delegation went to a front-line military outpost in Shirokino, Ukraine to incite an escalation to the Donbass War. Senator Graham told the assembled soldiers “Your fight is our fight, 2017 will be the year of offense”. The leader of your delegation, Senator McCain, said “I am convinced you will win and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win”.

After the speeches were given, you are seen in a video of the New Year’s Eve event accepting what appears to be a gift from one of the uniformed soldiers. With all of the furor over former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation, and possible violation of the Logan Act, for discussing alleviation of sanctions with a Russian ambassador, this appears to be a far more serious offense. Not only did your delegation advocate for a foreign policy that was not aligned with that of acting President Obama, it was also contrary to President-elect Trump’s approach to the region. And the results of your advocacy have the potential to be far more deadly than the mere alleviation of sanctions.

Sincerely, Mike Madden St. Paul, Minnesota

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NATO Ramps Up Ukraine War After Defeat in Syria


NOVANEWS

The timing of the large-scale attacks on Donbas comes just as the US and its NATO allies incur a strategic setback in their covert war for regime change in Syria.

ukraine-war

by Finian Cunningham

SPUTNIK

A surge in military attacks this week by NATO-backed Kiev regime forces on the breakaway eastern Ukraine regions is no mere coincidence.

It is the reaction to events in Syria by the US-led military alliance in its hybrid warfare against Russia.

Hundreds of ceasefire breaches by troops belonging to the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) are being reported in the separatist self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Over the past few days, several towns and villages have come under intense shelling from artillery, rockets and mortars in stark violation of the Minsk agreement.

That agreement was brokered by Russia, Germany and France during 2014 and 2015, and was meant to facilitate a political settlement between the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in a coup d’état in February 2014, and the breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, which refused to recognize the legitimacy of the usurper Kiev cabal.

Houses, schools and water treatment plants have been hit as the UAF and associated Neo-Nazi militias move heavy weaponry close to the so-called contact lines. All indications suggest that the NATO-backed Kiev regime is mobilizing for a renewed offensive on the mainly ethnic Russian Donbas region comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

So far, the militia of the DPR and LPR have repelled the offensive, with dozens of casualties reportedly suffered by the Kiev regime’s military.

The timing of the large-scale attacks on Donbas comes just as the US and its NATO allies incur a strategic setback in their covert war for regime change in Syria. The liberation of the battleground city of Aleppo last week by the Syrian army, supported by Russian, Iranian and Lebanese allies, portends the end of the nearly six-year conflict in Syria.

The routing of jihadist militants from Aleppo, who had been backed covertly by the US and certain NATO powers, including Britain and France, has signaled the end of the regime-change project in Syria to oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

NATO member Turkey had played a key role in the US-led dirty war on Syria, serving as a conduit for fighters and arms to the proxy jihadist militants trying to overthrow Assad – a longtime ally of both Russia and Iran.

But now Turkey seems to be aligning with Russia and Iran to bring an end to the war in neighboring Syria. This week, foreign and defense ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow to declare their commitment to end the Syrian conflict.

The New York Times reported: “Russia, Iran and Turkey meet for Syria talks, excluding the US”. Pointedly, it added: “The new alignment and absence of any Western powers at the table all but guarantee that President Bashar al-Assad will continue to rule Syria under any resulting agreement.”

In other words, it’s “game over” for Washington and its criminal enterprise to subvert Syria.

The setback for American imperialist scheming in the Middle East cannot be overstated. For decades, US rulers have seen it as their God-given exceptional right to roll over any foreign government deemed unfit for their geopolitical interests. Syria was among target countries on the American hit-list, which came into action back in March 2011 when the US and its NATO partners and regional client regime unleashed hell with terror proxies.

US ambitions of conquest in the oil-rich region have now been dealt a stunning blow after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military operation at the end of 2015 to support the Syrian state, along with Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

Despite a massive propaganda campaign orchestrated by the Western media and Washington puppets at the United Nations, the Syrian army and its allies have won a historic victory in retaking Aleppo from NATO-backed jihadists.

Not only is this a bitter military defeat for Washington. It is a political and moral triumph over Western lies as told through major media corporations. The latter were saturated with claims of atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by Syrian and Russian forces. Those reckless claims have now been exposed as blatant fabrications, as the people of Aleppo openly celebrate liberation from Western-backed jihadists who had imposed a reign of terror on large parts of the city for nearly four years.

It seems significant that only days after the liberation of Aleppo, Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was brutally assassinated in Turkey’s capital Ankara, when a gunman shot him in the back as he addressed a cultural event. The murder was evidently aimed at derailing the political talks underway between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Who would benefit from such an atrocity? Obviously, the US-led NATO powers.

If NATO military intelligence did not specifically order the assassination of Karlov, we can at least say that Washington and its Western allies certainly created the climate of hatred and demonization that made the Russian diplomat a “legitimate target”.

A further significant development is the renewed offensive by the NATO-backed Kiev regime against the ethnic Russian people of east Ukraine. Again, this provocative move comes only days after the spectacular military victory by Russia and its allies against NATO’s jihadist proxies in Aleppo, and possibly now for the whole of Syria.

Make no mistake, the reactionary junta that seized power in Kiev is a surrogate for NATO’s long-held offensive designs on Russia. Citing unsubstantiated “fears” of Russian aggression, NATO has given itself a license to escalate troops and missiles on Russia’s border. Washington and its European lackeys have financed, armed and trained the Kiev regime. This week, British defense minister Michael Fallon announced more British army training for Kiev’s forces, claiming that it was to counter Russian aggression. Fallon had the cheek to spout this nonsense in the same week that the assaults on eastern Ukraine have surged.

At a NATO-Russia summit in Brussels earlier this week, the US-led military alliance had the gall to call on Moscow to influence “Russian separatists” in Donbas to “honor the Minsk ceasefire”.

Russian delegate to NATO Alexander Grushko reportedly introduced some reality to the meeting by pointing out the hundreds of violations being committed in recent days by the Kiev regime. Such violations are par for the course, since the NATO-backed junta first launched its offensive on the region back in 2014, and which has resulted in up to 10,000 deaths.

As with the Syrian war, Washington and its NATO allies, aided and abetted by the Western news (sic) media, play with semantics and illusions, and insult common intelligence.

In Ukraine, NATO is waging a covert war every bit as it was in Syria, where as many as 400,000 people have been killed and from which Europe is struggling with its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, including the threat of terror attacks as seen in France and Germany this week.

Shamelessly, Washington and its Western subordinates accuse Russia of hybrid warfare and aggression. The reaction to defeat in Syria through ramping up conflict in Ukraine shows that it is the US-led NATO alliance that is the real culprit of hybrid war and aggression.

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