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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crimea: Was It Seized by Russia, or Did Russia Block Its Seizure by the U.S.?

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Eric Zuesse. 
Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian. (Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans’ attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred in February 2014 but was actually kicked off on 20 November 2013, the day before Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych publicly announced that Ukraine had received a better economic offer from Russia’s Eurasian Economic Community than from America’s European Union. (The EEC subsequently became the Eurasian Economic Union, now that it was clear that Ukraine was going with the EU.) That decision by Yanukovych in favor of the EEC was mistakenly thought by him to be merely an economic one, and he didn’t know the extent to which the U.S. Government had set up an operation to overthrow him if he didn’t go along with the EU’s offer. (If some of these basic historical facts don’t come through from merely the wikipedia articles alone, that’s because the CIA is among the organizations that edit wikipedia articles, and so wikipedia is unwittingly a political propaganda vehicle. It is especially used for propaganda by the CIA and FBI.)
More recently, a poll of Crimeans was issued on 4 February 2015, by the polling organization GfK, and paid for this time by the pro-American-Government Canadian Government, via its Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, and via Free Crimea, which is itself funded by the latter organization. However, the Canadian Government got no better news than the U.S. Government had gotten: 82% of Crimeans “Fully endorse” Crimea’s having become part of Russia (of which it had been part between 1783 and 1954, and which the public there had never wanted to leave); 11% “Mostly endorse” it; 2% “Mostly disapprove”; 3% “Don’t know”; and only 2% “Fully disapprove.” Or, to put it simply: 93% approve; 3% don’t know, and 4% disapprove. This poll was publicly issued only in the polling organization’s own report, which was made available only in Russian (the Ukrainian Government’s main language for international business) and therefore not comprehensible to English-speakers. It was titled, “СОЦИАЛЬНО-ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ НАСТРОЕНИЯ ЖИТЕЛЕЙ КРЫМА Исследование проведенное GfK Ukraine по заказу компании” or “SOCIO-POLITICAL SENTIMENTS IN CRIMEA: Research conducted by GfK Ukraine on the order of the company.” On February 10th, an English-language article reported and summarized the poll’s findings.
During the 16 March 2014 public referendum in Crimea, 96% voted to rejoin Russia. One question on the post-referendum, April 2014, U.S.-sponsored Gallup poll in Crimea, was headlined, “Perceived Legitimacy of March 16Crimean Referendum” (on page 28 of the poll-report), and 82.8% of Crimeans agreed with the statement, “The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status likely reflect the views of most people here.” 6.7% disagreed. According to the newer poll (4 February 2015), 96% were for annexation to Russia, and 4% were opposed, which happens to be exactly what the 16 March 2014 referendum had actually found to be the case. But, continuing now with the description of the April 2014 Gallup poll: its “Views of Foreign Parties’ Role in the Crisis — Crimea” (p. 25), showed 76.2% of Crimeans saying that the role of the U.S. was “Mostly negative,” and 2.8% saying the U.S. role was “Mostly positive”; while Crimeans’ attitudes towards Russia were the exact opposite: 71.3% said Russia’s role was “Mostly positive,” and 4.0% said it was “Mostly negative.”
An accurate reflection of the reason why Crimeans, during the lead-up to the referendum, were appalled by America’s extremely violent and bloody takeover of the Ukrainian Government (as the EU itself had confirmed), was given on Crimean television shortly before the referendum, when a former criminal prosecutor in the Ukrainian Government, who lived and worked in Kiev and saw with her own eyes much of the violence but was not personally involved in the events, quit her office, and got in her car and drove back to her childhood home in Crimea, now unemployed, because she was so revulsed at what had happened to her country. On this call-in show, which was watched by many Ukrainians, she explained why she could no longer, as a lawyer and a supporter of the Ukrainian Constitution, support the Ukrainain Government — that it was now an illegal Government. She closed her opening statement, just before taking the calls from people over the phone, by saying, “Despite that our ‘great politicians’ who seized power by bloodshed, are now claiming that we don’t have the right to decide our own future — citizens of Crimea, you have every right in the world. Nobody is allowed to ururp power.” She subsequently became a criminal prosecutor in the new Crimean government, enforcing now the Russian Constitution, in Crimea.
However, anyone who says that Russia “seized Crimea,” is clearly lying or else is fooled by people who are.
Here, then, are highlights from a typical Western ‘news’ report about Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, in the issue of TIME magazine (December 10th online, December 22nd issue on newsstands), headlining “Vladimir Putin, The Imperialist,” in which Putin was a “runner-up” as the “Person of the Year” — a year when, actually, Obama overthrew Ukraine’s Government and replaced it with one run by racist-fascist (or nazi) haters of Russia, who were setting up to yank the remaining years on Russia’s lease of its crucial Black Sea Naval Base in Crimea, and the Crimeans were imminently fearing a Ukrainian invasion (the author was Simon Shuster):
His decision in March to invade and then annex the region of Crimea from Ukraine marked the first growth of Russia’s dominions since the fall of the Soviet Union. …
With the conquest of Crimea, a derelict peninsula about the size of Massachusetts, Putin at last restored a scrap of Russia’s honor, says Gorbachev, by “acting on his own,” unbound by the constraints of U.S. supremacy and the table manners of international law. …
That name [Crimea], redolent with the history of Europe’s 19th century wars, has become a byword in Russia for national revival, a taste of the imperial glory that a generation of Russians have long hungered for. …
Already expelled from the G-8 club of wealthy nations in March after the annexation of Crimea, Putin was further ostracized at the G-20 summit. …
So, was Putin’s taste of empire worth the cost to Russian prosperity? For those who carry the grudges of Russian history, it was. …
Russia now seeks to position itself as an alternative to the Western model of liberal democracy—and it’s had some success. Right-wing politicians in France and the U.K., not to mention Central and Eastern Europe, are not shy about declaring their admiration for Putin. The ultraconservative government of Hungary, a member of NATO and the European Union, has announced its intention to develop as an “illiberal state” modeled on Russia, cracking down harshly on civil society. …
Putin will face challenges of his own as the West begins to rally against his aggressiveness. …
Make no mistake, though: Russians also remember that their country once dominated a sixth of the earth’s landmass and stood as a global player second to none. That is the role Putin seeks to regain. …
Nothing was said about the Black Sea fleet, nor about any strategic issue. Nothing was provided in order to help readers understand what was happening. Readers’ Cold-War buttons were being pushed; that is all. America’s aristocracy despises its public, whom they merely manipulate and control.
Here is an article about (and linking to) U.S. President Barack Obama’s “National Security Strategy 2015,” in which Obama uses the term “aggression” 18 times, 17 of them referring to Russia. Obama never once cites a reason for appying that term; for example, unlike Simon Shuster, he doesn’t even so much as mention “Crimea.”
And, here is the best video that has yet been issued on Obama’s February 2014 coup, the coup that installed the Ukrainian regime that has been carrying out the ethnic cleansing operation, which Ukraine calls their ‘Anti Terrorist Operation,’ in the Donbass region, though it’s really the anti-resident operation there.
That fate of ethnic cleansing or local genocide — the fate which befell the residents of Ukraine’s Donbass region,the region that’s shown in dark purple in this election-map for the man whom Obama overthrew in February 2014 and which is the area that voted 90% for him — is the fate that Crimeans were protected from when they rejoined Russia.
Russia’s using its troops, who were permanently stationed in Crimea already and didn’t need to ‘invade’ anything in order to protect the residents in Crimea so that they could hold their referendum in peace, is what blocked the seizure of Crimea by the newly installed Ukrainian regime.
The invader was the United States, in its typically sneaky post-1950 way: a coup d’etat. What Dwight Eisenhower’s, Allen Dulles’s, and Kermit Roosevelt’s CIA operation had done to Iran in 1953, Barack Obama’s and Victoria Nuland’s operation did to Ukraine in 2014: a violent coup installing a far-right government — in Obama’s case, even a nazi government (and see this and this and this).
The aggressor here is not Vladimir Putin; it is Barack Obama. All honest news media (such as here and here and here and here and here and here and here) are reporting that. For economic analysis and reporting on these and other events, here is an excellent general news source. (It autotranslates if viewed in google’s chrome browser.) As for dishonest ‘news’ media, such as TIME  and Fox ‘News,’ they serve a different purpose than truth; so, none of them will be listed here, where the only interest is truth.
PS: For further insights into the lying that is prevalent in the West regarding Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia, see this remarkably honest testimimony to the U.K. House of Lords’ 20 February 2015 Committee report, “The EU and Russia: before and beyond the crisis in Ukraine,” linked there on p. 108 as “RUS0012” and titled “Irina Kirillova MBE – Written evidence,” in which that Cambridge university professor describes the profound disappointment of ordinary people she had encountered in Russia, as they saw the misrepresentations in the West regarding the situations in Russia, Ukraine and Crimea. Outside of the English-speaking world, and especially in the regions that are not controlled by the U.S., the fakery of ‘journalism’ in the English-speaking world is becoming shockingly more evident than it formerly was. As usual, however, the House of Lords’ final report ignored these realities; and, throughout, it starts with the assumption that Russia is aggressive and that the West is merely responding to that. This professor’s written testimony was thus ignored. Most of the other individuals in the “Appendix 2: List of Witnesses” were the Anglo-aristocracy’s usual Russia-haters, such as Ian Bond, Director of Foreign Policy, Center for European Reform, saying that, “The most important thing is that the EU, as a rules-based organisation, should follow a rules-based approach to Russia,” as if that would be something alien to Russians. This type of bigoted condescenscion was rife throughout the report. If those people are as blind to evidence and science as they put themselves forth as being, they are dangerous in any governmental role; and to call the U.K. a ‘democracy’ is questionable, at best. Britain is an aristocracy, not a democracy. And the U.S. is at least as bad. In regards to the relationships between Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea, the West might be as bad as Ukraine, and should just quit the entire matter and try to start over from scratch, which means to let the nazis whom Obama placed into power there sink, not provide them with more weapons. Or, if more weapons are provided to them, then the rest of the West should issue sanctions against any nation that does that. Under liars and fools the West is drifting towards a totally unwarranted nuclear conflict with Russia


NPR Propagandizes Against Putin, for Regime-Change in Russia

On Friday, December 26th, National Public Radio aired two superbly done pieces of anti-Russia propaganda, which could as well have been written by the U.S. CIA, or by Voice of America, it was so skillfully deceiving.
One of these propaganda-pieces, on “Morning Edition,” presented Eleanor Beardsley alleging that the anti-immigrant political parties in Britain and France are anti-U.S. and pro-Russian because they are supposedly all “far right”; and the other piece, on “All Things Considered,” presented Corey Flintoff alleging that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “seized Crimea” (as if he hadn’t actually rescued it) and thereby caused U.S. President Barack Obama and the EU to respond with economic sanctions as punishment for the ‘seizure’ (actually, as we’ll show, rescue).
Here, the two ‘news reports’ will be exposed:
First, Beardsley’s propaganda-piece: it was titled “Europe’s Far Right And Putin Get Cozy, With Benefits For Both.” She noted that, in France, “Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front, has made no secret of her admiration for Putin,” while, across the English Channel, “Nigel Farage, the head of UKIP, Britain’s far-right party, called Putin one of the world leaders he admires most.” Beardsley was trying to suggest that Vladimir Putin is a fascist, and she argued on this false basis that “Europe’s Far Right And Putin Get Cozy” because they’re all “far right.”
What she was trying to get across is more like the opposite of the truth than the truth, because what Putin and Europe’s anti-immigrant parties actually share is not extreme conservatism (which they don’t share at all; Putin isn’t that) but is instead more like the very opposite of that: they share a rejection of U.S. global supremacy or “hegemony”: they reject the U.S. as having a right to control their country’s policies and destinies — in other words: they reject U.S. imperialism, and this is a rejection that all of them share also with progressives in America, hardly with America’s champions of imperialism, such as are, for example, in the U.S., Bill Kristol’s and Robert Kagan’s Project for a New American Century, which was the actually far-right, Rupert-Murdoch-funded, movement that George W. Bush adhered to, that beat the drums incessantly for his “regime change in Iraq,” and for invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
To put this matter clearly, here’s what they all reject, and what President Obama asserted at West Point on May 28th:
“Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. … So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed [properly spelled ‘past,’ but this is his text] and it will be true for the century to come.”
Obama was saying there that any nation, such as Russia, which challenges the right of the U.S. Government to determine the appropriate parameters for all other nations’ policies, must be crushed, because the U.S. is superior. By contrast, anti-imperialists argue that no nation possesses any such right of being “world policeman” — the international judge, jury, and executioner — as Obama claims for America. None: not the U.S., not Russia, none at all.
This is an extremely different reality from the lie, the PR hoax, that Eleanor Beardsley was selling to listeners on NPR.
That’s hers; and here’s the other:
Corey Flintoff’s propaganda-piece was titled, “For Russia’s President, A Year Of Costly Triumphs,” and it repeatedly said that the cause of the economic sanctions against Russia is “Russia’s seizure of Crimea.” Parroting the White House’s line that the transfer of Crimea back to Russia — after the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had donated it to Ukraine in 1954 against the wishes of Crimea’s residents, which Flintoff conveniently failed even to mention — had instead been “Russia’s aggression,” Flintoff’s account made no mention at all of the key relevant facts, necessary to understand the event, including also the following three:
(1) The March 16th, 2014, referendum of the voters in Crimea, produced a 96% vote to secede.
(2) Gallup polled 500 Crimeans during May 16-30 in 2013, and found that only 15% considered themselves “Ukrainian.” 24% considered themselves “Crimean.” But 40% considered themselves “Russian.” Even before Obama’s February 2014 coup which overthrew the Ukrainian President whom80% of Crimeans had voted for, the Crimean people overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine — and, especially now they did, right after the President for whom they had overwhelmingly voted, Viktor Yanukovych, had been overthrown in this extremely bloody coup. Furthermore, in April 2014, Gallup again polled Crimea, and they found that 71.3% of Crimeans viewed as “Mostly positive” the role of Russia there, and 4.0% viewed it as “Mostly negative”; by contrast, only 2.8% viewed the role of the United States there as “Mostly positive,” and a whopping 76.2% viewed it as “Mostly negative.” During the intervening year, Crimeans’ favorability toward America had plunged down to 2.8%, from its year-earlier 6%. Clearly, what Obama had done in Ukraine (his violent coup in Kiev) had antagonized the Crimeans. And, as if that weren’t enough, the 2014 poll provided yet more evidence: “The 500 people that were sampled in Crimea were asked [and this is crucial] ‘Please tell me if you agree or disagree: The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status [whether to rejoin Russia] reflect the views of most people here.’ 82.8% said ‘Agree.’ 6.7% said ‘Disagree.’” In the hearts of the local residents, Crimea was still Russian territory, after an involuntary hiatus of 60 years; and so the Russian Government accepted them back again, into Russia — this was not as Corey Flintoff droned, “Russia’s seizure of Crimea.” It was Russia’s protection of them from the invasion of Ukraine by the United States in a bloody coup.
(3) Ever since 1783, Russia’s core national security asset, its Black Sea Fleet, was stationed in Crimea, but Obama’s Ukrainian coup-Government wanted to kick them out (and this is one of the reasons why Obama perpetrated his coup). The aggression here was entirely on the American side. Russia wasn’t responding only in order to protect Crimeans; Russia was especially responding in order to protect its core naval base.
The Obama regime overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected leader in February 2014 in a brazen act of military aggression against Russia; and National Public Radio (like so many ‘news’ media) is trying to fool the American public into thinking what the Administration wants them to think: that the aggression is instead by Russia, and is against the rest of the world, so that the already bloated U.S. military should get involved in yet another war, this one that’s now building, against Russia.
In closing, the key fact should be mentioned that it is Obama and not Putin who is following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler. The extreme-conservative, at least in foreign policy, is Obama, not Putin. So, Eleanor Beardsley’s falsehood was just about as egregious as can possibly be imagined. 

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