1) Do you believe US (Obama) is using Ukraine to take revenge for Syria and make the EU "unfit for fight"? What would their strategic goals be?
Dmitry Orlov: Obama's goal was to stage a coup d'état to replace the Ukrainian government with a puppet regime. In this he has succeeded. But I doubt that his strategies go beyond that.
The Saker: The current crisis has been entirely the creation of the USA and, to a lesser degree, of the EU. The USA is locked in a Cold-War type mentality illustrated by the following two quotes. One by Hillary Clinton “There is a move to re-Sovietise the region,” (...) “It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that,” (...) “But let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it” (source) and one by Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Without Ukraine Russia ceases to be empire, while with Ukraine - bought off first and subdued afterwards, it automatically turns into empire…According to him, the new world order under the hegemony of the United States is created against Russia and on the fragments of Russia. Ukraine is the Western outpost to prevent the recreation of the Soviet Union” (source). Thus the USA are not trying to “get” the Ukraine for NATO or for any other purpose, what they want is to deny the Ukraine to Russia in a hope of preventing the latter from becoming a new Soviet Empire. This is thus a pure zero-sum game – any Russian loss is, by definition, a success for the USA. The fact that Russia is already a superpower capable of stopping the USA (as shown in the Syrian crisis) or the fact that Russia has no desire to become another Soviet Union or even any other kind of empire (empires are costly and the Russians have no desire to become another USSR) makes no difference: the US plutocracy believes this and acts on this belief. Furthermore, the US elites have been humiliated in the Syrian crisis and they now want to show Russia and the rest of the world “who is boss”. Finally, add to this the influence of some very powerful ethnic lobbies who all share a common hatred for Russia (Jewish, Ukrainian, Polish) and you will get a policy whose sole aim is to make things as bad for Russia as possible. This is nothing new. During the war in Afghanistan the USA was willing to fully back the worst types of Wahabi terrorists only to hurt the USSR. Now the USA is giving its support to violent neo-Fascist nationalists. The sole condition for any terrorist group, no matter how evil and crazy, to get money from the CIA and is affiliates is to hate Russia. The wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo had no other purpose than “stick it to the Russians”. And if we look closer at the core of this maniacal hatred of the US elites for Russia we find that very little has changed in the West since the Middle-Ages: the western elites have always hated Russia for being Orthodox and for refusing to be conquered.
Pepe Escobar: Ukraine is definitely the Obama administration's warped revenge playbook for not being allowed to bomb Syria (it was in fact saved from it, plus the horrible consequences, by Moscow). The only things that matter for Washington in Ukraine, in that order, are: 1) NATO bases. 2) Pipelineistan; US Big Oil controlling still unexplored oil and gas wealth. 3) US agro-business taking over fertile Ukrainian lands. The EU does not need and want Ukraine, because it would need to save it from bankruptcy with funds it does not have (moreover, the operation would further enrage millions of already destitute Europeans.)
In Ukraine, the West supported an unconstitutional putsch against an elected government perpetrated, among others, by fascist/neo-nazi storm troopers (Svoboda, Right Sector) instrumentalized by U.S. intelligence. After a Russian counterpunch, U.S. PresidentBarack Obama proclaimed that any referendum in Crimea would "violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law."
This is just the latest instance in the serial rape of "international law". The rap sheet is humongous, including; NATO bombing Serbia for 78 days in 1999 to allow Kosovo to secede; the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent trillion-dollar occupation and civil war creation in Iraq; NATO/AFRICOM bombing Libya in 2011 invoking R2P ("responsibility to protect") as a cover to provoking regime change; U.S. investment in the secession of oil-wealthy South Sudan, so China has to deal with an extra geopolitical headache; and U.S. investment in perennial civil war in Syria.
Finally a major U.S. paper is picking up on the problem of supporting a "revolution" that is driven by fascists: Ukraine's threat from within - Neofascists are as much a menace to Ukraine as Putin's actions in Crimea.
I for one do not consider "Putin's actions" in Crimea, i.e. the Russian Federation counter move to the "western" supported coup in Kiev, a "menace". But if claiming such makes it possible to talk about the biggest problem Ukraine will have for a while so be it.
Today Russia vetoed an UN resolution against the Crimea referendum. The U.S. ambassadorcalled Russia "isolated". Well, how many times was the U.S. the only one voting no on a resolution against Israel? How "isolating" was that?
The U.S. has threatened further "consequences" should the referendum continue (which it will). But if the U.S. wants to step up the escalation ladder to keep its puppet coup government in Kiev in power Russia can do similar for its own purpose:
Russia has received numerous requests from Ukrainian civilians to protect them from radicals, including those from the Right Sector group, and has promised consider them, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement says.
Translation: "Dear Obama, do you really want us to move our troops in?"
Quociente Cultural 's insight:
Link cited by Alabama: Ukraine's threat from within
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"Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences," warns China's envoy to Germany adding that "we don't see any point in sanctions." On the heels of Merkel's warning that Russia risked "massive" political and economic damage if it did not change course, Reuters reports ambassador Shi Mingde urged patience saying "the door is still open" for diplomacy (though we suspect it is not) ahead of this weekend's referendum. Russia's Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev responded by promising "symmetrical" sanctions by Moscow. So now we have China joining the fray more aggressively.
Every sane sentient being knows that Ukraine's "unity" is not worth a new hot or warm war. Or even the current Western-peddled Cold War-style hysteria. Especially when Russia, once again, fights fascism - as embodied by some of the key players now in power in Kiev, and the US and EU's response is to relentlessly demonize Russia.
Crimea - historically, culturally, sentimentally - is Russian, conquered by Catherine the Great from the Ottomans in 1783. Sevastopol was founded by Catherine. If a swing band would play
a version of I Left My Heart in Sevastopol, all hearts involved would be Russian.
Yet those eminent Western practitioners of state idolatry have ruled that the population of Crimea has no right to conduct a referendum to decide its future - be it rejoining Russia or remaining in Ukraine with a huge degree of autonomy, according to the 1992 constitution. The eminences could not possibly admit that does not suit their geopolitical power play.
The Western media's myth mill is working overtime to gain ground lost to Russia.
March 17, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The Western press has been deceiving readers, listeners, and viewers since the beginning of the so-called "Euromaidan" protests - from covering up the ultra-right wing ideology and literal Neo-Nazi flag wavers leading the mobs, to the role the West has played in organizing, funding, and equipping the protesters in the first place.
With their proxies now entrenched in Kiev after violently overthrowing the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, the truth has begun to trickle out, and with it, Russia has gained ground against the West in its defense of the Ukrainian people from what is essentially and quite obviously a right-wing Nazi regime backed by foreign interests from the West once again occupying Ukrainian territory just as they had in World War II.
And just like in World War II, the Crimea peninsula has become a pivotal battleground.
While there are Russia troops, permanently stationed in Crimea under a long-standing treaty, and the West has begun to posture militarily - the battle is currently being fought across the media.
Laying Out the Battleground in Crimea: Russia's Case
Russia has defended Ukraine from fascism for decades, spending the blood of millions pushing the Nazis out of the region in the 1940's and now again against literal Neo-Nazis occupying Kiev after yet another Western-backed coup has overthrown Ukraine's elected government - the first being the US-engineered 2004 "Orange Revolution" (as covered in the Guardian's article, "US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev").
WASHINGTON — Supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin expect to savor victory as residents of Crimea vote Sunday on splitting from Ukraine. But Western officials and analysts increasingly feel that in the long run, Russians will come to see their nation's military and political move into Crimea as a mistake.
Indicative of the West’s true stance on democracy, Reuters reported in its article, “Kerry warns U.S., Europe ready to act if Crimea referendum held,” that:
The United States and the European Union will take serious steps against Russia if a referendum on Ukraine’s Crimea region goes ahead as planned on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.
Bloomberg News would add that the US and EU planned to “exact an economic toll” if the referendum went ahead – in other words the emplacement of sanctions. The report would also claim:
With Ukraine accusing Russian forces of seizing Crimea in the run-up to the referendum, Western powers are trying to muster economic and diplomatic sanctions to force Putin to defuse the situation. Russia has held firm in the worst dispute between the two sides since the end of the Cold War.
Perplexing is the US’ sudden aversion to the democratic process – apparently because it stands poised to decide in favor of a future divergent from Western interests.
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Evidence, including intercepted emails from “Anonymous Ukraine” and interviews with US special operations contractors, has led to the discovery of plans to stage a series of terror attacks in the Ukraine to be blamed on Russian Special Forces.
In a series of emails released on March 12, 2014, three in particular stand out. Implicated is Lt. Colonel Jason Kresh, Assistant Attaché at the USembassy in Kiev and Colonel Igor Protsyk, Chief, Bilateral Cooperation Division of the PKO General Staff, Armed Forces of the Ukraine.
Emails outline a plan for a staged attack on a Ukrainian air facility including maps of which planes are to be damaged. Other operations are outlined as well.
One thing is made clear; the attacks are to appear as though done by Russia. This is stated repeatedly.
Saudi Arabia demanded that Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera and two think tanks during a recent meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a source close to someone who attended the talks told AFP Friday. Riyadh demanded the closure of the pan-Arab broadcaster as well as the Brookings Doha Center and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, the source said on condition of anonymity. After the reportedly heated March 5 GCC meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from fellow member Qatar, which they accuse of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.