May 302014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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Introduction

The European parliamentary elections witnessed a major breakthrough for the right-wing parties throughout the region.  The rise of the Right runs from the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, the Baltic and Low countries, France, Central and Eastern Europe to the Mediterranean.

Most, if not all, of these emerging right-wing parties mark a sharp break with the ruling neo-liberal, Christian and Social Democratic parties who have presided over a decade of crisis.

The ‘new Right’ cannot be understood simply by attaching negative labels (‘fascist’, ‘racist’ and ‘anti-Semitic’).  The rise of the Right has to be placed in the context of the decay of political, social and economic institutions, the general and persistent decline of living standards and the disintegration of community bonds and class solidarity. The entire existing political edifice constructed by the neo-liberal parties bears deep responsibility for the systemic crisis and decay of everyday life.  Moreover, this is how it is understood by a growing mass of working people who vote for the Right.

The so-called ‘radical Left’, usually defined as the political parties to the left of the governing Social Democratic parties, with the exception of SYRIZA in Greece, have failed to capitalize on the decline of the neo-liberal parties.  There are several reasons that account for the lack of a right-left polarization.  Most of the ‘radical Left’, in the final account, gave ‘critical support’ to one or another of the Labor or Social Democratic parties and reduced their ‘distance’ from the political-economic disasters that have followed.  Secondly, the ‘radical Left’s’ positions on some issues were irrelevant or offensive to many workers: namely, gay marriage and identity politics.  Thirdly, the radical Left recruited prominent personalities from the discredited Labor and Social Democratic parties and thus raised suspicion that they are a ‘new version’ of past deceptions. Fourthly, the radical Left is strong on public demonstrations demanding ‘structural changes’ but lacks the ‘grass roots’ clientelistic organizations of the Right, which provide ‘services’, such as soup kitchens and clinics dealing with day-to-day problems.

While the Right pretends to be ‘outside’ the neo-liberal establishment challenging the assumption of broad powers by the Brussels elite, the Left is ambiguous: Its support for a ‘social Europe’ implies a commitment to reform a discredited and moribund structure.  The Right proposes ‘national capitalism’ outside of Brussels; the Left proposes ‘socialism within the European Union’.  The Left parties, the older Communist parties and more recent groupings, like Syriza in Greece, have had mixed results.  The former have generally stagnated or lost support despite the systemic crisis.  The latter, like Syriza, have made impressive gains but failed to break the 30% barrier.  Both lack electoral allies.  As a result, the immediate challenge to the neo-liberal status quo comes from the electoral new Right parties and on the left from the extra-parliamentary social movements and trade unions.  In the immediate period, the crisis of the European Union is being played out between the neo-liberal establishment and the ‘new Right’.

The Nature of the New Right

The ‘new Right’ has gained support largely because it has denounced the four pillars of the neo-liberal establishment:  globalization, foreign financial control, executive rule by fiat (the Brussels troika) and the unregulated influx of cheap immigrant labor.

Nationalism, as embraced by the new Right, is tied to national capitalism:  Local producers, retailers and farmers are counterpoised to free traders, mergers and acquisitions by international bankers and the giant multinationals. The ‘new Right’ has its audience among the provincial and small town business elite as well as workers devastated by plant closures and relocations.

The ‘new Right’s’ nationalism is ‘protectionist’ – seeking tariff barriers and state regulations to protect industries and workers from ‘unfair’ competition from overseas conglomerates and low-wage immigrant labor.

The problem is that protectionism limits the imports of cheap consumer goods sold in many small retail shops and affordable to workers and the lower middle class.  The Right ‘dreams’ of a corporatist model where national workers and industries bond to oppose liberal competitive capitalism and class struggle trade unions.  As the class struggle declines, the ‘tri partite’ politics of the neo-liberal right is reconfigured by the New Right to include ‘national’ capital and a ‘paternalistic state’.

In sum, the nationalism of the Right evokes a mythical past of harmony where national capital and labor unite under a common communal identity to confront big foreign capital and cheap immigrant labor.

Political Strategy: Electoral and Extra-Parliamentary Politics

Currently, the new Right is primarily oriented to electoral politics, especially as it gains mass support.  They have increased their share of the electorate by combining mass mobilization and community organizing with electoral politics, especially in depressed areas. They have attracted middle class voters from the neo-liberal right and working class voters from the old Left.  While some sectors of the Right, like the Golden Dawn in Greece, openly flaunt fascist symbols – flags and uniforms – as well as provoking street brawls, others pressure the governing neo-liberal right to adopt some of their demands especially regarding immigration and the ‘deportation of illegals’.  For the present, most of the new Right’s focus is on advancing its agenda and gaining supporters through aggressive appeals within the constitutional order and by keeping the more violent sectors under control.  Moreover, the current political climate is not conducive to open extra-parliamentary ‘street fighting’ where the new Right would be easily crushed.  Most right-wing strategists believe the current context is conducive to the accumulation of forces via peaceful methods.

Conditions Facilitating the Growth of the Right

There are several structural factors contributing to the growth of the new Right in Europe:

First and foremost, there is a clear decline of democratic power and institutions resulting from the centralization of executive – legislative power in the hands of a self-appointed elite in Brussels.  The new Right argues effectively that the European Union has become a profoundly authoritarian political institution disenfranchising voters and imposing harsh austerity programs without a popular mandate.

Secondly, national interests have been subordinated to benefit the financial elite identified as responsible for the harsh policies that have undermined living standards and devastated local industries.  The new Right counterpoises ‘the nation’ to the Brussels ‘Troika’ – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Thirdly, ‘liberalization’ has eroded local industries and undermined communities and protective labor legislation.  The Right denounces liberal immigration policies, which permit the large-scale inflow of cheap workers at a time of depression level unemployment.  The crisis of capitalism combined with the large force of cheap immigrant labor forms the material basis for right-wing appeals to workers, especially those in precarious jobs or unemployed.

Right:  Contradictions and the Double Discourse

The Right, while criticizing the neo-liberal state for unemployment, focuses mainly on the immigrants competing with nationals in the labor market rather than on the capitalists whose investment decisions determine levels of employment and unemployment.

The Right attacks the authoritarian nature of the European Union, but its own structures, ideology and history pre-figure a repressive state.

The Right rightly proposes to end foreign elite control of the economy, but its own vision of a ‘national state’, especially one linked to NATO, multi-national corporations and imperial wars, will provide no basis for ‘rebuilding the national economy’.

The Right speaks to the needs of the dispossessed and the need to ‘end austerity’ but it eschews the only effective mechanism for countering inequalities – class organization and class struggle.  Its vision of the ‘collaboration between productive capital and labor’ is contradicted by the aggressive capitalist offensive to cut wages, social services, pensions and working conditions.  The new Right targets immigrants as the cause of unemployment while obscuring the role of the capitalists who hire and fire, invest abroad, relocate firms and introduce technology to replace labor.

They focus the workers’ anger ‘downward’ against immigrants, instead of ‘upward’ toward the owners of the means of production, finance and distribution who ultimately manipulate the labor market.

In the meantime the radical Left’s mindless defense of unlimited immigration in the name of an abstract notion of ‘international workers solidarity’ exposes their arrogant liberal bias, as though they had never consulted real workers who have to compete with immigrants for scarce jobs under increasingly unfavorable conditions.

The radical Left, under the banner of ‘international solidarity’, has ignored the historical fact that ‘internationalism’ must be built on the strong national foundation of organized, employed workers.

The Left has allowed the new Right to exploit and manipulate powerful righteous nationalist causes.  The radical Left has counterpoised ‘nationalism’ to socialism, rather than seeing them as intertwined, especially in the present context of an imperialist-dominated European Union.

The fight for national independence, the break-up of the European Union, is essential to the struggle for democracy and the deepening of the class struggle for jobs and social welfare. The class struggle is more powerful and effective on the familiar national terrain – rather than confronting distant overseers in Brussels.

The notion among many radical Left leaders to ‘remake’ the EU into a ‘Social Europe’, the idea that the EU could be converted into a ‘European Union of Socialist States’ simply prolongs the suffering of the workers and the subordination of nations to the non-elected bankers who run the EU.  No one seriously believes that buying stocks in Deutsch Bank and joining its annual stockholders meetings would allow workers to ‘transform’ it into a ‘People’s Bank’.  Yet the ‘Bank of the Banks’, the ‘Troika’, made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, set all major policies for each member state of the European Union. Un-rectified and remaining captive of the ‘Euro-metaphysic’, the Left has abdicated its role in advancing the class struggle through the rebirth of the national struggle against the EU oligarchs.

Results and Perspectives

The Right is advancing rapidly, even if unevenly across Europe. Its support is not ephemeral but stable and cumulative at least in the medium run.  The causes are ‘structural’ and result from the new Right’s ability to exploit the socio-economic crisis of the neo-liberal right governments and to denounce authoritarian and anti-national policies of the unelected EU oligarchy.

The new Right’s strength is in ‘opposition’.  Their protests resonate while they are distant from the command centers of the capitalist economy and state.

Are they capable of moving from protest to power?  Shared power with the neo-liberals will obviously dilute and disaggregate their current social base.

The contradictions will deepen as the new Right moves from positions of ‘opposition’ to sharing power with the neo-liberal Right.  The massive roundups and deportation of immigrant workers is not going to change capitalist employment policies or restore social services or improve living standards.  Promoting ‘national’ capital over foreign through some corporatist union of capital and labor will not reduce class conflict.  It is totally unrealistic to imagine ‘national’ capital rejecting its foreign partners in the interest of labor.

The divisions within the ‘nationalist Right’, between the overtly fascist and electoral corporatist sectors, will intensify.  The accommodation with ‘national’ capital, democratic procedures and social inequalities will likely open the door to a new wave of class conflict which will expose the sham radicalism of the ‘nationalist’ right.  A committed Left, embedded in the national terrain, proud of its national and class traditions, and capable of unifying workers across ethnic and religious ‘identities’ can regain supporters and re-emerge as the real alternative to the two faces of the Right – the neo-liberal and the ‘nationalist’ new Right.  The prolonged economic crisis, declining living standards, unemployment and personal insecurity propelling rise of the nationalist Right can also lead to the emergence of a Left deeply linked to national, class and community realities.  The neo-liberals have no solutions to offer for the disasters and problems of their own making; the nationalists of the new Right have the wrong -reactionary – answer.  Does the Left have the solution?  Only by overthrowing the despotic imperial rule of Brussels can they begin to address the national-class issues.

Post-script and final observations:

In the absence of a Left alternative, the working class voters have opted for two alternatives: Massive voter abstention and strikes.  In the recent EU election, 60% of the French electorate abstained, with abstention approaching 80% in working class neighborhoods.  This pattern was repeated or even exceeded throughout the EU – hardly a mandate for the EU or for the ‘new Right’.  In the weeks and days before the vote, workers took to the streets.  There were massive strikes of civil servants and shipyard workers, as well as workers from other sectors and mass demonstrations by the unemployed and popular classes opposing EU-imposed ‘austerity’ cuts in social services, health, education, pensions, factory closures and mass lay-offs.  Widespread voter abstention and street demonstrations point to a huge proportion of the population rejecting both the neo-Liberal Right of the ‘Troika’ as well as the ‘new Right’.

May 252014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

This full length GRTV documentary looks at the fictitious land of Nulandistan that has been constructed out of Ukraine.The GRTV documentary deconstructs Nulandistan and the propaganda of the Obama Administration, the US Department of States, US officials, and their allies about the crisis in Ukraine and takes a look at their growing frustration towards the Russian media, particularly RT, for challenging their account of the events on the ground in what they have declared is an intensifying information war.

The full length documentary starts by looking at the self-benefiting description of the EuroMaidan protests that US officials have used and how it has grossly diverged from reality. Then the Odessa Massacre is deconstructed for audiences.

The documentary then looks at the situation in East Ukraine, including the violence and referenda. The events in East Ukraine are then contrasted to the positions of US officials and Russia.

This documentary shows how the reality of events in Ukraine has been been misappropriated and propagandized to support US foreign policy and to justify tensions against Russia.

To read articles by its producer, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, please click the following link:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/m…

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE AND SHARE THIS GRTV DOCUMENTARY

May 232014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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Introduction

The sweeping electoral victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India is the latest expression of the world-wide advance of a new power bloc which promises to impose a New World Order  harnessing ethno-religious fanaticism and narrowly trained technocrats to capitalist absolutism.

The far-right is no longer at the margins of western political discourse.  It is center-stage.  It is no longer dependent on contributions by local militants; it receives financing from the biggest global corporations.  It is no longer dismissed by the mass media.  It receives feature coverage, highlighting its ‘dynamic and transformative’ leadership.

Today capitalists everywhere confront great uncertainty, as markets crash and endemic corruption at the highest levels erode competitive markets.  Throughout the world, large majorities of the labor force question, challenge and resist the massive transfers of public wealth to an ever reduced oligarchy.  Electoral politics no longer define the context for political opposition.

Capitalism, neither in theory nor practice, advances through reason and prosperity.  It relies on executive fiats, media manipulation and arbitrary police state intrusions.  It increasingly relies on death squads dubbed “Special Forces” and a ‘reserve army’ of para-military fanatics.

The new power bloc is the merger of big business, the wealthy professional classes, upwardly mobile, elite trained technocrats and cadres of ethno-religious fanatics who mobilize the masses.

Capitalism and imperialism advances by uprooting millions, destroying local communities and economies, undermining local trade and production, exploiting labor and repressing social solidarity.  Everywhere it erodes community and class solidarity.

Ethno-Religious Fanatics and Elite Technocrats

Today capitalism depends on two seemingly disparate forces.  The irrational appeal of ethno-religious supremacists and narrowly trained elite technocrats to advance the rule of capital.  Ethno-religious fanatics seek to promote bonds between the corporate-warlord elite and the masses, by appealing to their ‘common’ religious ethnic identities.

The technocrats serve the elite by developing the information systems, formulating the images and messages deceiving and manipulating the masses and designing their economic programs.

The political leaders meet with the corporate elite and warlords to set the political-economic agenda, deciding when to rely on the technocrats and when to moderate or unleash the ethno-religious fanatics.

Imperialism operates via the marriage of science and  ethno-religious fanaticism- and both are harnessed to capitalist domination and exploitation.

India:  Billionaires, Hindu Fascists and IT “Savants”

The election of Narendra Modi, leader of the BJP and long-time member of the Hindu fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) para-military organization was based on three essential components:

Multi-billion rupee funding from corporate India at home and abroad.

Thousands of upwardly mobile IT technocrats mounting a massive propaganda campaign.

Hundreds of thousands of RSS activists spreading the “Hindutva” racist doctrine among millions of villagers.

The Modi regime promises his capitalist backers that he will “open India”– namely end the land reserves of the tribes, convert farmland to industrial parks, deregulate labor and environmental controls.

To the Brahmin elite he promises to end compensatory quotas for lower castes, the untouchables, the minorities and Muslims.  For the Hindu fascists he promises more temples.  For foreign capitalists he promises entry into all formerly protected economic sectors.  For the US, Modi promises closer working relations against China, Russia and Iran … . . The BJP’s ethno-religious Hindu fanaticism resonates with Israel’s notion of a “pure”Jewish state.  Modi and Netanyahu have longstanding ties and promise close working relations based on similar ethno-racist doctrines.

Turkey:  The Transition to Islamic-Capitalist Authoritarianism 

Turkey under the rule of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party has moved decisively toward one-man rule:  linking Islam to big capital and police state repression.  Erdogan’s ‘triple alliance’ is intent on unleashing mega-capitalist projects, based on the privatization of public spaces and the dispossession of popular neighborhoods.  He opened the door to unregulated privatization of mines, communications, banks – leading to exponential growth of profits and the decline of employment security and a rising toll of worker deaths.  Erdogan has shed the mask of ‘moderate Islam’ and embraced the jihadist mercenaries invading Syria and legislation expanding religious prerogatives in secular life.  Erdogan has launched massive purges of journalists, public officials, civil servants, judges and military officers.  He has replaced them with ‘party loyalists’; Erdogan fanatics!

Erdogan has recruited a small army of technocrats who design his mega projects and provide the political infrastructure and programs for his electoral campaigns.  Technocrats provide a development agenda that accommodates the  foreign and domestic crony corporate elite.

The Anatolian Islamists, small and medium provincial business elite, form the mass base – mobilizing voters, by appealing to chauvinist and ethnocentric beliefs.  Erdogan’s repressive, Islamist, capitalist regime’s embrace of the “free market” has been sharply challenged especially in light of the worst mining massacre in Turkish history:  the killing of over 300 miners due to corporate negligence and regime complicity.  Class polarization threatens the advance of Turkish fascism.

Israel and  the “Jewish State”: Billionaires , Ethno-Religious Fanatics and Technocrats

Israel, according to its influential promoters in the US, is a ‘model democracy’.  The public pronouncements and the  actions of its leaders thoroughly refute that notion.  The driving force of Israeli politics is the idea of dispossessing and expelling all Palestinians and converting Israel into a ‘pure’ Jewish state.  For decades Israel, funded and colonized by the diaspora, have violently seized Palestinian lands, dispossessed millions and are in the process of Judaizing what remains of the remnant in the “Occupied Territories”.

The Israeli economy is dominated by billionaires.  Its “society” is permeated by a highly militarized state.  Its highly educated technocrats serve the military-industrial and ethno-religious elite.  Big business shares power with both.

High tech Israeli’s apply their knowledge to furthering the high growth, military industrial complex.  Medical specialists participate in testing the endurance of Palestinian prisoners undergoing torture (“interrogation”).  Highly trained psychologists engage in psych-warfare to gain collaborators among vulnerable Palestinian families.  Economists and political scientists, with advanced degrees from prestigious US and British universities (and ‘dual citizenship’) formulate policies furthering the land grabs of neo-fascist settlers.  Israel’s best known novelist, Amos Oz condemned the neo-fascist settlers who defecate on the embers of burnt-out mosques.

Billionaire real estate moguls bid up house prices and rents “forcing” many “progressive” Israelies, who occasionally protest, to take the easy road of moving into apartments built on land illegally and violently seized from dispossessed Palestinians.  ‘Progressives’ join neo-fascist vigilantes in common colonial settlements.  Prestigious urbanologists further the goals of crude ethno-racist political leaders by designing new housing in Occupied Lands.  Prominent social scientists trade on their US education to promote Mid-East wars designed by vulgar warlords.

Building the Euro American Empire : Riff-Raff of the World Unite!

Empire building is a dirty business.  And while the political leaders directing it, feign respectability and are adept at rolling out the moral platitudes and high purposes, the ‘combatants’ they employ are a most unsavory lot of armed thugs, journalistic verbal assassins and highly respected international jurists who prey on victims and exonerate imperial criminals.

In recent years Euro-American warlords have employed “the scum of the slaughterhouse” to destroy political adversaries in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

In Libya lacking any semblance of a respectable middle-class democratic proxy, the Euro-American empire builders armed and financed murderous tribal bands, notorious jihadist terrorists, contrabandist groups, arms and drug smugglers.  The Euro-Americans counted on a pocketful of educated stooges holed up in London to subdue the thugs, privatize Libya’s oil fields and convert the country into a recruiting ground and launch pad for exporting armed mercenaries for other imperial missions.

The Libyan riff-raff were not satisfied with a paycheck and facile dismissal:  they murdered their US paymaster, chased the technocrats back to Europe and set-up rival fiefdoms.  Gadhafi was murdered, but so went Libya as a modern viable state.  The arranged marriage of Euro-American empire builders, western educated technocrats and the armed riff-raff was never consummated.  In the end the entire imperial venture ended up as a petty squabble in the American Congress over who was responsible for the murder of the US Ambassador in Benghazi.

The Euro-American-Saudi proxy war against Syria follows the Libyan script.  Thousands of Islamic fundamentalists are financed, armed, trained and transported from bases in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya to violently overthrow the Bashar Assad government in Syria.  The world’s most retrograde fundamentalists  travel to the Euro-American training bases in Jordan and Turkey and then proceed to invade Syria, seizing towns, executing thousands of alleged ‘regime loyalists’ and planting car bombs in densely populated city centers.

The fundamentalist influx soon overwhelmed the London based liberals and their armed groups.

The jihadist terrorists fragmented into warring groups fighting over the Syrian oil fields.  Hundreds were killed and thousands fled to Government controlled regions.  Euro-US strategists, having lost their original liberal mercenaries, turned toward one or another fundamentalist groups.  No longer in control of the ‘politics’ of the terrorists, Euro-US strategists sought to inflect the maximum destruction on Syrian society.  Rejecting a negotiated settlement, the Euro-US strategists turned their backs on the internal political opposition challenging Assad via presidential elections.

In the Ukraine, the Euro-Americans backed a junta of servile neo-liberal technocrats, oligarchical kleptocrats and neo-Nazis, dubbed Svoboda and the Right Sector.  The latter were the “shock troops” to overthrow the elected government, massacre the federalist democrats in Odessa and the eastern Ukraine, and back the junta appointed oligarchs serving as “governors”.

The entire western mass media white-washed the savage assaults carried out by the neo-Nazis in propping up the Kiev junta.  The powerful presence of the neo-fascists in key ministries, their strategic role as front line fighters attacking eastern cities controlled by  pro-democracy militants, establishes them as central actors in converting the Ukraine into a military outpost of NATO.

Euro-America Empire Building and the Role of Riff-Raff

Everywhere the Euro-American imperialists choose to expand – they rely on the ‘scum of the earth’:  tribal gangs in Libya, fundamentalist terrorists in Syria, neo-Nazis in the Ukraine.

Is it by choice or necessity? Clearly few consequential democrats would lend themselves to the predatory and destructive assaults on existing regimes which Euro-US strategists design.  In the course of imperial wars, the local producers, workers, ordinary citizens would “self-destroy”, whatever the outcome.  Hence the empire builders look toward ‘marginal groups’, those with no stake in society or economy.  Those alienated from any primary or secondary groups.  Footloose fundamentalists fit that bill – provided they are paid, armed and allowed to carry their own ideological baggage.  Neo-Nazis hostile to democracy  have no qualms about serving empire builders who share their ideological hostility to democrats, socialists, federalists and culturally ‘diverse’ societies and states.  So they are targeted for recruitment by the empire builders.

The riff-raff consider themselves ‘strategic allies’ of the Euro-American empire builders.  The latter, however, have no strategic allies – only strategic interests.  Their tactical alliances with the riff-raff endure until they secure control over the state and eliminate their adversaries.  Then the imperialist seek to demote, co-opt, marginalize or eliminate their ‘inconvenient’ riff-raff allies.  The falling out comes about when the fundamentalists and neo-Nazis seek to restrict capital, especially foreign capital and impose restrictions on imperial control over resources and territory. At first the empire builders seek ‘opportunists’ among the riff-raff, those willing to sacrifice their ‘ideals’ for money and office.  Those who refuse are relegated to secondary positions distant from strategic decision-making or to remote outposts.  Those who resist are assassinated or jailed.  The disposal of the riff-raff serves the empire on two counts.  It provides the client regime with a fig leaf of respectability and disarms western critics targeting the extremist component of the junta.

The riff-raff, however, with arms, fighting experience and financing, in the course of struggle, gains confidence in its own power.  They do not easily submit to Euro-US strategies.  They also have ‘strategic plans’ of their own, in which they seek political power to further their ideological agenda and enrich their followers.

The riff-raff, want to ‘transition’ from shock troops of empire into rulers in their own right.  Hence the assaults on the US embassy in Libya, the assassination of Euro-American proxies in Syria, Right Sector riots against the Kiev junta.

Conclusion

A new power bloc is emerging on a global scale.  It is already flexing its muscles.  It has come to power in India, Turkey, Ukraine and Israel.  It brings together big business, technocrats and ethno-religious fascists.  They promote unrestrained capitalist expansion in association with Euro-American imperialism.

Scientists, economists, and IT specialists design the programs and plans to realize the profits of local and foreign capitalists.  The ethno-fascists mobilize the ‘masses’ to attack minorities and class organizations threatening high rates of returns.

The Euro-Americans contribute to this ‘new power bloc’ by promoting their own ‘troika’ made up of ‘neo-liberal clients’, fundamentalists and neo-Nazis to overthrow nationalist adversaries.  The advance of imperialism and capitalism in the 21st century is based on the harnessing of the most advanced technology and up-to-date media outlets with the most retrograde political and social leaders and ideologies.

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May 222014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Afrodity Giannakis, Thessaloniki

Protest against Sunday trading

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — “I wish I could leave Greece. I can’t go on living here. I work very long hours and live more frugally than ever, but I still can’t pay the bills, the income tax or the other taxes like the property poll tax. My tax debt keeps building up. I’ll end up losing my home. They are stealing our homes and they are not communists. And people are getting sadder and madder every day. I can’t go on like this.”

This was the response I got when I greeted a stall holder at an open-air market in my area. Due to my own extremely difficult working and commuting conditions, I hadn’t seen him in months. His anger and despair were much stronger than before, as is the case with most ordinary people in Greece.

My friend’s allusion to the communists concerns a decades-long anti-communist argument used by the power elites. The argument went that if the communists came to power, they would confiscate people’s homes. It was recently used by far-right health minister Adonis Georgiadis.

In fact, small real-estate property is being confiscated under capitalism. People are losing their homes to the banks for failing to meet mortgage payments, or to the taxation department for accumulated tax debts.

Home confiscations have been facilitated by a recent law enabling seizure of salaries, pensions, bank savings and property for even small debts to the state. There are specified debt amounts that incur property seizure or jailing. They vary according to the recipient (whether the money is owed to the taxation department, a public insurance fund etc.). The different amounts are often changed by the government. The latest ministerial circular (issued on April 15, 2014) concerning tax debts sets the line at 1500 euros.

The number of confiscated homes has risen in recent years. A big wave of new house seizures is expected soon. The finance ministry has made an agreement with the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) to set the opening bid at auctions at 30% of the houses’ real values.

Financial hardship, combined with recent law changes, has led to a dramatic rise in debt-related jailings. People are kept in barbaric and unconstitutional prison conditions.

The ‘aid’ trap

The vast majority of people are bound to have difficulty paying their mortgages or to run up a tax debt sooner or later. This is due to the extreme austerity measures imposed on Greece at the behest of the “troika” in agreement with Greek governments.

People in Greece are suffering high unemployment (officially well over 27%, the highest in Europe), huge income cuts, rising prices of basic goods, unfair and unpayable taxes and the sky-rocketting fees imposed on many middle-class professionals.

Since the first “memorandum” agreement signed with the troika in May 2010, real-estate taxes have risen by 684%. Overall taxation has risen by up to 900% since 2010.

In addition to many other irrational measures, people are now asked to pay tax on “implied income”. In practice, this means that even if you have no income, chances are you’ll have to pay a considerable amount of tax. “Implied income” is based on the assumption that if you can afford to maintain a home or a car, you have a source of income. This has especially serious implications for most unemployed people, as about only one-tenth of the officially unemployed are currently receiving the unemployment benefit.

What’s more, the income tax for 2014 is set to rise due to the abolition of most tax exemptions and deductions. Individual taxpayers are expected to pay taxes of 800-1000 euros more than for 2013, while the clear minimum wage has dropped below 480 euros per month.

The situation was already pretty bad before the first memorandum. It has been getting much worse since the so-called “aid” from the troika and the required “structural adjustment” reforms it comes with.

Despite their stated aim, the loans given to Greece were intended to destroy rather than help the country’s economy. In May 2010, Greek public debt was 120% of GDP. Today, after four years of savage measures, it is 175% and growing.

Most of the bailout money is used to pay off previous loans and excessive loan interest. It is also handed to parasitic banks and insurance companies. On top of that, the people of Greece have paid 100 billion euros more than the loan given to their government.

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In a cynical statement in January, Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras confirmed that the people of Greece have suffered a drop in living standards greater than any other people has since the end of World War II.

Even though the people and the economy are all but crushed, the government is triumphant about a supposed current or ever-imminent economic recovery.

But, despite the government’s show of optimism, the disastrous policies it follows are not conducive to development. The “structural adjustment” memorandum-dictated measures are leading to total pauperisation and helplessness, the complete destruction of the country’s economy, the theft of all its public and private property, and the abolition of hard-won social and workers’ rights.

As in most parts of the world, capitalism is again openly showing its hideous face, even in Europe, which has been touted as the stronghold of democracy and welfare.

The deliberate economic and social destruction by big capital in many countries is clearly expounded by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine. Also, the documentaries Debtocracy (2011) and Catastroika (2012) (with special reference to Greece) are enlightening about the ways global capitalism works to subjugate whole countries and their peoples.

Greece is the first eurozone country to be subjected to this fate, being often referred to as a “test case”. The implication is that the same savage policies are to be applied to other peoples if the experiment turns out to be successful. The measures taken in Greece are spreading to other countries too, especially in southern Europe.

The violent destruction of Greece’s economic order was effected through the memorandum agreements. However, it had started decades before, especially after the country joined the European Community (the previous form of the European Union) in 1981. In 1976, industrial production was about 34% of GDP. In 2000 it dropped to almost 21% and in 2008 it reached 19%. The agricultural economy was clearly restricted by European Common Agricultural Policy agreements. Agricultural production was 14% in 1976, 7% in 2000 and dropped to 3% in 2008.Between 2010 and 2013 GDP was further reduced by 40 billion euros.

All-encompassing barbarism

Since the first memorandum, the country’s decline has been much more rapid.

The powers-that-be are blatantly violating common sense, the law and the constitution in total disregard for human, working and political rights. The situation is so mind-boggling, with the attacks so relentless and all-encompassing they cannot be easily described. All areas of life are affected, from financial affairs to cultural, relationships and psychological issues. A bitter memorandum-time joke aptly describes the people’s state of mind: “Anyone who lives in Greece and is not depressed must see a doctor.”

Greek governments have been continuously changing the legislation to enforce more and more anti-people measures. To achieve their ends, they use any means, including breaking their own laws. Ministers or even the prime minister can be appointed at will, as has been the case with ex-prime minister Lucas Papademos and current finance minister Yiannis Stournaras. Important decisions are made by presidential decree and bills are rushed through parliament rapidly and quietly. There is serious criticism by experts that the imposition of the memorandum was unconstitutional. The assertion is based on the grounds that the constitution-specified parliamentary majority of three-fifths of the number of MPs was not adhered to when Greece was put under troika supervision.

Moreover, the governing parties, New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), gave themselves a bonus of 50 extra seats (out of a total of 300 parliamentary seats) through a law expressly introduced before the last election, in anticipation of the election result. In this way, they ensured a parliamentary majority, which at first was made much more comfortable with the participation of the Democratic Left (DIMAR). DIMAR, a nominally left-wing party, has consistently supported memorandum policies. (Seehttp://www.redpepper.org.uk/greek-election-analysis/.)

Like legislation, the judicial system favours the dominant class against ordinary people, who more often than not cannot get justice when they are wronged. The major drawbacks are the expenses involved, long waiting periods and unfair verdicts.

Inequality and injustice are extreme on all levels. The memorandum offensive is all-sweeping. Hospitals and other services are closing down. Thousands of schools have closed and class sizes in the remaining schools have increased. Many job positions are lost and people are left without essential services like education, medical care and medication.

Salaries and pensions have been cut by about 40%. Reduced incomes are compounded by rising prices and unreasonable taxation measures, high unemployment, widespread underemployment and sackings in the private and public sectors. It is the first time since 1911 that public servants have been dismissed.

In both the public and private sectors, working conditions have deteriorated immensely, which is facilitated by newly introduced legislation. Also, many employers get away with further violations of workers’ rights. About 50% of workers have not been paid for up to 18 months.

Unpaid overtime, intensification of work, illegally low wages, extra duties and extra working time are now rampant, especially in the private sector. Working conditions of public employees have also worsened. For instance, in the teaching profession, there has been an increase in face-to-face teaching hours and student numbers per class have increased. These changes have raised stress levels and have affected the quality of teaching and learning. They have meant the closure of thousands of schools with the accompanying loss of thousands of teaching positions, especially since 2011. In recent years, teachers are also forced to do administrative work traditionally done by clerical staff or sub-principals.

People are robbed of their free time when they are forced to do work previously performed by specialised employees. That was the case with recent public servant censuses, which involved the employees’ filling out complicated forms and submitting them online in their own time. In the same spirit, taxpayers now have to download tax documents and file their tax returns electronically, irrespective of their PC and Internet skills or access.

Self-employed professionals are now required to do intricate time-consuming bookkeeping work constantly and submit records to the taxation department monthly. Failure to meet the deadline incurs a fine of 250 or 500 euros. The fines were originally 1000 and 2500 euros respectively, but were subsequently reduced. All tax penalties in the revised tax code are absurd and exorbitant.

Besides eating into people’s free time, these unprecedented measures cause a lot of stress. Some of them directly lead to the downsizing of public services by making job positions redundant. As a consequence, the remaining employees work more hours and more intensively for less money.

And the chain-reaction effect does not stop there. Reduced consumer spending ability is the main cause of the closure of small and medium-scale businesses. State-imposed excessive financial burdens on consumers and shop owners also play a large part in the closures.Thousands of shops fold up every month.

Against this background, social problems such as homelessness, crime and prostitution are on the rise. The same goes for psychological and health problems.

Another big social issue is the electricity cut-offs to hundreds of thousands of households for unpaid bills. This, together with the high cost of other conventional heating methods, has resulted in fatal accidents caused by makeshift heaters.

In keeping with its anti-social policies, the establishment follows blaming-the-victim tactics. In this spirit, it opts for punishment over social and preventive measures.

As a result, prisons have filled well beyond capacity. The conditions are inhumane, as are the conditions in migrant concentration camps. Health care in prisons and migrant detention centres is almost non-existent, so prisoners are left untreated and they often contract diseases. Physical abuse of inmates is another common occurrence.

It is the first time in the country’s history that there are concentration camps for migrants. Thousands of people are detained there in appalling conditions.

Currently, a new prison is being constructed in an ex-military camp in the city of Korinthos by George Bobolas. He is a super-rich industrialist, media magnate, real-estate owner and national roads contractor. He has huge interests both in Greece and overseas. Among these interests are the mine in Skouries, the road tolls on badly constructed national roads and the well-known Keratea dump business, whose construction has been frozen due to the magnificent struggle of the town’s residents.

The prison under construction is reported by certain sources to be the first specialised prison for financial “criminals”, that is, for people unable to pay off even small tax debts,. At the moment, the premises serve as a concentration camp where 1200 “illegal” migrants are confined in harsh and barbaric conditions.

There is a very fine line between living free and being in prison for many people in Greece these days. About 2,500,000 people have outstanding debts to the state at this time, which makes them potential prisoners and highly vulnerable in many ways. Once people lose their freedom, many possibilities are opened.

Not surprisingly, my stall-holder friend who wants to leave Greece is in good company. Hundreds of thousands have emigrated in recent years and about 400,000 are considering it. The emigration rate is rising by almost 40% a year. Emigration has played a big part in Greece’s population decrease. It is the first time in modern Greece that a population decrease has been recorded. The drop in the birthrate, combined with a higher death rate, is another factor.

The rising death rate is due to greater illness levels, compounded by the shocking state of the national health-care system and high medication prices.

Growing numbers of suicides add to the death figures. Greece is leading the world in its rising rate of suicides. Memorandum-related suicides are estimated to be up to 6000. Due to the secrecy around the issue, the exact number is not clear.

Worse in store

As the vast majority of the people suffer, Greek and foreign big capital are making huge profits. Government officials, like Georgiadis, state publicly that suffering is a fact of life. Such statements are intended to make people resigned to the current situation and prepare them for more of the same. And there is worse in store.

Troika officials keep saying the country is not ready for profitable investment yet. At the same time, they are pressing for further salary cuts. The objective is the maximum plunder of Greece’s natural wealth and exploitation of the people.

On May 6, Greek vice-president Evangelos Venizelos made a telling statement during a TV interview. He said that in Moldavia, which he claimed “is practically next to Greece”, there are wages of 70 euros per month. He concluded that Greece is a country with a really high standard of living.

Official papers and statements reveal plans to cut the minimum monthly wage to 200 euros and further increase “flexibility” in working conditions. Other plans include more tax increases and pension cuts, instituting labour hire, pillaging the country’s forests, closing public services and transferring them to private concerns, sacking tens of thousands of public servants in the next few months, creating a permanent public service mechanism for sackings and introducing individual pay for public servants based on performance assessment.

Currently, the government is trying to enforce an evaluation plan that is a pretext for more closures and sackings. The relevant law sets quotas for the classification of public servants in every single workplace into outstanding (25%), competent (60%) and inadequate (at least 15%). Those judged to be inadequate will be sacked.

The law is harsh and unreasonable, something not uncommon in the current political “paranoia”. The presumption that at least 15% of employees in each workplace are incompetent does not stand to reason. What’s more, according to the relevant government circular, failure of the assessor to conform with the quotas specified would constitute a disciplinary offence. The “inadequate” employees will be marked from 1 to 6.9. An illogical stipulation states that only those with marks 1-6 will have a right of appeal, while the ones getting 6.1-6.9 will not. The reaction to the planned assessment has been quite strong, forcing the government to tactical maneuvers.

If the government is not stopped, the consequences will be tremendous. Tens of thousands (the plan is for 150,000 sackings by the end of 2015) will lose their jobs. This will adversely affect the economy, add to the existing social misery, and deprive the people of even more badly-needed services.

Privatisation

As the people of Greece are robbed of their basic rights, public goods and services are being privatised. Electricity, water, ports, beaches, the national broadcasting service, national health care and education are only a few examples.

Greek banks, after robbing taxpayers of tens of billions of bailout money, are now sold out at bargain prices to Greek and foreign capitalists.

In August last year, about 50 public vocational education specialist courses were abolished. About 2500 teachers lost their jobs and about 20,000 students were thrown out of highly popular courses (e.g. nursing, plumbing, hairdressing and physiotherapy). Within days, the same specialist courses appeared in private teaching centres.

Opening up professional fields is another way of transferring material and human resources to big corporations. Deregulation has been viciously pursued by the government in businesses such as pharmacies, taxis and trucks, and more recently in open-air “people’s” markets.

Similar moves include facilitating milk imports at the expense of local producers and the enforcement of extended opening hours, especially introducing Sunday trading, which will wipe out small shops.

While shops have already been closing by the thousands, there is an exception. Pawnbrokers’ shops have mushroomed, being one more way of stealing people’s wealth.

There is a lot of resistance to these policies. However, it hardly has any results, as workers from different professional categories are largely isolated in their struggles. Major reasons for this are the dominant divide-and-rule propaganda, which is promoted by the media, as well as divisive and ineffectual tactics of sell-out trade-union leaderships.

The whole country is up for grabs by privateers. Whole areas are sold out for exploitation, such as the mines in Skouries, Thrace and Kilkis. The struggle against this plunder is dynamic and ongoing, most characteristically in Skouries.

In such places, as well as in ports, Special Economic Zones and Free Zones have started to materialise. Their purpose is to ensure high corporate profits of “investors” through slavery-type conditions for workers and overall unaccountability.

Authoritarianism, violence, fascism

These measures are accompanied by heightened authoritarianism. The erosion of democratic rights and police repression are reminiscent of totalitarian regimes. Police brutality is mainly aimed at those resisting the government’s policies.

Unlawful arrests, detention and prosecution practices have been extreme. Many people are persecuted for their political views and legitimate action. Strikes and political rallies are banned to an extent not seen since the end of the military junta in 1974.

The police have been given excessive powers, including the power to arrest impoverished people for tax debts. Among those arrested, there have been many feeble elderly people.

Also, there have been many reported cases of torture of activists and migrants, for example, in police custody or in detention concentration camps. The case of Ilia Kareli, a prisoner of Albanian origin who was tortured to death by correctional officers last March, is indicative of such practices. Racist attitudes that go unchecked pose a great risk for migrants.

In April last year, about 200 migrants were chased and shot by their employer’s foremen and at least 28 were transferred to hospital. They were working in strawberry fields in the area of Manolada of Ilia. Just before the event, they had met with the foremen and demanded overdue wages of six months.

These kinds of practices are akin to Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s actions, whose members, usually in gangs, have been attacking and killing innocent migrants on the basis of their appearance and social standing. Leftist individuals, groups and offices have also been targets. Last September, Golden Dawn thugs murdered a non-migrant, anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas.

Golden Dawn paved the way for an exacerbation of the government’s racist rhetoric and measures. Like extreme-right Popular Orthodox Alert (LAOS) before it, the neo-Nazi gang has been given disproportionate media exposure to suit the needs of the establishment. Even though Golden Dawn pretends to be on the side of ordinary people, it has strong connections with big private interests and works for them against union struggles. The criminal gang’s MPs also vote in favour of big interests in parliament and they even support the country’s sell-out, exposing the falseness of its pro-people and patriotic façade.

LAOS, a “softer”-profile fascist organisation, was a precursor of Golden Dawn. It gave ideological support to the government and participated in the undemocratically formed provisional government in November 2011. In a similar way, Golden Dawn’s racist ideas and criminal action suit the government, as they push forward the government’s political agenda. For this reason, the neo-Nazis are allowed to run wild, committing political and common law crimes, often with police cover. This started many years before the memorandum and has been going on under successive governments of the two ruling parties.

Last year, the government realised it had lost control of the situation and was losing voters to Golden Dawn. So, it decided to take action against the gang, on the grounds of its criminal activity. The government made a big fuss about being anti-fascist, while it implemented racist measures like anti-migrant police pogroms and migrant concentration camps,

At the same time, like its predecessors, the current government enforces inhumane border controls. Such policies have caused a great deal of pain. Many people have died while trying to enter Greece in order to escape terrible conditions in their countries. Two recent examples are the people who drowned off the islands of Farmakonisi and Samos. The great majority of refugees use Greece as a transit point to other European countries.

As the government puts on an anti-fascist act, it violently represses left-wing, anti-fascist actions. Furthermore, Venizelos recognised the far-right government of Ukraine, thus legitimising the neo-Nazi atrocities there and the planned destruction of the country.

Also, there are members of the Greek government who are openly fascist. Two of its ministers, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis, have a well-known history of far-right activity.

Another far-right government official, Panagiotis Baltakos, who was general secretary of the Greek government and Samaras’ right-hand man, was forced to resign in April. The reason was a big scandal concerning a videotaped private talk between him and Golden Dawn top member, Ilias Kasidiaris. On the tape, Baltakos appeared to be on very good terms with Golden Dawn. The mood and the content of the conversation were quite compromising for himself and the government.

Both the government and the neo-Nazis serve the interests of big business. Fascism is called to the system’s rescue when bourgeois democracy has reached its limits and can no longer serve corporate objectives. The connection between big capital and fascism is clearly shown in the recent documentary of the makers of Debtocracy and CatastroikaFascism Inc.

Backed by big business interests, Golden Dawn has been lying in wait, making methodical moves for many years. The neo-Nazis have infiltrated the police force and the army in large numbers. About 50% of police voted for Golden Dawn in the last elections. (This video deals with Golden Dawn’s infiltration of the state: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiEHGMwud0c.)

On the bright side, an ongoing strong anti-fascist movement from the whole of the left has helped raise consciousness and contain neo-Nazi activity.

Some gains

The anti-fascist movement has had some apparent success. Other successes of the people’s fightback include a judicial win by sacked school guards and the government’s withdrawal of a planned 25-euro hospital admission fee.

Although such victories can boost people’s confidence and increase awareness, the tangible gains do not last long, with the government always finding ways to realise its plans.

A sign of increased political consciousness is the shift to the left of the balance of forces in some trade unions. Furthermore, the left is making conscious efforts to set up new union groups and counter sell-out top-tier leaderships.

With the coming combined Greek local and European Parliament election on May 18 and 25, a lot of hope is invested in an electoral victory of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). SYRIZA representatives express a belief that it will win the highest vote of any Greek political force in these polls, which will instigate national general elections.

But the system has so many means of manipulating voting choices that a SYRIZA win is not certain. For one thing, new capitalist parties have formed and some are promoted by the media to diffuse the vote. Forty-three political parties are going to take part in the coming elections.

As part of the effort to fool the electorate, the Greek government has tried to keep secret its new agreement with the troika, which has been revealed.

At the same time, the government is handing out a one-off 500-euro benefit to the most disadvantaged. Ostensibly, the intention is to share around a supposed budget surplus. The government and the mainstream media have been making a big deal of this surplus, which they attribute to economic development. In reality, the extra money comes from the merciless robbery of ordinary people. Besides, due to strict eligibility criteria, the benefit is given to very few.

The ruling parties are running an election campaign on accusations against SYRIZA, fear-mongering, lies and deceit. In the 2012 general national elections, they maximised their vote through false promises and scare tactics. They are employing similar methods this time and they may also have last-minute tricks up their sleeves.

There is a strong likelihood of early national elections. But even if SYRIZA wins government in the next national elections, it would need the support of a strong popular movement. Therefore, SYRIZA should step up its efforts to stand by the grassroots movement, increasing political consciousness and rallying support.

The powers-that-be are well aware of the implications of this radicalism. So they have been trying hard to tame SYRIZA and cut it off from the people’s struggle.

Although SYRIZA keeps promising it will annul all memorandum-related laws, some left-wing forces are questioning it. They accuse SYRIZA of being an establishment party and deliberately misleading the people. These practices do not help promote the badly needed unity of the left, which SYRIZA is trying to encourage.

It is imperative that left forces stick together against vested interests. They must not compromise, but find effective ways to organise and earn the people’s trust, so they can work with the people to reverse the catastrophe. If this can trigger a similar change in other countries, there might be some hope for a better future. Coordination of the struggle across Europe and other neighbouring countries could prove essential in the current circumstances.

Afrodity Giannakis is part of the Left Platform in SYRIZA, which is currently more than one-third of the party’s forces.

May 212014
 

Posted by snakearbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

baris-ataman1

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

Barış Ataman, a student of Siirt University in Turkey, had received a 10-month prison sentence in Turkey for protesting against the gang rape of primary-school pupils. Afterwards, he had received a second prison sentence of 1 year, 5 months, and 15 days for calling police officers “the army of the imam, AKP’s police.” The young activist was found dead under suspicious circumstances in Lyon, where he had taken refuge from persecution.

Ataman, a student of Kurdish origin, had fled to France and asked for asylum after being repeatedly detained various times and at least five criminal court cases being opened against him. He was an activist, a member of “Student Collectives” and a rather well-known figure in the Turkish opposition. He had fled to Paris two and a half years ago, and last year had moved to Lyon where he lived in an occupied house. Later he started staying with families of his friends.

Suspicious Suicide?

On the night of May 13th, around 09:00 pm, Barış was found burned alive next to the Piscine du Rhône pool site, in Lyon’s 7th district. He was taken to Edouard Herriot hospital where he died. It is not certain whether he committed suicide or was burned to death. The investigation continues. According to his friend Ufuk Dersim, the burn marks on Barış’s body are the result of hot tar.

Student hunt

Barış was detained, arrested and found guilty of protesting against the gang rape of primary school children around a time when a student hunt was being carried out by police in Turkey. Thousands of students were arrested for wearing the Palestinian scarf, having eggs/lemons/umbrellas/books in their backpacks, opening banners that demand free education, or shouting out slogans in protests.

Barış’s second case started with arbitrary violence and an arrest by police. While he was being beaten he shouted “army of the imam, AKP’s police” and was sentenced to 1 year, 5 months, 15 days in prison for “insulting a police officer performing his duty.”

Barış’s last conversation with his father raises suspicion as well. According to his father’s statement, Barış told him “I am being followed. Come and take me home,” after which the father had bought a ticket to France for May 15th, but was unable to meet his son.

This suspicious death reminds some of the three women politicians (Leyla Şaylemez, Sakine Cansız and Fidan Doğan) who were murdered in Paris in January 2013.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

May 202014
 

By Victoria Parker in Ukraine, 99GetSmart

Source: Axis of Logic

The General Prosecutor’s Office, most likely under orders given by the pro-American Kiev junta, declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic just proclaimed by popular referendum on May 11, “terrorist organizations”.

As we know, the final result of the referendum for the Peoples Republic of Lugansk was 90.53% in favour of independence (with a turnout of 81%) and for the Peoples Republic of Donetsk was 89.07% in favour of independence (with a turnout of 74.87%). According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, these two big former provinces of Ukraine are now terrorist havens.

Since the western media, along with their puppets in Kiev, continue to label civilians of the two new republics as “terrorists”, let’s examine in closer detail the present situation in the South-East of Ukraine, particularly in the Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Peoples Republic of Lugansk.

The referendums on May 11 demonstrated a highly engaged civic activity of the general populace, proving that the people of Donbas* chose their future. Voter turnouts were very high, and the results were clear mandates for independence. They chose a future without being the subjected to the tyranny of fascism.

Ukrainian media, commenting on events in Donbas, blatantly fabricated a story claiming an absolute zero turnout for the referendums. “What a shame”, said Maxim Raveba, the famous journalist from Kiev.

In an atmosphere of total slander and colossal lies, the stunning referendum involving the highest act of civic duty was undertaken. It was an explosion of popular initiative. All residents, united as one, came in droves to the polls. People voted for independence – and against fascist Ukraine.

The referendums showed that the whole of Donbas are “separatists and terrorists”, according to the West and its puppets in Kiev. The citizens of Donetsk voted for independence. Now we need to form our own governments and take active measures to break the blockade. The entire region is besieged: there are women, children, and elderly people trapped. Therefore, creation of a humanitarian corridor is necessary. Of utmost importance is not to accept defeat! ”

Despite all the clamoring for peace talks, the junta continues to commit atrocities and gross violations of human rights in their terrorist operation. No, I have not made an error by labeling this a “terrorist” rather than an “anti-terrorist” operation. These actions are 100 percent terrorist in nature. Moreover, the junta targeted this operation for the purpose of the destruction of its own people.

By definition, the junta launched a terrorist operation against its own civilian population. In addition, this operation is punitive in its far-reaching extent. It is the punishment of people who dared to wish to speak their native language. This is a draconian punitive measure, if the first law enacted by the new “government” prohibited speaking in Russian under threat of arrest and detainment.

This is punishment of people for wanting to keep their shrines, holidays, and monuments which are not obscure sectarian rituals or idols. The May 9 celebrations that Kiev shut down was a celebration of the Great Victory over fascism, and there are monuments to the soldiers – liberators – monuments to the great Russian military commanders and to Lenin that had been destroyed in almost all cities by “banderovtsi” who had crept out of the crevices of Western Ukraine.

Looking back into the portal of history, Lenin, after the Bolsheviks seized power, initially issued two decrees: Decree About the Peace; and Decree About the Land. The first decree stopped that protracted, exhausting war (Russia’s futile participation in the First World War) and the second gave land to the suffering peasants for their own use, peasants who had been deprived of land ownership for centuries. Then Lenin created the State Commission for Electrification of Russia (GOELRO) and the following decree “On eradication of illiteracy of population in RSFSR”, which raised the country to a very different economic and educational level in a short period of time.

When the Right Sector tried to destroy a statue of Lenin in Zaporozhye, where there is a large hydroelectric station, DneroGES, some of the general populace rose up and formed a live chain around Lenin’s monument in its defense while exclaiming: “Then ruin DneroGES too, because it was built on Lenin’s plan”.

The terrorist operation is a punishment of people who dared to defend their dignity and their national identity. They dared to stand up for their faith. The older man in the following video says: “They have got into our churches. They want us to change our beliefs. We are Christians, not Christ-sellers. You know, everywhere in the world if the faith becomes raped, war starts.”

They dared to fight for their lives under pressure and fear because of the boisterous screaming by fascists of “Moskal (Russians) on knives”, the military bombardment of Slavic and Kramatorsk, and seeing the horror in Odessa and the massacre in Mariupol.

Thus, the two defined sides were determined and consolidated themselves. One side is pulling society apart by imposing ethnic divisions and their supposed moral values and historical traditions, and killing those who do not follow them; the other side is fighting for their basic human rights.

It’s the people on the first side who are the real separatists by all accounts. What crimes are those on the second side punished for? After all, they did not immediately take up the arms. They only responded to the very real oppression, both moral and physical. Besides, they are on their own territory and they are defending their land and families.

This is Kramators’k May 18, 2014 – the city is in smoke, the siren sounds, there are fights in Kramatorsk:

Bombing cities like this does not qualify as an anti-terrorist operation under any circumstances.

“MFA: Punitive action against its people demonstrate the hypocrisy of the Kiev authorities. Moscow insists on the immediate cessation of Kiev ordered hostilities in the South-East of Ukraine.” [Statement by the Foreign Ministry. May 17, 2014]

Vladimir Gromov, the Authorized Army Staff of People Republic of Lugansk, stated that the representatives of the People’s Republic of Lugansk are convinced that neither side wants the war. He asks the Ukrainian military to consider this and stop the senseless bloodshed. “The junta uses the cover of their actions with ideas of a united Ukraine, but in fact they destroy the country with their own hands,” he said.

The number of victims from both sides is growing. Kiev hides data on losses incurred. The simple reason is that if the population actually knew how many deaths had occurred it would cause the government to probably face a popular uprising of its own, leading the their own expulsion and forcible compensation paid out to the families of the dead.

It is clear that the junta did not intend to publicize the dismal performance of its operations and will do its utmost to conceal them. As well as the fact that the Ukrainian army has on occasion defected to the protesters side, or has deserted the location it was supposed to occupy, or mutiny against orders to fire on civilians. Young men are conscripted into the army and forced to fight against their own countrymen by fear of court martial and a prison term. Junta’s dogs, Right Sector, caught fleeing deserters and frog-marched them to court martial. Most do not want to fight. Then, in the army, if they refused to shoot civilians they are killed by the Right Sector.

The Peoples Mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, reported the murder of ten people that tried to defect to their side.

On May 17th a small group of protesters- only about a dozen – decided to hold talks with Ukrainian soldiers occupying the airfield.

There were about 300 soldiers based on a military airfield. The protesters propositioned the soldiers to lay down their weapons and leave the territory of the People’s Republic of Donetsk safely, unmolested in any way.  Under these conditions the armed wing of the protestors guaranteed them full security and safe passage to their destination. The armed protestors could easily have had an opportunity to launch a surprise incursion having formed an armed perimeter around the airfield. Instead they preferred a peaceful negotiation and no violence towards anyone.

The solders were willing to go along with the evacuation plan, but the officers refused to negotiate and immediately opened the fire. The fact that less than a dozen volunteers offered safe passage to three hundred security forces who agreed to it, unlike their officers, speaks volumes within itself.

On May 17th at the information center “South-Eastern Front” I had a Skype dialogue with Natalia Bruce from Slavyansk militias.

Natalia said: “the previous night was terrible. In the area of Andreevka village a terrible battle took a place. People living in that area called all night and we could hear children crying. But people did not leave their homes. Kiev considers us terrorists. They should come and see how we are terrorists, but they were not brazen enough to come here, they won’t come.

Slavyansk today is blockaded. But our self-defense units control the corridor through which we receive food, medicine and essential supplies.

Fighting continues, the militants of Kiev junta execute their wounded and bury them without ceremony –in a mass grave. I would like to appeal to Ukrainian mothers – do not let your children fight against us!”

People of the South-East resistance stand up to protect their land and all the Russian land from the neo-Nazis invasion. They are the saviors and defenders and it makes them strong. This is a popular peoples protest.  Now even the women of Donetsk have formed militias, further proof that this protest is supported by all civilians. Women present themselves as a Russian Orthodox army. They said: “We were forced to take weapons in our hands. Go away. We will pay back for our boys. We will support our husbands, friends and sons. We will support our Lugansk, our land … Now Satan is in Kiev, but our Donbas woke up from its sleep. These children of Slavyansk called Ukrainian solders “fascists”.

Do you still want to call these people “terrorists”?

The sign reads: I don’t want to live in the country where people were bought. I don’t want a war. I just want to live in peace. We don’t want to go to Europe. We are not going to be slaves. South-East won’t be outgunned. We all will stand up for our defense.

The sign reads: I don’t want to live in the country where people were bought. I don’t want a war. I just want to live in peace. We don’t want to go to Europe. We are not going to be slaves. South-East won’t be outgunned. We all will stand up for our defense.

* Note: ‘Donbas’ (or Donbass) refers to the Donets Basin, a historical, economic, and cultural region of eastern Ukraine and southwest Russia. The Donbas covers the Donetsk and Lugansk (or Luhansk) oblasts (provinces) of Ukraine, and the Rostov oblast of the Russian Federation. It is particularly significant that the people voted overwhelmingly for independence even though about 57% of the population is Ukrainian. About 75% of the population speaks Russian. – prh, Ed.

© Copyright 2014 by AxisofLogic.com

This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a “live link” to the article. Thank you!

May 182014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* WELCOME TO NULANDISTAN: A MULTIMEDIA LOOK AT WHAT THE US AND EU HAVE UNLEASHED ON UKRAINE

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research

Euromaidan-Thugs1-400x216

The Yatsenyuk regime’s anti-terrorism operations in the southern and eastern oblasts (regions) of Ukraine are really a use of martial force against Ukrainian civilians opposed to the coup-installed regime in Kiev. Predominately peaceful Ukrainian citizens opposing the coup leaders and not “armed separatists”  have been the main target of the regime’s militias.

The discourse about “pro-Russian” separatists is a misleading attempt to hide the real nature of the protests against the regime, which is opposition to a coup. The main issue is one of anti-coup protesters versus a junta and not separatists and federalists versus Kiev. To refer to the junta in Kiev as the government of Ukraine is to reject or ignore its illegality. 

Welcome to Ukraine Nulandistan

Wherever the US government says it is promoting democracy and freedom, as US Assistant-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland professes about Ukraine, there has been destruction, impoverishment, sectarianism, fighting, and death. Welcome to post-coup Ukraine or Nulandistan. It follows the precedents and traditions of destabilization and violence honoured by US officials like Senator John McCain in the Syrian Arab Republic (McCainistan) and by Hillary Clinton in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya  (Clintonistan).

Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk, who has illegally taken the post of Ukrainian prime minister with the support of the US and European Union, was never favoured by many of the authentic protesters in Euro-Maidan or even the grassroots members of his allies. When, without any election or public discussion, he was arbitrarily given the office of prime minister, many in the Euro-Maidan protest movement booed him and some even cried “bullet to his head.” His party boss, the infamously corrupt Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko, was booed too after she arrived.  In reality, Yatsenyuk and the other Ukrainian politicians identifying themselves with Euro-Maidan, like the ultra-nationalist Svoboda’s Oleh Tyahnybok, appropriated the hopes and dreams of the Ukrainians that were protesting against not only the Ukrainian government of Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, but the entire corrupt Ukrainian political establishment. Hiding behind the protesters, Yatsenyuk and Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party used the militias of their ultra-nationalist political allies to launch a violent coup in Kiev.

There is no functioning democracy in Ukraine and, with the full support of the European Union and the US government, free speech inside Ukraine is under attack by the new regime and its thugs. Yatsenyuk’s coup-installed regime has cracked down on media freedoms, sent the Ukrainian military and security forces to attack anti-coup protesters under the pretext of NATO-backed anti-terrorism operations, and started purges and witch hunts all over Ukraine. This started with the head of the National Television Company of Ukraine, Aleksandr Panteleymonov, being threatened and beaten into resigning by Svoboda deputies Igor Miroshnynchenko and  Andrey Ilyenko. […]

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Post-Coup Ukraine: US, EU Supported Violence, Media Clampdown

The office of the acting CEO of the National Television Company of Ukraine, Aleksandr Panteleymonov, was stormed by people who claimed to be members of the freedom of speech and information committee. Among them were Ukrainian Svoboda MP Igor Miroshnynchenko and party ideologist Andrey Ilyenko. What began as a loud conversation quickly turned into a fight.

The Ukrainian politicians used violence and threats to force the head of the Ukrainian National TV Channel into resigning and handing over power to them.

The same violent tactics have also been used to force Ukrainian MPs, mayors and civil servants to resign or hand over power across Ukraine.

Welcome to Nulandistan: Svoboda Thugs Silence MP Petro Symonenko inside Ukraine’s Parliament

Welcome to Nulandistan. Democracy flew out the door of Kiev in February 2014. Any semblances of a functioning democracy are disappearing day by day.

Brute force is being used against civilian protesters opposing the unelected Yatsenyuk regime that is backed by the US and the EU. Yatsenyuk’s coup-installed regime has cracked down on media freedoms, sent the Ukrainian military to attack anti-coup protesters under the pretext of NATO-backed anti-terrorism operations, and started purges and witch hunts all over Ukraine.

The regime’s officials have begun to glory Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Eastern Europe too.

Inside the Verkhova Rada or Ukrainian Parliament any deputies who dare speak against the regime and its policies are silences and beaten up. This is the US-supported freedom of speech that has been brought to Ukraine, Nuland-style. In this video MP Petro Symonenko is pushed and prevented from speaking just for daring to condemn the use of the Ukrainian military against civilian protesters by Yatsenyuk’s regime. Before being silenced, Symonenko made the key point of noting how the ultra-nationalists were serving foreign interests and not the national interests of Ukraine.

A atmosphere of intimidation and bullying is the new order of the day in Nulandistan and politicians opposing the regime are regularly threatened and beaten, some to the point of near death.

Now Entering Nulandistan: US-Supported EuroMaidan “Democrat” Calls for Genocide

The Ukrainian businessman Gennady Balashov is seen here telling supporters of coup-installed regime of Arseniy Yatsenyuk that the protesters in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine must all be killed on March 10, 2014.

Balashov calls for the blockage of natural gas from Russia to the the countries of the European Union and for deliberate attempts of provocation against the Russian Federation.

Balashov discourages dialogue and directly calls for bloodshed. He calls for ethnic cleansing, more properly termed as genocide, in places like Crimea, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk. Anyone that opposes the coup-installed regime in Kiev he says must be murdered. He mentions that this includes murdering anyone that wears the orange and black St.George’s Ribbon, which is a ribbon that is displayed to commemorator the end of the Second World War and the defeat of Nazi Germany. The St. George’s Ribbon has now become a distinguishing mark of the anti-coup protesters in Ukraine, because to them the US-supported February 2014 coup represents the reemergence of the threat of fascism.

Balashov states: “We must block the pipeline. We must not allow natural gas trade. Only this can stop the invaders. We must block the pipeline and let them send Alpha to shoot everyone there.
These people are on the foreign territory. Crimea, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk are the Ukrainian cities. If they wear the St.George ribbon, if they tear down our flag, we must shoot them in the head because they are enemy. We should not talk to them or educate them…”

READ / PHOTOS / MORE VIDEOS @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/welcome-to-nulandistan-a-videographic-essay-of-what-the-us-and-eu-have-unleashed-on-ukraine/5381838

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* 9 FACTS THAT PROVE THE U.S. IS BEHIND THE UKRAINE CRISIS

Source: youtube

Ukraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being Told
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWkfpG…

Maidan – The truth behind the February 20 massacre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrrJjU…

How Washington and its Allies Use Social Media to Topple Governments & Manipulate Public Opinion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqUzt…

VIDEOS @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufj5hqQ__A0

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* BLACKWATER MERCENARIES DIRECT KIEV REGIME CRACKDOWN IN UKRAINE

By Alex Lantier, Axis of Logic

Hundreds of US mercenaries are directing the repression of pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine by the fascist forces of the NATO puppet regime in Kiev, according to German media reports.

They are employed by the firm previously known as Blackwater, a massive private military contracting firm founded by former US Navy SEAL Erik Prince. The firm was renamed Xe in 2009 and then Academi in 2011, trying to evade the infamy attached to its original name due to its massacres of civilians in US-occupied Iraq.

They are now coordinating the attacks by the fascist Right Sector militia, the Kiev regime’s National Guard, and groups of football hooligans that have led to hundreds of casualties across east Ukraine. […]

READ @ http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_66614.shtml

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* BLOODBATH IN ODESSA GUIDED BY INTERIM RULERS OF UKRAINE

Source: Voltaire.net

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The Atlanticist media stubbornly presents the crimes committed in Odessa on May 2 as the result of an accidental blaze, while the photos and video footage available leave no doubt that the victims were tortured and murdered before being burned. We bring you first-hand information on how the operation was organized and executed under the direct and personal authority of coup-appointed acting President Alexander Turchinov and Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskiy.

The information provided below was obtained from an insider in one of Ukraine’s law-enforcement agencies, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. It is clear that there are people even within the interim administration in Kiev who are against what happened in Odessa on May 2 and throughout the whole country [1].

After the loss of Crimea and the popular uprising in Mariupol, Odessa is now Ukraine’s only gateway to the sea, thus making it the most important city in the country after Kiev.

Ten days before the tragedy a secret meeting was held in Kiev, chaired by the incumbent president Olexander Turchinov, to prepare a special operation in Odessa. Present were minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service Valentin Nalivaychenko, and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy. Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskiy, the Kiev-appointed head of regional administration of the Dnepropetrovsk region, was consulted in regard to the operation.

During that meeting Arsen Avakov reportedly came up with the idea of using football hooligans, known as “ultras,” in the operation. Ever since his time as the head of the Kharkov regional administration he has worked closely with the fan leaders, whom he continued to sponsor even from his new home in Italy [2].

Kolomoisky temporarily delivered his private “Dnieper-1” Battalion under the command of law-enforcement officials in Odessa and also authorized a cash payment of $5,000 for “each pro-Russian separatist” killed during the special operation.

A couple of days before the operation in Odessa Andriy Parubiy brought dozens of bullet-proof vests to local ultra-nationalists [3]. This video shows an episode of handing the vests to the local Maidan activists in Odessa. Take note of the person who receives the load. He is Mykola Volkov, a local hard-core criminal who would be repeatedly screened during the assault on Trade Unionist House gun-shooting at the people [4] and reporting about the “incident” by phone to an official in Kiev [5].

“Fanaticism is to superstition what delirium is to fever, and what rage is to anger. The man visited by ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities is an enthusiast; the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic”
Voltaire (1694-1778) […]

Independent report on massacre in Odessa (House of Trade Unions)

Independent report on massacre and fire in Odessa (May 2, 2014). Ultras and “Right Sector” thugs attack the House of Trade Unions and burn people alive with Molotov cocktails. Neonazi militants work jointly with local police. 116 peaceful supporters of federalization fell victim to mass murder. Ukrainian authorities and deputies of neonazi “Svoboda” party in Parliament wish the victims “to burn in hell”.

READ / PHOTOS / VIDEOS @ http://www.voltairenet.org/article183807.html

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* EARTH: 248 ARMED CONFLICTS AFTER WW2; US STARTED 201 (81%), KILLING 30 MILLION SO FAR. ARRESTS ARE WHEN NOW?

Source: Washington’s Blog and David Swanson

war_machine

People around the world view the US as the greatest threat to peace; voted three times more dangerous than any other country. The data confirm this conclusion:

The categories of crime for armed attacks outside US treaty limits of law are:

  1. Wars of Aggression (the worst crime a nation can commit),
  2. likely treason for lying to US military, ordering unlawful attack and invasions of foreign lands, and causing thousands of US military deaths.

Americans can demand arrests of its “leaders” for such Emperor’s New Clothes-like obvious crimes, refuse any orders to unlawful wars, and participate as they see best with like-minded allies. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/earth-248-armed-conflicts-ww2-us-started-201-81-killing-30-million-far-arrests-now.html

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* KING SOLOMON’S WISDOM ON FOREIGN AID

By Rudy U Martinka, rudymartinka.com

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[…] Excerpt

That night after dinner, we went again to the main campfire to watch the dancing, and listened to the same old man tell another story. When he ended his story, his audience responded with reserved sounds of approval instead of laughing.

“Bilqis, what was his story about tonight?” I asked curiously.

“It was the same story about the wise old man and the robber except it had a different ending. Instead of the old man killing the robber, the robber thanked him for feeding him and stated he would never rob a man who fed him. It is another interpretation of the saying ‘that a snake when feeding has no venom.’ The point of the story is when you feed your enemies; they will be less likely to want to harm the hand that feeds them.”

“Bilqis, it seems we have another similar belief.” I replied.

“Tell me your similar belief.” Bilqis replied.

“We Israelites also believe that sometimes when kindness is shown to an enemy, because it is undeserved, may awaken feelings of remorse. Bread and water have accomplished more power than the bitterest invective. His pain will be to experience your magnanimity and generous forgiveness and at the same time restore him as your brother.” If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. (Proverb 26:21)

“Perhaps your Goddess of Wisdom shines her light in more places than Israel.” Bilqis replied. […]

Source: 

As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka.

Notes:

  • Sources: U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, U.S. Bureau of Census (BUCEN) International Database.

READ @ http://rudymartinka.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/king-solomon-on-foreign-aid/

May 162014
 

By Victoria Parker in Ukraine, 99GetSmart

Source: Axis of Logic 

As I was writing an article regarding the tragedy that was unfolding in Mariupol on May 9 – the most revered day of the calendar celebrated in former Soviet countries – Donetsk and Lugansk conducted their referendums, resulting in a 90% vote for independence from the new Ukrainian regime.

It would be very naive to expect Russia to take these two republics under its wing. The Russian Federation does not appear to have any intention to attach anymore territory, and still urges civilized dialogue between the South-East and Kiev.

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that any dialogue is possible after so much spilling of innocent blood. Kiev chose the politics of intimidation and terror, intertwined with a patent mistrust. What took place in Odessa is called “Red Line 1”.  Although this horrific and inhumane action was covered by some media, the entire world still refused to react, as moral obligations would suggest they should, by stopping the junta from spilling the blood of its own people and calling out for justice. So the junta crossed another red line.

Another massacre in Mariupol (Donetsk’s province) was personally initiated and supervised by Oleg Lyashko, a Presidential candidate.

He actually replaced the commander of this “operation” with himself. After a call from the chief of police in Mariupol, Lyashko gave the order to invade Mariupol. He hoped to shine his political star by achieving his own victory on May 9, the day when people celebrate the Victory in Great Fatherland war over fascism. Lyashko personally gave an order to shoot all the “vatniks” and “colorads” (insulting words for Russians and anti-fascists). Within the order was the specific task of shooting any soldier who refused to participate. Later, seeing how his “anti-terrorist operation” descended into an absolute fiasco, Lyashko ran away from Mariupol.

The Chief of police in Mariupol, Androshuk, after the initial phone conversation with Lyashko, gave orders to his officers to conduct a punitive operation of punishment against the Mariupol people. The entire body of police refused to follow the order. Androschuk shot one of the officers, triggering a revolt among the remaining police. Androschuk escaped into his office and called the “Right Sector” for help.

While the people in the city were celebrating Victory Day, the invaders entered  peaceful Mariupol much as the Nazis did 70 years ago. The punitive group, battalions “Dnipro” and “Azov”, had assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, BMP 9 + 1 APC, heavy armoured vehicles and tanks, and combat infantry.

It is fair to call them fascists.

They moved close to the police department building and soon opened fire from HGV, machine guns, and grenade launchers. Some of Right Sectors went from house to house and shot at the windows where people filmed everything on cameras and phones. They blocked the area around police station.

During combat, Androschuk snuck out of the building through a corridor. But in the street, he was captured by local people. His fate is presently unknown.

Unarmed civilians were standing around shouting: ”Fascists”, “Get out of our city”, “They are killing our police!”, “How would you look at your Mom’s eyes?” National Guard gunmen shot civilians on sight to stop them from approaching the police department building. Police officers became “terrorists” for only one reason: THEY REFUSED TO RAISE WEAPONS AGAINST THEIR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN. There were about 50 people at the police station, including women.

Next, the Right Sector used the same tactic as they did in Odessa. They blocked the building and burned it down to the ground.

The police station was completely destroyed by fire. Ambulances rushing to the scene to rescue the wounded were greeted by bursts of gunfire from the fascists.

During the day, gunmen in black uniforms shot and intimidated citizens.

Civilians began to oppose the fascist invaders. The fascists lost one BMP. Several members of the punitive “Azov” and “Dnipro” died. Then the fascists (no other word can be used toward these creatures) found themselves without any commanders and tried to leave the city. Actually, they ran away.

It is still unclear how many people were killed in Mariupol. The man in this video claimed that there were over one hundred victims.

Where will the next “red line” take place?  And how many more “red lines” does the World need in order to wake up? This is not a war between Russians and Ukrainians, and this is not a war of all against all. This is a war of Russian people for their identity and freedom. Now when the most hated thing, as fascism is for Russians, has come into our homes, people need to determine what values they are standing up for and what kind of future we see for ourselves, and who they are – Russian people, meaning the spiritual condition, not necessary nationality.

This is the war of the Russian world against the Nazis. This is a Nazi’s war against the civilian population.

This is also a time for the West to clarify for themselves who they want to be with and what kind of future they choose.

On May 11, the people of Donetsk and Lugansk provinces took part in Referendums and declared their Independence.

On May 11, a funeral took place for 20 killed people in Mariupol.

This is a holiday with teary eyes…

© Copyright 2014 by AxisofLogic.com

This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a “live link” to the article. Thank you!

May 132014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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I stopped. A funeral was going by. A pauper’s burial. Only a woman and a child followed. I asked an old man looking on who it was.

“A neighbor who sold fruit and vegetables and couldn’t pay the rent”.

He looked up puzzled. “How could they afford a coffin, a burial site and a stone if he couldn’t put food on the table when he was alive?”

            My grandfathers, stone cutters would find plenty of work: people of all ages are dying every day. The authorities call them “unnatural deaths”. But how many grave sites have tomb stones?

            I gaze up at the Acropolis and the marble columns of the Parthenon shimmer under a brilliant blue sky . . . and I trip over a ragged body stretched across the sidewalk, a blackened hand grasping a crust of bread.

            I walk past the dead. I walk over the dying. And I hurry away from a wild-eyed, white bearded raving madman screaming in a high-pitched hoarse voice. “The crises is over! The banks are rich! We are saved!”

       I enter the Byzantine museum, a refuge from the turmoil, an inexpensive escape into the past . . . or is it? The ticket sellers, guards and guides are nowhere to be seen … Are they on strike? Or have they been fired? Or both? I walk alone, unmolested, through a thousand years: the rise and fall of Constantinople.

            Is there a museum of modern Greece? Two hundred years of revolutions and imported monarchs. Of Great Ideas that bred Catastrophes. Of unsavory dictators and collaborators. Of heroic resistance fighters and concentration camps. Of juntas and student martyrs. Of alternating Conservative and Socialist kleptocrats.

            A museum depicting the collapse of illusions of wealth and streets paved with euros. A European city converted into the home for one hundred thousand beggars and two million unemployed.

            The bagmen are coming – its election time. The scrawny hands of impoverished pensioners reach out . . . A grizzly bald Socratic look-alike lines up at a soup kitchen. He questions the Athenians: “Do you believe the democratic authorities will add meat to the watery soup?”.

            Kimon, a recent graduate of Athens University, a classical scholar, sells counterfeit ancient coins on a street corner. He tells me an authentic fifth century Arethusa dekadrachm signed by Kimon or Euainetos or Eumenos would feed a thousand unemployed Greeks for a year, maybe two, if they are vegetarians.

            I stood behind a small crowd in front of a kiosk reading the headlines of the newspapers (who buys them these days?). An excited woman pushed her way out of the semi-circle and screeched to the silent on-lookers. “The Nazis called the Jews, Communists … the gas chambers,  showers. The Americans call the fascists who burned alive three dozen workers in Odessa, Ukrainian Nationalists”. She turned abruptly and walked quickly down the street. The others mumbled incoherently and drifted away. A nattily dressed businessman smiled at me and nodded his head as if to say “Only a crazy woman screams in the street like her”.

 

Reflections on Odessa

James Petras

            Some things do not change, despite world-historic catastrophes.  Back in the late 19thcentury, Isaac Babel witnessed and described mobs, self-described as “Black Hundreds”, rampaging the streets of Odessa, dragging red-bearded Jews through the streets, sacking and burning their stores. Dozens of Jews were murdered and hundreds fled to sanctuaries. Terrible times, indeed!

But how much worse today when the progeny of the Black Hundreds and the proud descendants of Nazi collaborators, who now call themselves the ‘Right Forum’, roam the streets of Odessa with impunity and license, beating whomever they encounter.

Women, adolescents and pensioners fled, seeking refuge in a Trade Union Center. The contemporary Nazi’s firebombed the Center, incinerating forty and forcing others to jump from windows to their death. And those injured from their fall … beaten to a bloody pulp.

The Right Forum flaunts the worst of the Black Hundreds and Nazi legacy of mayhem and massacres.

The pogroms of the Black Hundreds of the pre-revolution were nothing compared to the genocide of the Ukrainian Waffen Galician Nichtengall and Roland Division. Eighty thousand Ukrainian fascists led by Stepan Bandera  served as Hitler’s willing executioners. They murdered millions of Poles and Jews and Ukrainians. Even their Nazi overseers were appalled by the buzz-saw assassinations.

The children of the Bandera genocidists, in recognition of their Nazi roots, first called themselves the “Social-National Party of the Ukraine”. They changed to “Right Sector” and “Svoboda”, so as not to offend the sensibilities of their new Western paymasters. Still, in remembrance of times past, the Right Sector, in the tradition of Bandera, knows best how to burn alive those “fake Ukrainians” who speak Russian or support socialists or protest the American designated junta that they, the Right Sector, brought to power.

Ukrainian fascists have been  given license to kill: in the past at the service of the Tsar, later with Hitler, today for the United States. The Ukraine is the center of the resurgence of European fascism taking state power: armed and willing to exterminate any enemy of the puppet junta.

Yes, Odessa has ‘changed’ since the time of Babel. It was liberated by Revolution, ravaged by civil war, starved by Stalin, genocided by Germans and Ukrainian Nazis . . .  who juxtaposed the swastika to a background of national colors.

Yes, the Nazis were defeated . . . but not forever!

Yes, the pogroms of the Jews ended . . . because there were so few.

Yes, half the population speaks Russian . . . but for how long?

Yes, there are new industries . . .  but they are closing.

Yes, the “black earth” was the granary of Russia . . . but now it is owned by foreign billionaires.

Yes, the Ukraine was independent . . . but elections, uprisings and coups were bought and sold in, by and for… the free market.

The Ukraine is ruled by a US appointed junta that seized power through a US financed coup. A junta which rules through pogroms and military massacres. They terrorize the towns and countryside; they roam the city streets and occupy the squares. They hate to death the workers self-governing councils and popular militias which have sprang up spontaneously, free of Russian tutelage and junta appointed oppressors.

In Babel’s time, Jewish workers, under fascist siege, joined the Red Army and wealthy merchants offered their daughters in marriage to Bolshevik commanders.

Today the architect of the  pogroms, the ethnic cleansing of Russian speakers, is a leading American policymaker, a Jew, who calls herself Victoria Nuland (nee Nudelman).

In Odessa and throughout the Ukraine , under the heel of  the Kiev junta, the legacy of the Black Hundreds and the Nazi collaborators lives on, despite a century of world shattering events.  Only the sponsors, organizers and paymasters have changed.

But let’s not forget the other legacy of the Ukraine: the four million heroic Ukrainians who fought in the victorious Red Army that defeated Nazi Germany and decimated its Ukrainian collaborators. That legacy lives on, in today’s self-governing workers councils and popular militias.

 

Conversations:  Scholars and Farm Workers

James Petras

            Conversations with farm workers, migrants and other subjects of academic publications.

The basic question, never asked by established and up and coming academics is: What do the subjects who answers my questions get out of it? The academic will write an article in a professional journal or a book for a scholarly press. Publication leads to an appointment, a promotion, and life time employment, a substantial salary with health insurance, a pension, travel funds and time paid to conduct studies.

A Mexican farm worker who was asked for an interview, walked away. The scholar followed him explaining the importance of the study and its relevance “to improving the life of the community through greater understanding”.

The worker stopped and looked his pursuer in the eyes “How much will you pay me for my time?”

The scholar was taken aback hesitated and asked; “Why do you expect to be paid?”

And the peasant answered; “Why not?  You are paid to write books . . . my interview will help you write your books. You pay me for my time and answers.”

The scholar argued in vain: “My publications take the side of the farm workers, peasants, the immigrants, my writing exposes the exploitation by landlords and supports peasant resistance.”

The peasant answered; “But those exploiters, at least pay me. I am resisting your attempt to secure my labor without remuneration”.

The scholar moved on to interview another peasant and explained that “the study would improve the life of the community by making the world aware of the plight of the immigrant Indians”.

The Indian asked “What ‘world’ reads about Indians in the fields. Only others like you. They read your writings in order to interview other Indians in order to publish books. And, all of you live in a different world. Will your books or articles raise my wages, secure me credit, build a road to market”?

Some demanded equality of wages: one hour interviews at the pay rates of the scholars.

Others, the wisest, demanded pre-payment of village improvements. Because they quickly learned that the wily, scholars did not fulfill their promises; the interviews were completed, with handshakes and promises. But the streets were never paved.

According to peasants, it turned out that the worst exploiters were not the landowners who paid a miserable wage, but the scholars who insisted on work without pay. And worst, deprived the peasants of family time, of free time among friends and companions.

The peasants have yet to write their book about scholars who profit from unpaid labor and academics who refuse to answer the peasants’ basic question “What do we get out of it?”

May 102014
 

By William Blum, 99GetSmart

“The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall!”

Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of dozens of anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev and supported by the US.

Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of dozens of anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev and supported by the US.

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror. 1

And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy exceptionalism come to be? One starting point that can be considered is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.” 2 That can serve as an early marker for the new cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most important part needed to complete the circle – Ukraine.

In February of this year, US State Department officials, undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, former US ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one Arseniy Yatsenuk.

My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”. Thus it was by the most remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these motivations by almost always referring to them simply as “pro-Russian”.

An exception, albeit rather unemphasized, was the April 17 Washington Post which reported from Donetsk that many of the eastern Ukrainians whom the author interviewed said the unrest in their region was driven by fear of “economic hardship” and the IMF austerity plan that will make their lives even harder: “At a most dangerous and delicate time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.”

Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation’s website you will see the logos of the foundation’s “partners”. 3 Among these partners we find NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of international banks. Is any comment needed?

Getting away with supporting al-Qaeda and Nazi types may be giving US officials the idea that they can say or do anything they want in their foreign policy. In a May 2 press conference, President Obama, referring to Ukraine and the NATO Treaty, said: “We’re united in our unwavering Article 5 commitment to the security of our NATO allies”. (Article 5 states: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all.”) Did the president forget that Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO? And in the same press conference, the president referred to the “duly elected government in Kyiv (Kiev)”, when in fact it had come to power via a coup and then proceeded to establish a new regime in which the vice-premier, minister of defense, minister of agriculture, and minister of environment, all belonged to far-right neo-Nazi parties. 4

The pure awfulness of the Ukrainian right-wingers can scarcely be exaggerated. In early March, the leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) called upon his comrades, the infamous Chechnyan terrorists, to carry out further terrorist actions in Russia. 5

There may be one important difference between the old Cold War and the new one. The American people, as well as the world, can not be as easily brainwashed as they were during the earlier period.

Over the course of a decade, in doing the research for my first books and articles on US foreign policy, one of the oddities to me of the Cold War was how often the Soviet Union seemed to know what the United States was really up to, even if the American people didn’t. Every once in a while in the 1950s to 70s a careful reader would notice a two- or three-inch story in the New York Times on the bottom of some distant inside page, reporting that Pravda or Izvestia had claimed that a recent coup or political assassination in Africa or Asia or Latin America had been the work of the CIA; the Times might add that a US State Department official had labeled the story as “absurd”. And that was that; no further details were provided; and none were needed, for how many American readers gave it a second thought? It was just more commie propaganda. Who did they think they were fooling? This ignorance/complicity on the part of the mainstream media allowed the United States to get away with all manner of international crimes and mischief.

It was only in the 1980s when I began to do the serious research that resulted in my first book, which later became Killing Hope, that I was able to fill in the details and realize that the United States had indeed masterminded that particular coup or assassination, and many other coups and assassinations, not to mention countless bombings, chemical and biological warfare, perversion of elections, drug dealings, kidnapings, and much more that had not appeared in the American mainstream media or schoolbooks. (And a significant portion of which was apparently unknown to the Soviets as well.)

But there have been countless revelations about US crimes in the past two decades. Many Americans and much of the rest of the planet have become educated. They’re much more skeptical of American proclamations and the fawning media.

President Obama recently declared: “The strong condemnation that it’s received from around the world indicates the degree to which Russia is on the wrong side of history on this.”  6 Marvelous … coming from the man who partners with jihadists and Nazis and has waged war against seven nations. In the past half century is there any country whose foreign policy has received more bitter condemnation than the United States? If the United States is not on the wrong side of history, it may be only in the history books published by the United States.

Barack Obama, like virtually all Americans, likely believes that the Soviet Union, with perhaps the sole exception of the Second World War, was consistently on the wrong side of history in its foreign policy as well as at home. Yet, in a survey conducted by an independent Russian polling center this past January, and reported in the Washington Post in April, 86 percent of respondents older than 55 expressed regret for the Soviet Union’s collapse; 37 percent of those aged 25 to 39 did so. 7 (Similar poll results have been reported regularly since the demise of the Soviet Union. This is from USA Todayin 1999: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled, East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.”) 8

Or as the new Russian proverb put it: “Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth.”

A week before the above Post report in April the newspaper printed an article about happiness around the world, which contains the following charming lines: “Worldwide polls show that life seems better to older people – except in Russia.” … “Essentially, life under President Vladimir Putin is one continuous downward spiral into despair.” … “What’s going on in Russia is deep unhappiness.” … “In Russia, the only thing to look forward to is death’s sweet embrace.” 9

No, I don’t think it was meant to be any kind of satire. It appears to be a scientific study, complete with graphs, but it reads like something straight out of the 1950s.

The views Americans hold of themselves and other societies are not necessarily more distorted than the views found amongst people elsewhere in the world, but the Americans’ distortion can lead to much more harm. Most Americans and members of Congress have convinced themselves that the US/NATO encirclement of Russia is benign – we are, after all, the Good Guys – and they don’t understand why Russia can’t see this.

The first Cold War, from Washington’s point of view, was often designated as one of “containment”, referring to the US policy of preventing the spread of communism around the world, trying to blockthe very idea of communism or socialism. There’s still some leftover from that – see Venezuela and Cuba, for example – but the new Cold War can be seen more in terms of a military strategy. Washington thinks in terms of who could pose a barrier to the ever-expanding empire adding to its bases and other military necessities.

Whatever the rationale, it’s imperative that the United States suppress any lingering desire to bring Ukraine (and Georgia) into the NATO alliance. Nothing is more likely to bring large numbers of Russian boots onto the Ukrainian ground than the idea that Washington wants to have NATO troops right on the Russian border and in spitting distance of the country’s historic Black Sea naval base in Crimea.

The myth of Soviet expansionism

One still comes across references in the mainstream media to Russian “expansionism” and “the Soviet empire”, in addition to that old favorite “the evil empire”. These terms stem largely from erstwhile Soviet control of Eastern European states. But was the creation of these satellites following World War II an act of imperialism or expansionism? Or did the decisive impetus lie elsewhere?

Within the space of less than 25 years, Western powers had invaded Russia three times – the two world wars and the “Intervention” of 1918-20 – inflicting some 40 million casualties in the two wars alone. To carry out these invasions, the West had used Eastern Europe as a highway. Should it be any cause for wonder that after World War II the Soviets wanted to close this highway down? In almost any other context, Americans would have no problem in seeing this as an act of self defense. But in the context of the Cold War such thinking could not find a home in mainstream discourse.

The Baltic states of the Soviet Union – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were not part of the highway and were frequently in the news because of their demands for more autonomy from Moscow, a story “natural” for the American media. These articles invariably reminded the reader that the “once independent” Baltic states were invaded in 1939 by the Soviet Union, incorporated as republics of the USSR, and had been “occupied” ever since. Another case of brutal Russian imperialism. Period. History etched in stone.

The three countries, it happens, were part of the Russian empire from 1721 up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the midst of World War I. When the war ended in November 1918, and the Germans had been defeated, the victorious Allied nations (US, Great Britain, France, et al.) permitted/encouraged the German forces to remain in the Baltics for a full year to crush the spread of Bolshevism there; this, with ample military assistance from the Allied nations. In each of the three republics, the Germans installed collaborators in power who declared their independence from the new Bolshevik state which, by this time, was so devastated by the World War, the revolution, and the civil war prolonged by the Allies’ intervention, that it had no choice but to accept the fait accompli. The rest of the fledgling Soviet Union had to be saved.

To at least win some propaganda points from this unfortunate state of affairs, the Soviets announced that they were relinquishing the Baltic republics “voluntarily” in line with their principles of anti-imperialism and self-determination. But is should not be surprising that the Soviets continued to regard the Baltics as a rightful part of their nation or that they waited until they were powerful enough to reclaim the territory.

Then we had Afghanistan. Surely this was an imperialist grab. But the Soviet Union had lived next door to Afghanistan for more than 60 years without gobbling it up. And when the Russians invaded in 1979, the key motivation was the United States involvement in a movement, largely Islamic, to topple the Afghan government, which was friendly to Moscow. The Soviets could not have been expected to tolerate a pro-US, anti-communist government on its border any more than the United States could have been expected to tolerate a pro-Soviet, communist government in Mexico.

Moreover, if the rebel movement took power it likely would have set up a fundamentalist Islamic government, which would have been in a position to proselytize the numerous Muslims in the Soviet border republics.

Notes

  1. See RT.com (formerly Russia Today) for many stories, images and videos
  2. Robert Gates, Duty (2014), p.97
  3. If this site has gone missing again, a saved version can be found here.
  4. Voice of Russia radio station, Moscow, April 18, 2014; also see Answer Coalition, “Who’s who in Ukraine’s new [semi-fascist] government”, March 11, 2014
  5. RT.com, news report March 5, 2014
  6. CBS News, March 3, 2014
  7. Washington Post, April 11, 2014
  8. USA Today (Virginia), Oct. 11, 1999, page 1
  9. Washington Post print edition, April 2, 2014; online here