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Thursday, March 20, 2014

More mystery snipers

Were they recorded? Somehow, this video has escaped my attention until now. Supposedly, the audio records "action reports" from the snipers themselved as they fired on the protestors. Unfortunately, we have no English translation! I have no idea as to who is saying what -- and obviously, I can't speak to the recording's authenticity.

More "mystery snipers" in Crimea. From The Independent:
The Ukrainian Prime Minister warned that “the conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage” and claimed that “Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen and that is a war crime”. His government, he added, has now authorised the use of firearms for its forces surrounded in their bases in Crimea.

However, there were indications that it was the separatist Crimean government’s recently created “Self Defence Forces” who had actually carried out the fatal attack. Local officials, meanwhile, claimed that “fascist snipers” had fired the first shot from a residential building and one of the injured was one of the defence force members.

The Ukrainian and Russian governments had agreed to a ceasefire until 21 March, aimed at preventing hostilities breaking out at the blockaded bases. But there was apprehension that the assault and the resultant death and injuries may break the delicate accord, with highly dangerous consequences.
Obviously, someone didn't want that ceasefire to hold. Also see here.
Reports from both the Independent and BBC suggest that the culprits who both initiated the violence and were responsible for the death of one Ukrainian soldier and one pro-Russian militia member were actually unidentified snipers who fired from residential buildings.

Local officials have referred to these shooters as “fascist snipers” suggesting that Crimean authorities suspect them of having loyalty to the Western-backed regime in Kiev. These snipers allegedly fired at both Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian self-defense forces, creating casualties on both sides and triggering a string of violent events that led to the assault of the Ukrainian soldiers and the death of these two men.
The money. Here's an allegation I had not run into earlier...
Israel Shamir, in CounterPunch, 2-24, claims that Kiev is awash in new $100 bills, of a type not yet seen in Moscow. I’m sure these funds aren’t showing up on the Fed balance sheets yet and may, like other black budget monies, never show up.
I don't disbelieve this claim...but neither will I believe it until I see more and better sourcing. Can any reader point out confirmation?

Zbig news: Mike Whitney see the hand of Zbigniew Brzezinski (an old Obama mentor) behind the Ukrainian destabilization...
Brzezinski’s magnum opus–”The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and it’s Geostrategic Imperatives” has become the Mein Kampf for aspiring western imperialists. It provides the basic blueprint for establishing US military-political-economic hegemony in the century’s most promising and prosperous region, Asia. In an article in Foreign Affairs Brzezinski laid out his ideas about neutralizing Russia by splitting the country into smaller parts, thus, allowing the US to maintain its dominant role in the region without threat of challenge or interference.
In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news:
“Across the country… People are being beaten and stoned, while undesirable members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are subject to mass intimidation and local officials see their families and children targeted by death threats if they do not support the installation of this new political power. The new Ukrainian authorities are massively burning the offices of political parties they do not like, and have publicly announced the threat of criminal prosecution and prohibition of political parties and public organizations that do not share the ideology and goals of the new regime.” (“USA and EU Are Erecting a Nazi Regime on Ukrainian Territory”, Natalia Vitrenko)
This may explain why we've been seeing rather better coverage of Ukrainian events in the Israeli press than in the news organs serving Freedom's Land.

Steve Lendman has offered some excellent insights...
Obama elevated neo-Nazi putschists to power in Kiev. He backs lawless governance. He spurns democratic legitimacy.

He bears full responsibility for crisis conditions. At issue is what he intends going forward. He risks potential global war. Don't expect Times editors and/or contributors to explain. They support what demands condemnation.

They repeat the Big Lie. "Putin invaded Crimea," they said. A former unnamed Obama senior national security aid was quoted saying: "We're seeing the 'light footprint" run out of gas."
I quite agree with these words on the propaganda barrage:
Neocon Washington Post editors headlined "Western sanctions deliver only a slap on the wrist to Mr. Putin."

They want much tougher measures imposed. They lied claiming "Russian forces extended their invasion from Crimea to an adjacent area of Ukraine."

Their assertion doesn't rise to the level of bad fiction. It doesn't wash. It doesn't pass the smell test. It doesn't stop WaPo editors from repeating one Big Lie after another.

Russia committed "aggression," they hyperventilated. Unless stopped, "the result will likely be more," they claimed.

"…Putin's brazenness continues to escalate." US officials lied. Not according to WaPo editors.

They repeated the Big Lie about "ballots for (Crimea's referendum) arriv(ing) pre-marked and that the supposedly overwhelming vote for separating from Ukraine was grossly manipulated."

What rubbish! You can't make this stuff up. Monitors observing Sunday's referendum pronounced it scrupulously open, free and fair.

Not a single irregularity was reported. Sunday's vote was a model democratic exercise. It shamed America's sham process.

Don't expect WaPo editors explain. They're preoccupied concocting new Big Lies.

It's standard scoundrel media practice. Truth is systematically buried. Lies, damn lies and misinformation substitute.
Emphasis added. Finally, I'd like to direct your attention to this superb piece -- okay, it's kind of a rant, but it's a superb rant:
Secretary of State John Kerry got into the act likening Crimea joining Russia as somehow reminiscent of "the build-up to World War II", apparently likening it to Hitler absorbing the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia in 1937-this area being the German speaking part of that country and later annexing Austria.

Ah, sorry John, those assertions ring hollow. The Crimean people voted in a referendum to join Russia. Putin acknowledged their right to self determination and accepted them into the Russian Federation. This is not Putin acting like Hitler and the hypocrisy of any Obama administration flak alluding to any country conducting a "land grab" obviously ignores our own US history. Throw in our recent illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, proxy wars supporting autocrats in Central and South America, the Shah of Iran from 1953 to 1979, our ignoring the sovereignty of other countries with drone attacks and missile strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as just some inconvenient impediment we ignore with impunity to say nothing of the thousand plus military bases and naval carrier task forces strewn over the seven seas as "a force for good". Please. Ask the people on the delivery end of our attacks whether we're "a force for good".

And when our "lead" diplomat alludes to Hitler's Nazi's grabbing part of Czechoslovakia and annexing Austria with Putin's role in Crimea, how about our not acknowledging the role played by Ukraine's neo-Nazi "Right Sector" group as the violent actors leading the coup to overthrow elected President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev last month.

The omissions, distortions, outright lies and exaggerations by our corporate media is an absolute disgrace and nothing more than putrid propaganda stirring up the resurrection of some new cold war with Russia.

There is no fifth column movement in Russia with grandiose designs of empire.

If anything, that's an Obama administration effort envisioned by the neo-conservatives within, or those with close ties to the administration. They're the real danger to the world, not Putin and Russia.
I disagree only in this: I am not at all persuaded that Obama was cognizant of this plan before it went into effect. I think he is, in this instance, a re-actor, not an actor.

But I could be wrong.
The NYT had an interesting piece a few days ago, conjuring up the celebration in South Ossetia after the Russian incursion into Georgia. I don't think there's any question that Crimea was fully on board for Putin's nod and annexation, despite 'international law' to the contrary. But if you look at the plight of South Ossetia, the people there have been abandoned, economic aide has been frittered away through corruption and graft and the subsequent fence delineating the border is a pale but painful cousin to more famous walls of separation. Link here:

Do I think our fingerprints are all over this disaster? Yes. There's a crazed neocon fever on the Potomac. Bill Kristol et al's recent comments are enough to make reasonable people shudder. Deja vu all over again. As for Obama? He may be the calm voice in the room but he does not appear to have a grip on the levers of this runaway train.

I'd really like to know why Victoria Nuland and her cohorts haven't been sacked. Like yesterday. And where oh where was the intelligence community in all this. They didn't see it coming? You can only pull that card once. Or shame on all of us.

one has to sign in to see the video at the top of your link.. i didn't do that, but i note it says euromaiden PR is the one responsible for the video.. they have a number of videos up that all seem to be promo for their agenda. not sure why they would put up a video that cast a bad light on what they were about, but then i haven't watched the video and don't speak the language..
Is it still called a Fifth Column when it's controlling your media, intelligence agencies, and segments of your government?

I kid just a bit, but in reality it wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn of unsanctioned manipulations and machinations being orchestrated and funded from within our shadow government apparatus. At what point does a nation claiming to be a democracy, or at least a democratic republic, take steps to purge a dangerous Fifth Column?

That's largely a rhetorical question because I know that no one with the clout would dare to insinuate we may have traitors in our midst, unless those being accused were trying to help the poor or reign in corporate abuses.
If Obama is only a re-actor, why does he have neo-cons like Nuland in his administration in the first place? If he wanted different results than Bush 2, why keep so many of Bush's people in his administration?
The sad thing is, because of the overstretch and decline of the Empire, you might never find out conclusively whether Obama was forced to retreat or did so willingly in any given scenario.
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