You are here

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Logo

Stop forcing Ukraine into a narrative of Moscow versus Washington

World%20Banner_0.jpg

We are told that this is a geopolitical battle instead of an attempt by ordinary Ukrainians to take back control from the oligarchs.

Oliver Bullough, The Guardian

Auto-Maidan-Protest-006.jpg A group of Maidan guards outside the parliament building in Kiev. Photograph: Gail-Orenstein/Demotix/Corbis

Monday 19 May 2014 | Anyone who tells you Ukraine is a battle between Russia and the west is wrong. It is a lazy narrative told by ignorant people, but is helping create a genuine tragedy that we should all be concerned about.

The history of Ukraine's crisis began not in February, with Viktor Yanukovych's flight, but in 1991, with independence. Desperate to break communism, privatisers sold state assets as quickly as they could. They didn't care who got them; they just wanted private property to exist. They thought the new owners would insist on their rights, and thus build a stable society, governed by the rule of law.

Oliver Bullough was a Reuters Moscow correspondent, and is now Caucasus Editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. His book Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus is published by Penguin

Full story … 

Related:

The Myth of America’s Global Peacekeeping Past, Leon Hadar, The American Conservative

There is something morally appalling in Kagan, The Economist, and other cheerleaders for the botched wars in the Greater Middle East arguing once again that only the full application of American military power will deter aggression and build the foundations for stability. 

The Fool, the Demagogue, and the Former KGB Colonel

World%20Banner_0.jpg

  • The fool is John Kerry, who has looked bad in his rushing around between Washington and Tel Aviv trying to get in place a “framework” agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that would show progress in the efforts of the honest broker, assailing Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela for his “terror campaign against his own people,” and, of course, denouncing the Russians for their “aggression” against the coup-regime of Ukraine.
  • Someone teach John Kerry about history!

Edward S. Herman, ZMagazine

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

Starbuck%27s%20Cafe%20Latte%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

herman-2-600x532.jpg April 23, 2014 | The fool is John Kerry, who has looked bad in his rushing around between Washington and Tel Aviv trying to get in place a “framework” agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that would show progress in the efforts of the honest broker, assailing Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela for his “terror campaign against his own people,” and, of course, denouncing the Russians for their “aggression” against the coup-regime of Ukraine. His statement that “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext,” has to be regarded as an Orwellian classic and may be his signifier in future history books, in the unlikely event that he makes it at all. His punchline has been the subject of many jokes and laughs in the dissident media, but the mainstream media have hardly mentioned it and certainly haven’t made it the butt of jokes and a basis for discrediting the man (just as there has been no discrediting of Madeleine Albright based on her statement on national TV that killing 500,000 Iraqi children via the sanctions of mass destruction in the 1990s—which she helped engineer—“was worth it”).

Of course, it is possible that Kerry really believed he was speaking truths, having internalized the assumptions that flow from U.S. “exceptionalism,” which make words like “invasion,” “aggression” and “international law” inapplicable to us as the world’s police; and what might be a “completely trumped up pretext” if offered by the Russians is only a slight and excusable error or misjudgment when we do it. After all, the New York Times quickly used the word “aggression” in editorializing on the Crimea events (“Russia’s Aggression,” March 2, 2014), whereas it never used the word to describe the invasion-occupation of Iraq, nor did it mention the words “UN Charter” or “international law” in its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001 to March 21, 2003 (Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper).

Edward S. Herman is an economist, media critic, and author, most recently, of The Politics of Genocide (with Dave Petersen).

Full story … 

Related:

Someone teach John Kerry about history! Patrick L. Smith, Salon

  • There's a reason why Putin makes Kerry and the president look clownish: He understands the history others forget
  • Barack Obama Pulls A George W. Bush: Lies, Misinformation and Chemical Weapons

Agents of Destabilization in Venezuela: The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy

Foreign%20Policy%20Banner.jpg

  • What is clear is that the US government continues to feed efforts to destabilize Venezuela in clear violation of law. Stronger legal measures  and enforcement may be necessary to ensure the sovereignty and defense of Venezuela’s democracy.
  • Aiding Venezuela

Eva Golinger, Global Research

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

9781566566476_p0_v1_s260x420.jpg April 26, 2014 | Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado- two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code

Support%20Venezuelan%20Government_0.jpg Full story … 

Related:

Aiding Venezuela, Michael Albert, Z Net

  • To my eyes there is no large scale experiment in social change that warrants more hope and, currently, more worry, than Venezuela. So, what might we do?
  • The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

 

 

Someone teach John Kerry about history!

Foreign%20Policy%20Banner.jpg

  • There's a reason why Putin makes Kerry and the president look clownish: He understands the history others forget
  • Barack Obama Pulls A George W. Bush: Lies, Misinformation and Chemical Weapons

Patrick L. Smith, Salon

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpg This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

 

/john_kerry1-620x412.jpg Secretary of State John Kerry (Credit: Reuters/Lefteris Pitarakis)

 

Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 | Many Americans flinch from the latest turn in the Ukraine crisis now that Vladimir Putin has taken control of it. It was the same in Syria last autumn, you will recall. The Western powers whip themselves into a dither, and the Russian president then makes some simple, galvanizing move that puts everything on a different course.

In Syria, Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov jumped on an offer Secretary of State John Kerry made but never intended to: Within two days of Kerry’s much-noted press conference in London last autumn, Moscow had Bashar al-Assad surrendering his chemical weapons stockpile. The U.S. threat of a missile strike melted, and Putin had wrested the initiative in the Syria crisis from Washington’s grip.

Patrick L. Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications.

Related:

Barack Obama Pulls A George W. Bush: Lies, Misinformation and Chemical Weapons, Patrick L. Smith, Salon

  • Remember the almost-war in Syria last year? An amazing new report -- which our media won't touch -- is a must read.
  • Obama’s Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions and the Boomerang Effect

Pages