On War Crimes and Double Standards in Ukraine

February 9, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Donetsk-shelling-3The Western media has been abuzz in recent days with the claim that videos posted to youtube, which show Ukrainian prisoners being “mistreated” by anti-Kiev rebels, amount to war crimes. Naturally, such claims deserve attention as violations of international laws governing war and treatment of prisoners are of concern to all. However, it is equally true that those calling for prosecution of the anti-Kiev rebels are applying a farcical double standard as they have utterly ignored the exponentially more egregious war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military and its neo-Nazi auxiliaries.

This complete whitewashing of countless war crimes committed by Kiev is not coincidental, nor is it a mystery. In fact, it is part of a coordinated campaign by the western media and western non-profit industrial complex to frame the narrative in such a way as to cast Kiev ‘s forces as righteous and just, while the anti-Kiev rebels are terrorist criminals. This complete inversion of reality is par for the course for the West, which, recognizing it cannot achieve its geopolitical ambitions in Ukraine by force, instead will seek to do it through propaganda.

What the Evidence Shows

The videos that surfaced on youtube which allegedly show evidence of war crimes committed by the anti-Kiev rebels have sparked much debate internationally. The western media has seized on claims of “torture” and “war crimes” made by individuals whose objectivity is certainly in doubt. Take for instance the article in the pro-Kiev outlet “Kyiv Post” entitled Kremlin’s mercenaries post videos of captive Ukrainian soldiers; human rights activists charge war crimes committed which presents an entirely one-sided account of the alleged crimes, entirely laden with insinuation but conspicuously short on verifiable facts.

The article cites Yulia Gorbunova, a researcher affiliated with Human Rights Watch, who stated, “Tortures and killings could be qualified as war crimes…During the parade of prisoners in Donetsk, the prisoners were subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment. It is a violation of international humanitarian law regarding the prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity.” Indeed, she is correct that torture and killings could be regarded as war crimes. However, what is deliberately left out of the narrative is the context in which these actions took place. Providing this context casts very serious doubt as to the objectivity and reliability of Gorbunova and the NGOs working in Ukraine.

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Debating Ukraine (Feb. 7, 2015)

February 9, 2015 at 9:22 AM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org debates the current situation in Ukraine. He provides his analysis of how this conflict began, including the role of NATO expansion, US meddling in Ukraine, and much more. Draitser also notes that many of the war crimes committed by the Kiev regime have gone entirely ignored while the US prepares to escalate the conflict by arming Kiev. He also touches on the future of Donetsk and Lugansk, the role of international actors, geopolitical divisions, and much more.

Turkey, Terrorism, and the Global Proxy War

February 2, 2015 at 3:18 PM

 

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While the world’s attention has been fixed on France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings, the subsequent manhunt, and the political fallout from the incident, a number of important news items have quietly been pushed off the front pages of the world’s major newspapers, and out of the lead segments of television news programs all over the globe. In Nigeria, Boko Haram reemerges with a vengeance, committing one of the worst atrocities in the recent history of the region. In Syria and Iraq, the war against the Islamic State continues unabated. In Greece, an all-important election that could have dire implications for the future of the European Union is set to take place.

And quietly, with almost no fanfare from international media, reports surfaced from China indicating that Chinese authorities had arrested at least ten Turkish suspects alleged to have organized and facilitated the illegal border crossings of a number of Uighur [Muslim ethnic group in Western China] extremists. It has further been revealed that the Uighur extremists were planning to travel to Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to train and fight with fellow jihadis.

While the details of the investigation have not been fully revealed as yet, the incident points to a much larger issue than simply a few Turks being involved in document forgery and illegal immigration. Rather, the story is still further evidence of a well-funded, well-organized international terror network operated and/or facilitated by the Turkish government and Turkish intelligence. From the hosting of extremist fighters along the Syrian border to providing material support to terrorists in China, Turkey has placed itself at the center of an international terror war aimed at countries that oppose NATO and stand in the way of the Neo-Ottoman vision that President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu have for Turkey.

 

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Unraveling the Mystery of Boko Haram (Part 2)

February 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM

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The first installment of this article focused on the relationship between Boko Haram and the domestic politics of Nigeria, as well as the regional resource war that has developed around the Lake Chad Basin.  It exposed the connections between individuals and networks both in Nigeria and Chad that are actively supporting and/or facilitating Boko Haram, and in doing so, participating in a dangerous game of regional destabilization.  Naturally, the question becomes: why? In whose interests is this destabilization being carried out? What is the larger economic and geopolitical calculus at work?  It is to these questions that we must now turn.

For at least the last 500 years, Europeans have looked to Africa as a potential source of wealth and power.  From the earliest Portuguese expeditions up through the present day, the West has seen in Africa vast, and seemingly unlimited, riches.  From gold, diamonds, and other precious materials, to energy and, impossible not to mention, human labor, the Europeans (and in recent times Americans) have swarmed Africa as the locusts of capitalism, stripping it of its wealth and then asking why Africa is so chaotic.  Such cynical, and blatantly imperialist, ambitions have always lain at the center of Western strategy on the so-called “Dark Continent.”  So too are they at the heart of the current situation in Nigeria, and West Africa generally.

In examining the complex web of relations connecting events in West Africa, a disturbing, though hardly surprising, trend appears: as Western geopolitical and economic interest in the region increases, so too does instability grow.  While it may seem counter-intuitive, in fact this trend makes perfect sense.  While the US and Europe invoke ad nauseam the term “stability,” the reality is that chaos and instability are perfectly suited for their neocolonial objectives. 

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Unraveling the Mystery of Boko Haram

January 29, 2015 at 1:55 PM

bokoThe most entertaining mysteries are the ones with compelling protagonists, enigmatic and often surreptitious antagonists, and surprising or shocking conclusions. Indeed, without these essential elements, one is unlikely to read the story at all. However, when it comes to politics and geopolitics, somehow our mass media storytellers – the scores of journalists, military and counter-terrorism ‘experts,’ and establishment mouthpieces – fail to even point us in the right direction. Not only do they not follow the threads of the story, they prefer to pretend they simply aren’t there.

And so it is with the great ‘mystery’ of Boko Haram, a group that in just a few years has become one of the most recognizable terrorist entities in the world. Having carried out heinous massacres of men, women, and children, abducted thousands of innocents, and destroyed whole towns, Boko Haram now symbolizes just that perfect blend of barbarism, religious and ideological fundamentalism, and non-white skin, which come together to cast them, in the eyes of westerners especially, as the manifestation of evil – the devil incarnate that can only be destroyed by the forces of righteousness. You know, the ‘good guys.’

But what happens when there are no ‘good guys’ to be found? What happens when you follow the story only to find the most cynical of intentions from every player involved? Such is the case with this Boko Haram story, and indeed the regional politics and geopolitics of West Africa as a whole.

In trying to unravel the labyrinthine web of political, economic, and strategic threads connecting a number of significant actors, it becomes clear that no analysis of Boko Haram is worth reading unless it approaches the issue from three distinctly different, yet intimately connected, angles.

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