Skip to comments.Western aggression (on the Ukraine)
Posted on 12/01/2004 4:13:08 PM PST by Destro
Issue: 6 November 2004
John Laughland on how the US and Britain are intervening in Ukraines elections
A few years ago, a friend of mine was sent to Kiev by the British government to teach Ukrainians about the Western democratic system. His pupils were young reformers from western Ukraine, affiliated to the Conservative party. When they produced a manifesto containing 15 pages of impenetrable waffle, he gently suggested boiling their electoral message down to one salient point. What was it, he wondered? A moment of furrowed brows produced the lapidary and nonchalant reply, To expel all Jews from our country.
It is in the west of Ukraine that support is strongest for the man who is being vigorously promoted by America as the countrys next president: the former prime minister Viktor Yushchenko. On a rainy Monday morning in Kiev, I met some young Yushchenko supporters, druggy skinheads from Lvov. They belonged both to a Western-backed youth organisation, Pora, and also to Ukrainian National Self-Defence (Unso), a semi-paramilitary movement whose members enjoy posing for the cameras carrying rifles and wearing fatigues and balaclava helmets. Were nutters like this to be politically active in any country other than Ukraine or the Baltic states, there would be instant outcry in the US and British media; but in former Soviet republics, such bogus nationalism is considered anti-Russian and therefore democratic.
It is because of this ideological presupposition that Anglo-Saxon reporting on the Ukrainian elections has chimed in with press releases from the State Department, peddling a fairytale about a struggle between a brave and beleaguered democrat, Yushchenko, and an authoritarian Soviet nostalgic, the present Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych. All facts which contradict this morality tale are suppressed. Thus a story has been widely circulated that Yushchenko was poisoned during the electoral campaign, the fantasy being that the government was trying to bump him off. But no British or American news outlet has reported the interview by the chief physician of the Vienna clinic which treated Yushchenko for his unexplained illness. The clinic released a report declaring there to be no evidence of poisoning, after which, said the chief physician, he was subjected to such intimidation by Yushchenkos entourage who wanted him to change the report that he was forced to seek police protection.
It has also been repeatedly alleged that foreign observers found the elections fraught with violations committed by the government. In fact, this is exclusively the view of highly politicised Western governmental organisations like the OSCE a body which is notorious for the fraudulent nature of its own reports, and which in any case came to this conclusion before the poll had even taken place and of bogus NGOs, such as the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, a front organisation exclusively funded by Western (mainly American) government bodies and think-tanks, and clearly allied with Yushchenko. Because they speak English, the political activists in such organisations can easily nobble Anglophone Western reporters.
Contrary allegations such as those of fraud committed by Yushchenko-supporting local authorities in western Ukraine, carefully detailed by Russian election observers but available only in Russian go unreported. So too does evidence of crude intimidation made by Yushchenko supporters against election officials. The depiction is so skewed that Yushchenko is presented as a pro-Western free-marketeer, even though his fief in western Ukraine is an economic wasteland; while Yanukovych is presented as pro-Russian and statist, even though his electoral campaign is based on deregulation and the economy has been growing at an impressive clip. The cleanliness and prosperity of Kiev and other cities have improved noticeably.
There is, however, one thing which separates the two main candidates, and which explains the Wests determination to shoo in Yushchenko: Nato. Yanukovych has said he is against Ukraine joining; Yushchenko is in favour. The West wants Ukraine in Nato to weaken Russia geopolitically and to have a new big client state for expensive Western weaponry, whose manufacturers fund so much of the US political process.
Yanukovych has also promised to promote Russian back to the status of second state language. Since most Ukrainian citizens speak Russian, since Kiev is the historic birthplace of Christian Russia, and since the current legislation forces tens of millions of Russians to Ukrainianise their names, this is hardly unreasonable. The continued artificial imposition of Ukrainian as the state language started under the Soviets and intensified after the fall of communism will be a further factor in ripping Ukraines Russophone citizens away from Russia proper. That is why the West wants it.
You should try promoting American values, like free elections, rather than pimping yourself out for some foreign Church.
thats only the tip of the iceberg...
do some searches on church burnings so far I found 4 where 3 moscow patriarchate orthodox churches & 1 ukranian orthodox church were burned in Lviv-IvanoFrankivsk-Ternopil regions.
The UK's Spectator is now the voice of the Orthodox religion? And here I thought it was the voice of the British Conservative Tories. Anyway are you saying that this expose should not have been posted?
"So too does evidence of crude intimidation made by Yushchenko supporters against election officials. "
Whatever... thats why when they changed the rules to allow parliments to vote on a secret ballot they gave a vote of no confidence to the Russia backed guy. Before, when were all identified by their votes, they couldn't because of the intimindation of the mafiosa type crowd.
It is supposed to be subjective.
So only one side is evil and the other is perfect democratic legion of goodness in your view? and if you have something to say you are a biased no good s.o.b. who is against democracy.
Whos one sided here ah? Only one side shown on tv but there is two sides to the story ... people voted for Yanukovich maybe the elections were fixed but not all 15 million votes were fake.
Why do I have a feeling that it reads a lot like the 1960s "Third Worldist" Indonesian President Sukarno's rants against "neocolonialism" and "Western imperialism"?
What I'm saying is that if you weren't so hell bent on supporting that which you think is in the best interests of your co-religionists, you'd have figured out that Laughland is an Anti-American twit long ago, and would save his swill for the nitwits over at Antiwar.com rather than wasting FR's server space with it.
Torie and anti-American? In what universe?
Yea - only this time the slant is right wing.
I would have figured that democracy would have been one of those simple litmus tests we could all agree upon.
Why is that the same people who support KLA, support also Yushchenko?
John Laughland is clearly anti-American, if he were to be shown to be a Torie I would be quite surprised. What is thouroughly disgusting is that such an example of yellow journalism is being posted as a serious article. Laughland is a member of that hallowed pantheon of journalists who write for the Guardian. Some examples of his writing will help you get a sense of where he is coming from (and where the Putin groupies are coming from as well):
The Prague racket
Nato is now a device to exert control and extract cash. Those who resist, like Belarus, are punished
Friday November 22, 2002
The revolution televised
The western media's view of Ukraine's election is hopelessly biased
Saturday November 27, 2004
John Laughland: Who observes the observers?
The west's condemnation of Zimbabwe's election process is a breathtaking case of double standards. The chasm that opened up between the various teams of observers at the Zimbabwean elections shows the urgency of reformulating one of the oldest questions of political philosophy: who observes the observers?
By Guardian Newspapers, 3/18/2002
Oil will be the driving factor for military intervention in Sudan
By John Laughland
August 3, 2004
The Guardian, August 2, 2004
If you're going to be stupid, be stupid somewhere else, Destro.
There is such a thing as old-fashioned Tory anti-Americanism in the non-US West. And to make it more confusing, in our age the anti-American Right feels free to use whatever materials the anti-American Left provides. This is all according to Mao Zedong's timeless saying "The enemy of my ememy is my friend."
I agree too. They are actually Russia/EO-Slavic nationalists who want to exhort their sphere in the world in expense of the rest of us. I don't trust them particularly in light of what damage Russian imperialism has done to China in modern history.
They are no friend of true liberty.
Read it and weep. Iraq is "Mr. Blair's war" as far as the Spectator is concerned.
The Tories are not jingoes - Douglas Hurd - "In the recent film The Fog of War, Robert McNamara, now 88, broods over the lessons of his own experience. One of these is that in war you have to do evil to achieve good. That is a hard calculation to get right. We have freed Iraq from a brutal tyranny, losing several hundred of our own men, killing about 15,000 Iraqis, pushing the country into disorder, and discrediting our own reputation for good sense and humanity." - Spectator.co.uk
More damage than the British opium trade/war?
Interventionisim is Wilsonian and anti-conservative.
You do back Putin, and no I don't support Blair.
Wrong. The contention is whether or not we should have invaded in the first place. The Tories say no, we were wrong and evil in Iraq just like we were in Nam. McNamara said so. What a bunch of horseshit.
You also back Putin in his condemnation of the US action in Iraq, along with France, Germany, China, etc.
You were against this war from the beginning.
Wrong pro Iraq war - dare you to find one where I am not pro war - plent of posts by me against the nation building part (for lack of better term).
The article was antiwar paleocon garbage.
Wrong the artice is anti interventionist - being pro war for war's sake is of course a Trotskyite notion.
Isolationist Chamberlainite appeasement bootlicking.
The Ukrainian people show the world how it can be done! A must read story which is real and happening right now. We not only should support their effort for freedom and democracy, we should join them the same way all over the world right now. Standing up against lies, corruption and manipulation. We can do it together in peace and unity!
Copy of the letter of a young Ukrainian.
Nice, timely report from someone on the spot....
As you likely know from the news, we are in the middle of the Orange Revolution here in Kyiv. I can tell you that this is one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life to be here during this time.
We have been spending a lot of time on the streets and on the main square - Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).
It is difficult to describe what is going on here. No news footage on your TV screens can express the feeling you get being surrounded by a million people. The most amazing thing -- which I believe will have worldwide sociological implications for a long time to come -- is how incredible this crowd is. When you think of a crowd unhappy about something, being cheated by politicians, betrayed by the system - you expect a bunch of angry, agitated people. Well, think again. This is the happiest, friendliest, most incredibly loving and supportive group of people I have ever encountered.
People are smiling, singing, laughing and offering help and support to each other. You don't see any police anywhere, not a single policeman in sight - imagine that. According to the mayor's office in the city of Kyiv - there are no reports of any crime in this huge metropolitan area. Crime has stopped! Everyone is a friend, everyone is a neighbor, everyone is a brother. I do not know how long t his can last, but we are in the middle of some kind of miracle.
It is cold out there. Most nights the temperature gets well below zero Centigrade (which is in the teens for those of you that only know Fahrenheit). But the tent city that was built in the middle of Kyiv and now has hundreds if not thousands of tents is very warm indeed. There are mountains of warm clothes everywhere on Khreshchatyk (the main street of the city), which were donated by Kyivites. Food, hot coffee, hot tea are abundant and free everywhere. But you do not see any alcohol - this is the most sober one million Ukrainians you will ever meet. The crowd is completely self-organizing and improving its collective behavior continuously. Every new day brings new elements of better organization, improved conditions, improved communications and general functionality...
It has become clear to any observer that this crowd is bound to win. There is absolutely no way to stop this crowd without a massive blood bath, which is almost impossible to imagine to take place in the center of Europe, with all the world's TV cameras [present]. Over the last 5 days, the opposition has been winning continuous victories every single day.
The score for the first five rounds is clearly 5-0. The crowds are growing and demonstrations are now taking place all over the country. More and more famous athletes, actors, artists, high-ranking military and police officers are joining the opposition. When Ruslana, the most famous Ukrainian singer, and heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitchko joined Victor Yushchenko on the podium, the crowd went wild. The following day brought Leh Valensa, senior officers of SBU (former KGB) and Police, several formerly neutral "oligarchs" and finally a major breakthrough at the end of the day - the rebirth of free media in Ukraine.
Prior to that, only Channel 5 was broadcasting 24 hours a day directly from
Maidan and giving complete coverage to all the events. And of course, our Volia Cable was proudly delivering its signal to some 1.5 million viewers in Kyiv despite all the pressure on them, including several horrible days in
July when some of our key managers had to spend 10 days in jail. One other channel (Era) was doing the same, but only a few hours a day.
All major channels had previously been completely ignoring the millions of people on the streets, never reporting it and instead showing cartoons, classical music concerts and exotic travel destinations.
We knew that most journalists from the major channels had either been fired by then or had gone on strike because they refused to continue broadcasting lies. As a result, all news programs on National channels 1 and 2, Inter, 1+1, Noviy, and others simply ceased any and all operations. For 3 days in a row, most of Ukraine, which only has access to the major channels, had no TV news.
Imagine that - the very day after a major election - no news for three days, no morning news, no evening news, no news at all! All these channels simply had no creative staff left to produce bogus news. All fired or on strike.
Thursday night it all changed. The management and owners of all of the major channels gave in to the demands of their striking journalists and allowed honest news reporting for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine. Some of the channels like National Channel 1 and 1+1 began their evening news broadcast on Thursday with a group shot of all journalists standing together and one of them reading a statement from the creative staff in which they swore to report honest news and honest news only!
This was one of the most unbelievable sights I have ever seen. And then the miracle happened - they showed a direct feed of a million proud Ukrainians on Maidan in Kyiv to the whole country. If there are defining moments in the birth of a Nation, that was certainly one! I am so proud to be able to witness it with my own eyes, in spite of all the tears that covered them at that moment.
Today was another exciting day with the extraordinary session of the Ukrainian Rada currently ongoing. It started over four hours ago and is being shown live on a number of TV channels all over the country and also to people on the streets. We are all glued to the television screens. The Rada already voted to consider the runoff elections invalid, express non-confidence in the Central Election Committee and several other major items. They are still debating, but are making good progress. Things are looking up! The Orange Revolution continues!
November 27, 2004
"What we do in life my friends...echoes in eternity."
Appeasement is not intervention.
Oh, how did he do that?
Appeasement is inaction. It is the lack of intervention.