Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ukraine: Time to use the 'N' word

What we now call fascism has probably been part of human experience since before history, when we first combined into tribes and clans and divided ourselves into us and them.

So when the dollar-backed agitators enlisted and organized Ukraine's Right Sector to overthrow the Yanukovych government, the US probably thought, or at least hoped, that they were installing a benign, anti-Russian regime, not dissimilar to the Spanish model of the mid twentieth century, but events are not following that optimistic presumption.

Unlike Franco, who needed to call upon Hitler's Nazis to bomb the Basques of Guernica, the present Ukraine government is proving adept at doing its own destructive dirty work, using both heavy artillery and aerial bombardment to further their political aims. Their unprovoked attacks on small villages and towns also bears the hallmarks of Gestapo reprisal attacks against civilian populations throughout occupied Europe.

Continued recruitment of fascist militias into Ukraine's National Guard, leaves it resembling the Waffen-SS as a politically motivated and violent arm of the state, not bound by the normal rules of military engagement, and willing to do whatever is required by their own form of ethnic cleansing.

Unfortunately Ukraine's new president calls for neither peace nor reconciliation.

Therefore, the only question left about the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, is whether president Poroshenko has simply lost control of the extreme elements within his country, or if he is one of them?

Monday, 30 June 2014

Europe: Hard to agree with Cameron.

While the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission 'president' is in itself a fairly meaningless exercise, it does demonstrate a regrettable lack of willingness for reform.

This should not be seen as humiliation for David Cameron, but rather for the millions of voters who recently cast their Euro-sceptic ballots.

It also brings the UK's departure from the EU, a small but significant, step closer.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Europe: Business as usual?

It is a month since the European Parliament elections saw mainstream politicians beaten and battered and looking more like occupy Brussels protesters than bone fide representatives of the people, rubbing their reddened, pepper-sprayed eyes, as they returned home to their constituencies, desperate to form the new groups that could somehow paper over their cracked and creaking house of cards.

Apart from the distasteful bed hopping that followed, while established alliances shifted and squirmed and newer connections were made, not much has really changed.

In typical bureaucratic mode, the consensus now seems to be to ignore the people's voice, and just hope that these results were an isolated protest, as if some collective electoral madness had gripped millions of Europeans.

But the truth lays a long way from that particular Flanders field, and perhaps the greatest tragedy in this Centenary year of the start of WWI, is that Marine Le Pen seems to be the only politician who actually grasps the historical and political significance of modern Europe; although, as the deadline approaches for groups to declare themselves in the EU assembly, the Front National are still without their required numbers, but last minute deals are still there to be made.

For those unfamiliar, this is a mechanism that was devised to minimise the wider effects of rogue results in individual member states, but it now looks more like a means of preventing new and dynamic parties from climbing aboard the EU gravy train.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Ukraine: History in the making.

In 2012 the EU, while being critical of the Yanukovych Administration also denounced the Svoboda Party , saying its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles" The European Parliament Resolution 2012/2889  then appealed for pro-democratic parties "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party."

Yet today, as reward for providing the paramilitary muscle on Euromaidan, they now hold many senior positions in Ukraine's 'Interim Administration'. This alliance immediately attempted to discriminate against speakers of the Russian language which was some 40% of the population, and increased prison sentences for acts of 'Separatism', (think about that, Alex Salmond).

Their latest decree was to ban the annual Victory Day celebrations on the pretence that it might cause trouble. Imagine an 'Interim' BNP/Tory coalition, forcibly removing an elected Labour government and then banning Remembrance Day throughout the UK on the pretext that there might be a demonstration by Scottish Nationalists, and you should get the picture.

The truth is that these celebrations have come under increasingly violent attacks over recent years by groups who see nothing to cheer in the defeat of Fascism, and this 'Right Sector' is growing both in number and sophistication.

Although unashamedly Neo-Nazi, they have taken advice to tone down their image and switched from calling themselves the Social Nationalist Party [any similarity to Hitler's National Socialists fully intended] to now being called Svoboda (freedom) Party. They still cannot bring themselves to ditch their swastika style insignia though, which was so prevalent in Kiev's Maidan.

We may not know what the future holds for Ukraine, but through our actions and inaction, it seems that these people will inevitably be a part of that future.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Russia: Friend or Foe?

Having grown up during the first Cold War, the recent posturings between East and West are uncomfortable reminders of that dark time, for me.

There are differences now, though, and Russia does not pose the ideological or military threat that the USSR did (unfortunately, we can be assured that there are those who seek a return to that situation).

As trusted and reliable trading partners, we have more in common now than ever before. In fact, with the EU's eastward encroachment, it could be argued that Europe is getting closer both geographically and culturally to Russia.

With this proximity comes responsibility, and our politicians are displaying a recklessness un-befitting of their office.

Putin-bashing may be popular sport in North America, but such sentiments have no place in modern Europe, and today's absurd consensus must not go unchallenged, for even the simplest answer will elude us if we don't first ask the question.

So who collapsed the European banking system and wrought Austerity upon us? And whose Corporate masters seek to force us to eat GMO's and drink from poisoned water supplies?

Instead of simply painting Russia as the enemy, our media would be far better advised to establish whose actions cause us harm, and where our real interests are.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

UK: Reign of the media state.

Since the heady days of mid-twentieth century newspaper reporting, when a war was stopped and a President toppled, the slow demise of investigative journalism has continued and accelerated to where the Western media now performs similar function to the old Soviet 'news' agencies.

There are benefits though, and by watching the News, we quickly gather the party line and gain some insight into what our politicians are thinking. It may tell us little about the events, but plenty about how our leaders are reacting and what their likely course of action will be.

Under normal circumstances, this is all well and good. There are numerous broadcast channels, and of course the Internet, in which to find alternative views and opinions.

But there are times when only the mainstream media can effectively challenge those in power and ask the questions that we, the public, are asking.

The sort of questions that spring to mind are:

Who sanctioned Victoria Nuland's Ukraine intervention?

It's clear that senator McCain is a loose canon and a committed war monger, and as such the US probably can do little to prevent his meddling; but as an employee of the Department of State, Nuland must surely have received some form of approval for her actions.

Another question that bothers me is how Russia's limited mobilization is such an earth shattering event, yet France's military excursions into her former African colonies are simply peaceful expeditions?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Syria: From Geneva 2 Montreux

As some Swiss watch maker's convention took precedence today, forcing Geneva II to open in Montreux, it sort of put into perspective the chances of anything meaningful coming out of this long awaited event.

Yet, after Ban ki-moon laid out the terms and guidelines for good conduct in anticipation of a day that would surely see much heated and direct discourse, it was hard not feel a measure of optimism as Sergei Lavrov made his opening address.

His conciliatory tone and talk of allowing the Syrian people to decide Syria's future, although expected, seemed both honest and heartfelt, could this really be a turning point?

But then up stepped John Kerry, whose preconditions and blame-ridden finger pointing laid no doubt as to how little chance there is for peace or reconciliation at this time.

It reminded me of the early days of the 'Arab Spring', when the fatuous quipped that it would all end in tears, because 'the Arabs just don't do Democracy'. Prophetic as that may appear, it seems now that the middle East must descend even further into chaos and bloodshed, because the West no longer does Diplomacy.