Ukraine Crisis Escalates
by Stephen Lendman
War of words continues. Washington played the sanctions card. Obama acted unilaterally. He did so by executive order.
He targeted "individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine."
It includes what he calls "military intervention in Crimea." His action doesn't preclude further steps. Expect more to follow.
Hardball is longstanding US policy. Bullying is standard practice. Rule of law principles don't matter. They're discarded, ignored, forgotten and disobeyed.
Washington rules alone apply. Plans call for advancing America's imperium. Unchallenged global dominance is sought. Possible global war threatens.
Obama's dirty hands manipulated months of Kiev violence. He supports Ukraine putschists. They have no legitimacy whatever.
They openly display swastikas, Iron Crosses, Nazi SS insignia and other fascist symbols. Obama ignores them. His new friends are thugs. They're radicalized extremists. They're societal misfits.
Western media scoundrels support them. They do so disgracefully. They cheerlead what demands condemnation. They suppress vital facts.
They substitute lies, damn lies and blatant misinformation. They carpet bomb readers and viewers with garbage.
Crimean parliamentarians reject Kiev putschists. They voted unanimously to join Russia.
Crimeans will have their say. On March 16, a referendum is scheduled. Expect popular sentiment to support parliament's action.
Obama cried foul. "The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law," he claimed.
"Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate of Ukraine," he added.
"In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."
None whatever exists. Putschists have no legitimacy. Obama supports them. So does John Kerry. Illegitimate Ukrainian prime minister/Washington favorite Arseniy Yatsenyuk said:
"Crimea was, is, and always will be an integral part of Ukraine." Claiming international law is violated doesn't wash.
Under provisions of the October 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law, Crimeans may legally secede.
The World Court's July 2010 advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence affirms their right to do so.
It said "the adoption of (Kosovo's) declaration of independence of the 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law because (it) contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence.' "
Crimeans may opt out of Ukraine. They can declare independence. They can vote to join Russia. It's their legal right. Claims otherwise are false.
On Thursday, Putin and Obama spoke. A Kremlin statement followed, saying:
"The President of Russia emphasized the paramount importance of Russian-US relations for ensuring stability and security in the world."
"These relations should not be sacrificed due to disagreements over individual - albeit extremely significant - international problems."
Putin rejects Kiev putschists. Russia can't ignore calls for help, he said. He acted appropriately. He did so responsibly. He did in accordance with international law.
Obama lied claiming otherwise. Saying Russia violated Ukraine's territorial integrity doesn't wash.
Disagreements on both sides continue. Resolution is nowhere in sight. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said "we cannot tell the world that we have reached an accord."
"The main thing for us - I reiterate - is to respect the agreements reached on February 21, primarily the agreement on constitutional reform, creation of a government of national unity, and elections after constitutional reform," he stressed.
"The second most important aspect is that any process that can be supported should have the clear support of all regions of Ukraine."
"Primarily, we are concerned about Crimea and the other southeastern regions," he added.
Russia's upper house Federation Council supports Crimea's parliamentary decision to join Russia.
Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko called it legitimate under international law. It's historic, she added.
"It would suffice to remember the (upcoming) referendum) in Scotland. And the Crimean parliament has chosen the most democratic form."
"The referendum is the main criterion for the expression of people's will." She praised her Crimean colleagues.
"We admire your fortitude and courage," she said. "Many threats had been made against you."
"There were threats of attacks, in particular, against the Black Sea Fleet base, but you endured that and protected your people."
Kiev putschists are illegitimate, she stressed. "They plunged Ukraine into chaos of the Orange Revolution scenario."
"Russia unwaveringly supported the situation's return to the constitutional field and the restoration of lawfulness in Ukraine."
Russia's lower house State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin announced Moscow's readiness to respect Crimeans' referendum decision.
"We will treat this historic choice of the Crimean population with respect," he said.
"We will support the free and democratic choice of the population of Crimea and Sevastopol."
Crimean parliament speaker Volodymyr Konstantynov said "the referendum will go ahead, and the situation will be clarified for Crimean citizens."
"It is obvious that the country that Crimea once loved no longer exists."
Its new "entity" is "illegitimate. We are scared of it."
Members of Russia's upper and lower houses support their Crimean colleagues. State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Zhleznyak said:
"The absolute majority of Russian citizens were delighted and proud to learn of the decisions adopted by the Supreme Council of Crimea."
Russia's Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov expressed support. So did Liberal Democratic party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
He called it "the most joyous piece of news since 1945." He assured Crimeans of Russian support. Other Russian officials expressed similar sentiment.
On March 5, the State Department published misinformation on Russia. It claimed Putin "fiction."
Russia "spins a false narrative to justify its 'illegal' actions in Ukraine," it said. It wrongfully claimed "Russian aggression in the Ukraine."
A succession of lies followed. "Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine force in Crimea," it said.
False! Russia didn't invade Ukraine. Under Russian/Ukrainian 1997 Friendship Treaty terms, Moscow maintains its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.
It may legally station up to 25,000 military forces in Crimea. Around 16,000 are based there. They're not involved in what's ongoing. No evidence whatever suggests otherwise.
Not according to the State Department. It lied claiming Russia violated Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Longstanding US policy repeats it belligerently worldwide. It's currently ongoing in numerous countries. Don't expect the State Department to explain.
It outrageous accused Yanukovych of violating February 21 agreed on terms he endorsed. Kiev putschists in collaboration with Washington and EU partners did so.
They did it to lawlessly usurp power. It was a brazen Western-supported coup d'etat. Illegitimate thugs now rule. They're Obama's new friends. They have no legitimacy whatever.
So-called May 25 elections will be farcical when held. Their outcome is predetermined. Lawless fascist rule is certain. Ukrainians face dark times.
They haven't awakened to reality. How they'll react ahead remains to be seen. Hundreds of thousands already sought refuse in Russia. They fear for their safety.
Not according to the State Department. It lied claiming "no flood of refugees" reported.
Ethnic Russians are threatened. So is everyone opposed to putschist rule. Overt anti-Semitism worries Ukrainian Jews.
Police states operate this way. Fascist ones are merciless. Militant thugs run things. Not according to the State Department.
It lied claiming democratic governance. None whatever exists. Washington planned it this way.
Moscow reacted to State Department lies. Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich did so responsibly. He hit back hard saying:
"The State Department is trying to play on a shamelessly one-sided interpretation of the events."
"Surely, Washington cannot admit that they were nurturing Maidan (protests), encouraging the violent overthrow of the legitimate government, and thus clearing the way for those who are now pretending to be a legitimate power in Kiev."
He called State Department comments on so-called Putin fiction "low level propaganda."
"We will only say, yet again, that we are dealing with unacceptable arrogance and a pretense of having a monopoly on the truth."
Washington has "no moral right" to lecture anyone about democracy and respect for rule of law principles.
It rejects them. It trashes them. Its contempt for what's right is obvious. Lawlessness reflects official policy.
Aggressive wars follow earlier ones. Tens of millions of lost lives bear witness to America's barbarity.
No nation in human history matches it. Victims are wrongfully blamed for horrendous crimes committed against them. They repeat with disturbing regularity.
Ukraine is the latest casualty. Expect millions of Ukrainians to suffer horrifically. It's happening says Paul Craig Roberts
"The Looting of Ukraine Has Begun," he headlined. He cited a Kommersant-Ukraine report.
Pensioners will lose half their income. Money intended for them will go to Western bankers.
Poor Ukrainians will be more greatly impoverished. Much greater looting is planned.
So-called economic austerity is a thinly veiled scheme. It's ongoing in America. It's commonplace in EU countries.
It's perhaps the greatest heist in history. It's Robin Hood in reverse. It's a massive wealth transference scheme.
It's undisguised grand theft. It robs poor Peter to benefit rich Paul. It turned Greece into a zombie country.
It's a failed state. It's a casualty of neoliberal harshness. Mass impoverishment, unemployment and deprivation attests to its deplorable condition.
Putschists allied with Western bankers plan the same for Ukraine. Expect hard times to get much harder. Expect pain and suffering to increase.
Perhaps open rebellion will follow. Ukrainians are on their own to change things. How they'll react remains to be seen.
When pain and suffering exceed a threshold too intolerable to bear, anything ahead is possible. A moment of truth awaits. What follows bears close watching.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.