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At least 50 are dead, according to Reuters, and hundreds injured as fresh fighting broke out in central Kiev this morning breaking the apparent truce that was in place last night. Who is to blame is up for discussion but of little import in the end as the death toll mounts and live ammunition is being used by the police. A Ukrainian presidential statement said dozens of police were killed or woundedduring the opposition offensive hours after Yanukovich and opposition leaders had agreed on a truce… Other witnesses said they saw government snipers firing into the civilian crowds during the clashes.
The Protesters reportedly captured police…
Activists who recaptured the square, known as Maidan or “Euro-Maidan” to the opposition, appeared to lead away several uniformed officers. Dozens of wounded protesters were being given makeshift first aid treatment in the lobby of the Ukraine Hotel, where many foreign correspondents are staying.
Reporters said there were bullet holes in the walls and windows of the hotel overlooking the square. Both sides have accused the other of using live ammunition.
“Black smoke, denotations and gunfire around presidential palace … Officials panicky,” tweeted Polish minister Radoslaw Sikorski to explain the delay in the meeting at Yanukovich’s office, a few hundred meters from the square.
But the protesters had a different view…
Protesters were in a truculent mood despite the overnight lull and columns of men, bearing clubs and chanting patriotic songs headed to Independence Square at 8:30 a.m. (0130 ET).
“What truce? There is no truce! It is simply war ahead of us! They are provoking us. They throw grenades at us. Burn our homes. We have been here for three months and during that time nothing burned,” said 23-year-old Petro Maksimchuk.
“These are not people. They are killers. Sanctions will not help. They all should be sent into isolation in Siberia.”
The question is – is this Obama’s line being crossed?
Civilians taking live fire:
Other images show a country in collapse
Gunfire breaks out and smoke rises over city as pressure mounts on Ukraine’s government to bring violence to an end.
Last updated: 20 Feb 2014 11:50
Top officials were evacuated from a government building overlooking the smoke-filled square [Reuters]
|Fierce clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine’s capital have erupted anew and news agencies are reporting their journalists have seen bodies laid out on the edge of the protest encampment.
One policeman was killed and 28 suffered gunshot wounds on Thursday, Interior Ministry spokeman Serhiy Burlakov told the Associated Press news agency.
An Associated Press journalist said he had seen 10 bodies lying in the street. Fifteen bodies were lying on the ground covered by blankets on or near Kiev’s Independence Square, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.
As the violence exploded and heavy smoke from burning barricades at the encampment belched into the sky, the foreign ministers of three European countries were meeting with President Viktor Yanukovich, according to a presidential aide.
Masked anti-government protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at thick lines of armed anti-riot troops.
The demonstrators, who are protesting Yanukovich’s decision to strengthen ties with Russia at the expense of the European Union, pushed police forces back some 200 metres to retake control of the entire square, which anti-government protesters have occupied since November.
Top officials were evacuated from a government building overlooking the smoke-filled square, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian government told the Agence-France press news agency.
Police used rubber bullets to try to repel the assault and claimed that a sniper had wounded 20 officers by firing live ammunition from the window of a building overlooking the square.
Yanukovich was holding crisis talks with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland, ahead of an emergency meeting in Brussels where the EU is expected to impose sanctions against the Ukrainian government for the violence.
Yanukovich has appeared to struggle to formulate a clear policy over the past few days, which have seen Ukraine’s deadliest violence since independence and an escalating war of words between the West and former master Moscow over the future of the country sandwiched between the EU and Russia.
Just as we warned earlier, the stealing of the weapons cache and labeling of the break-away region as having undertaken “terrorist acts” has led to the military getting involved:
- *UKRAINE ARMY GIVEN POWER TO CHECK CIVILIAN VEHICLES
- *UKRAINE ARMY GIVEN POWER TO USE WEAPONS ON UKRAINIANS: MINISTRY
Under the “anti-terrorist” operation, Ukraine is a close to civil war as it has been so far. As Martin Armstrong concludes: “there is no peaceful resolution” no matter how many sanctions and condemnations the West makes.
Below is the Google-translated Government Statement which was posted on the Ministry of Defense website moments ago:
In connection with the decision to commence in Ukraine antiterrorist operation Ministry of Defense of Ukraine official statement:
According to Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On combating terrorism” Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, bodies of military management, formations and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to protect against terrorist attacks facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, firearms, ammunition, explosives and poisonous substances that are in the army or stored in designated areas.
Under section 15 of the Act, in the area of ??counter-terrorist operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the right to:
– use in accordance with the laws of Ukraine weapons and special means;
– apprehend and deliver to the internal affairs of persons who commit or committing an offense or other action;
– check of the citizens and officials of documents , identification, and in the absence of documents – to detain them for identification;
– to carry out in the area of counter-terrorism operation personal care nationals review things that are in them, vehicles and things that they carried;
– Provisionally restrict or prohibit the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on streets and roads.
Measures provided for in this Article shall comply with the applicable law and terminate immediately after the anti-terrorist operation.
Coordination of activities of entities involved in the fight against terrorism has antiterrorist center of the Security Service of Ukraine.Those involved in the fight against terrorism, are under state protection.
Disobedience or resistance to lawful demands of military officials who take part in anti-terrorist operations, incur liability as provided by law.
The main purpose of the anti-terrorist operation – stop extremism and illegal actions of radical groups that threaten the lives of millions of Ukrainian, to protect civilians, prevent civil war in Ukraine.
And as a reminder from Martin Armstrong – There Is No Peaceful Resolution
Russia wants to portray this as a coup organized by the USA, Europe wants to portray this as Ukraine wanted them, and the USA media spins this as US against RUSSIA.
This began as a movement against CORRUPTION and not a Europe v Russia confrontation. The more it has played out, then this has also developed into a fight for freedom. The Russian side of Ukraine is the East and south and they speak Russian. The West speak Ukrainian so there are even two languages spoken.
The Russian side has very strong RIGHT WING elements and they are anti-gay and want 7 years in prison for a girl who gets an abortion. So there is now a religious fever being thrown into the fire.
BY ABSOLUTELY NO MEANS did this begin merely over the refusal to join Europe. The corruption in Ukraine is massive. Much of the bureaucracy is buried still in communism with no rational explanation. Under communism, the state-owned everything. Therefore, your “papers” were a form of domestic passport not good for international travel. Inside that passport you had to have your PERMANENT address assigned to you by government since you were not allowed to move. To this day, although communism collapsed and you can move, your passport must still have your “official” address. If you want to move, it will take months to get a new passport and you have to pay a bribe to get it expedited that may still be 2 months. The law forced you to return to change any document. You cannot do anything on-line.
The bureaucracy has never been reformed. There is no law saying you need an address anymore, yet nobody can change anything because it is as if there is nobody really in charge. It is a chaotic mess. The police were extorting people like the Mafia, so this began as all other protests – against corruption. Simple as that. The mainstream media is playing to the propaganda on both sides.
It appears that civil war will erupt for the younger generation want their freedom. Russia will not allow that to happen for this is a strategic former possession that was once part of Russia and Kiev was the former capital of Russia before Moscow. This is likely to fester and grow. There is no peaceful resolution.
With Putin hoping that they can just keep it from going full civil war for a few more days, Ukraine continues to slide towards a dismal result. This morning sees the next level of escalation in the break-away Western region:
- *UKRAINE’S SECURITY SERVICE SAYS WEAPONS CACHE STOLEN: INTERFAX
- *UKRAINE SECURITY SERVICE SAYS PROTESTERS SEIZED 1,500 GUNS
- *UKRAINE SERVICE SAYS PROTESTERS SEIZED 100,000 ROUNDS OF AMMO
- *UKRAINE SERVICE SAYS PROTESTERS GUILTY OF `TERRORIST ACTS’
And with that, the ‘excuse’ the military needed to get involved as Interfax reports the Ukraine’s SBU starts “Anti-terrorist” operation in the Western region of Ivano-Frankvisk. With 25 dead and 241 injured, according to the AP, we suspect these numbers are sadly just the start.
Volodymyr Porodko, deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service, said weapons and ammunition have been stolen from the Ukrainian Security Service department in Ivano-Frankivsk.
“A total of 268 service pistols, two rifles, three assault rifles, 92 grenades, and some 15,000 cartridges were seized in the Ukrainian Security Service department in Ivano-Frankivsk,” he said while meeting with foreign ambassadors in the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
Russia is starting to comment:
Extremists are to blame for the events happening in Ukraine, however opposition forces, which refused the compromise, and Western countries, which interfered in the domestic affairs of Ukraine, bare some responsibility as well, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“Of course, the blame is on extremists, who tried all these weeks and all these months to bring the situation to such forceful scenario but considerable share of responsibility is also on opposition activists, who refused compromise, gave the authorities demands outside the legal frame and in the end turned out to be incapable to fulfill what has been agreed,” Lavrov said at a news conference following a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart.
Ukraine CDS spiked to 4 year highs…
Ukraine Region Declares Independence Sending Dollar Bonds To Record Low; Russian Ruble Tumbles To 5 Year Low | Zero Hedge
The events in the Ukraine continue to deteriorate. Moments ago Lawmakers in Ukraine’s Lviv region, declared independence after backers evicted appointed governor overnight. Lviv’s parliament formed executive committee with department heads in Governor Oleh Salo’s administration that will take over functions of regional government, Oksana Dmetryv, a spokeswoman for Speaker Petro Kolodiy, said today by phone from Lviv. Protesters also seized headquarters of security services in Lviv, a region of 2.5 million people bordering Poland. Elsewhere, there were reports of more military vehicles crossing through Kiev: if there are any more Molotov Cocktail video follow ups we will be sure to capture them.
Still, to expect president Yanukovich (or Putin) to just sit there and let the country be torn apart by secessionists is naive. As Reuters reportrs, Yanukovich accused pro-European opposition leaders on Wednesday of trying to seize power by force after at least 26 people died in the worst violence since the former Soviet republic gained independence. European Union leaders said they were urgently preparing targeted sanctions against those responsible for a crackdown on protesters who have been occupying central Kiev for almost three months since Yanukovich spurned a far-reaching trade deal with the EU and accepted a $15-billion Russian bailout.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman insisted the Kremlin was sticking to a policy of not intervening in Ukraine, although his point man has called for action to crush the protests. The Kremlin said Putin and Yanukovich spoke by telephone overnight, calling the events an attempted coup. Moscow announced the resumption of stalled aid to Kiev on Monday with a $2-million cash injection hours before the crackdown began.
So far, however, the implicit Russian backing of the Ukraine as is is not doing much as both the Ukraine Dollar short-bonds due June 2014 have fallen more than 2 points to a record low of 94.25 according to Tradeweb, while the Russian Ruble has just tumbled to its lowest levels against the dollar since 2009.
The market is finally starting to notice, and realize that nothing in the Ukraine is contained, and the consequences form a prolonged civil war would be dire for everyone involved. Which, as is the case in every proxy war, just happens to be everyone.
Ukraine Slide Accelerates: AG Office Seized, Criminal Files Being Set On Fire; US To Hold Government Responsible | Zero Hedge
It’s getting form bad to worse in the Ukraine: either martial law will be announced any time soon or the proxy civil war becomes a real one. On the bright side, there is something to be said about having a nation’s criminal cases all in paper format: once there is a revolution, everyone’s slate gets wiped clean…
Lviv Attorney General office is seized, ppl setting on fire files w/ criminal cases
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) February 18, 2014
BREAKING: Officials say 5 more people have died in Ukraine’s capital, raising death toll to 18: http://t.co/BBIAWIHxfc
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 18, 2014
whole house of trade unions, HQ of #euromaidan is on fire…
— Kateryna_Kruk (@Kateryna_Kruk) February 18, 2014
The US is, naturally, stoking the metaphorical, and literal, fire.
BREAKING: from this moment on, US holds Ukrainian government responsible for everything that happen – US Ambassador to RT
— Europarl2014 (@2014Europarl) February 18, 2014
Why? Becase as a reminder, in Victoria Nuland’s own words, the US is the grand puppetmaster behind everything.
The situation in Ukraine is a fluid one and changing by the hour. Although it had appeared that there was a resolution to the protests that had broken out after the government of Ukraine had made the sovereign decision of sticking with Russia and saying no to closer European Union integration, excessive violence from the western backed opposition has spread like a wave throughout the country.
The so called Ukrainian “opposition” now resembles something more akin to armed insurgents in Syria involved in a coup d’état than opposition protestors.
The situation in Ukraine once again underlines US hypocrisy. The US, which prides itself on protecting its police, supports an “opposition” which is threatening, attacking, kidnapping and setting young police officers on fire. The scene currently playing out in Ukraine has all of the signs of a foreign engineered regime change operation and with the taking of government buildings, has unarguably moved into a scenario where the continuity of the state is in question.
Voice of Russia regular and NATO expert Rick Rozoff discussed all of these issues and more as the situation threatens to spin out of control.
Robles: Thanks a lot. I was wondering if we can get your views on what is going on in Maidan or Independence Square in Ukraine. It seems like the level of violence is escalating with … looks like no end in sight, I don’t know. What do you think?
Rozoff: No, you are absolutely correct. Ukraine has become, you know, the center of attention I think , globally, right now, the cynosure. People are focused on it with good reason. In a way it’s replaced Syria as the, how would I put it, proxy conflict between the East and West with the West once again on the offensive. That is, in an attempt to do something, nothing short of toppling an elected government of a nation that has close state-to-state relationships with Russia.
And what is happening is fluid, of course, but it is also tense and it is also fraught with not only dangerous but potentially catastrophic consequences if the violence that exists in Kiev in and around Independence Square and now by recent reports spreading into parts of Western Ukraine where the hotbeds of nationalist and even fascistic extremism are…
So I think what you are seeing is well-coordinated series of activities that began in Kiev and may very well spread to the Western part of Ukraine.
Robles: I see. What are your views on who is behind all this, and the reasons for it? Now at first they came up with that there was the EU integration, then they were protesting the government, and then they were calling for early elections, then they were protesting against Russia.
Now one of the objects of the protesters&# 39; actions is something about some students that were beat several weeks ago. It just seems like they are finding any reason whatsoever to keep escalating and continuing their violence.
During the night there were negotiations and the opposition said they had agreed to the conditions set by the government to stop their violent activities, and then they went out and announced this to their supporters. Their supporters weren’t happy about it and they went back on their word, they said: ‘No, we are not going to agree to any cease in our violence’ .
And they are continuing with their violence which, they’re throwing Molotov cocktails at Police. All of the Police and the security forces they are suffering severe burns and the violence against the police is escalating.
And of we look at who the leaders are, it brings a lot of questions to my mind – as who is actually running all of this? I mean they’ve got this ex-boxer, he is promoting all this violence.
Can you give us some comments on him and on the resolution by the Russian State Duma yesterday, if you could, regarding the violence?
Rozoff: Yes, the opposition, and again we have to keep in mind in a fluid situation like this, and what we are looking at is really not only a destabilization but ultimately a regime change technique or scenario. But what we see is the boxer, the heavyweight boxer Vitali Klichko, and two other nationalists emerging as what is a typical color revolution scenario where there is a triumvirate or triad of political leaders.
This was true by the way during the Orange Revolution, so-called, in 2004 and 2005. We had Viktor Yanukovich (Yushchenko) , Yulia Tymoshenko and Alexander Moroz as being the triumvirate, modeled after that in Georgia, incidentally, the preceding year, in 2003.
So, the question is begged of course, about whether the public or nominal leadership is really anything more than figureheads, or are anything more than figureheads, and whether in fact there is not something more substantive behind it both internally and of course externally.
So what we are looking at is a degree of violence against police officers that would not be tolerated in any other European country, I can assure you, certainly not in the West. But being cheered on and supported unequivocally by Western political leaders in the European Union, in the United States, in NATO I might add.
Yesterday Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said, “Violence can never be used for political means.” You know, a lightening bolt should come from the heavens and strike anyone making a statement like that when they’re the head of NATO which has used violence for political means uninterruptedly since 1995 in several countries on three continents.
Robles: Well that’s their only tactic. How could you say that?
Rozoff: But of course. But I mean there is a difference between official use of force by a government to maintain peace in a country – there could be abuses, there could be excessive use of that force, but at least it is legally sanctioned – as opposed to people who are a little bit better than gangsters at times, hitting police officers with hammers or throwing petrol bombs at them.
You don’t see much of it here in the West, but luckily with the Internet we can see a television broadcasts around the world. And we’ve seen the horrifying pictures of the results of the use of so-called Molotov cocktails in Kiev. Seeing your young police officers’ heads and arms are on fire and so forth and you can only imagine the degree of, third-degree I’m sure, of burns that they suffer as a result of gasoline bombs.
But I think rather than focusing on the mechanics of what is going on, which will be debated ad nauseam in the Western press of course, what is important to again come back to you, and you and I have had occasion to talk about this before, John, is the regional and ultimately the global context within which the battle for Ukraine, and I would term it exactly that the battle for Ukraine, is occurring.
One factor which is very significant but didnot receive the attention it certainly warranted was in the middle of last month, the middle of December, now former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, he had served in the US House of Representatives for eight terms, for 16 years- he is a native of my home state of Ohio, incidentally – wrote a very revealing article stating that the so-called European Union Association Agreement with – initiative rather – with Ukraine was simply NATO’s Trojan Horse in Ukraine. This is precisely how former Congressman Kucinich put it. And what he did indicate and he shows a fairly good degree of familiarity with how all these things are done that Ukraine would first to join NATO and then join the European Union because traditionally that is how it has occurred, with the newer members, with the exception of tiny island nations of Cyprus and Malta.
So that what we are looking at is Ukraine is a geo-strategically pivotal nation; it clearly is that nation that separates what geopoliticians or -strategists would talk about from East to the West. It borders, of course, Poland and other nations that are now considered to be in Central Europe for that matter and Russia to its East which of course is in Eastern Europe and even in Eurasia. I mean, in fact, the greater part of Russia being in Asia itself.
What we are seeing is something almost evocative of formal struggles, and there is a history of Ukraine being pivotal in that sense. Many of your listeners may be acquainted either with the 19th century novel Taras Bulba, by the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, who is from Ukraine, or the movie adaptation at the end of the last century, more people might know.
It is a fact that Ukraine is a bone of contention between the Westernized Slavic part of Europe, if you will, those with the Latin alphabet and the Roman Catholic religion and those with the Cyrillic alphabet and the Orthodox religion which Ukraine for the most part is. And that we’ve seen similar situations after World War 1, during World War 2.
In World War 1 Germany, in the first instance, tried to wean Ukraine away from Russia; in World War 2 Stepan Bandera and other Nazi collaborators, who are heroes incidentally to the modern nationalists in Ukraine, who under the Yushchenko government rehabilitated members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and others who had collaborated with the Nazi Germany, so we are looking at very extremist elements..
Probably the most visible and prominent of the so-called youth activista are members of the so-called Svoboda or Freedom party, which up until a few years ago had as its logo a variant of the Nazi swastika. So let’s be very clear about what we are dealing with. There are may be any number of innocent youth who want, going out for a dare, much as Orange Revolution in 2004-2005, but behind it there are some very hardcore nationalists, and Russo-phobic extremists, who whether be known to themselves or not are serving the purpose of turning yet another country into a battle zone in a renewed post-Cold War East-West conflict.
Robles: Can you give us your views on the statement by the Crimean parliament and by the Russian Duma yesterday? The Russian Duma is calling for foreign actors, foreign players -we know who we are talking about: the West, the US – to refrain from interfering in Ukraine.
The Crimean parliament, they adopted a statement with a vote of 78-81 deputies in favor of it. The statement reads: ‘The political crisis, the formal pretext for which was a pause in Ukraine’ s European integration has developed into armed resistance and street fights. Hundreds of people have been hurt and, unfortunately, some people have been killed. The price for the power ambitions of a bunch of political saboteurs – Klichko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok- is too high. They have crossed the line by provoking bloodshed using the interests of the people of Ukraine as cover and pretending to act on their own behalf.’
And they finish up by saying:’ The people of Crimea will never engage in illegitimate elections, will never recognize their results. And will not live in Bandera Ukraine.’ – they say. So, can you comment on that and on the Russian resolution, if you would?
Rozoff: First of all I want to commend you, as of I think yesterday or perhaps today, of compiling a list of I think significant statements by the Russian State Duma, the duma or the parliament in Crimea and others and putting them into a very condensed form that has been very useful to me.
A couple of things: the trio of opposition figures is exactly the triumvirate I alluded to earlier with Vitali Klichko playing what could only be described as a sort of Rocky Balboa-meets- Rambo Sylvester Stallone compilation of pseudo-populist, right-wing, dangerous and ultimately violent sort of activity.
The Bandera allusion we’ve talked about earlier; he was a leader during World War 2 of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and fought against the legitimate political authorities in what was then Nazi-occupied Soviet Union, but often times in conjunction with the Third Reich, with the Nazis. So they are using the same language you and I had used.
Now, what we are talking about here in Crimea is of the upmost importance. The US has for several years now been waging, in conjunction with its NATO allies, annual fairly large-scale naval war games called Sea Breeze, and they are conducted in the Crimea dangerously close to where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed at Sevastopol. And even though a public outcry led to, or resulted in, a Sea Breeze exercise I think three years ago, perhaps four, being called off, they have been resumed and what has happened over the last two or three years, this is very significant, and I hope your listeners pick up on this, the US as a matter of course has been sending missile cruisers into the Black Sea to go to Crimea, to dock there.
These are what are called the Ticonderoga- class guided missile cruisers, of the sort that are part of the US international missile, so-called missile shield, that is they are to be equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptor missiles, and these ships are visiting Ukraine on a regular basis.
As the US continues its military takeover of the Black Sea, they’ve already done this with Bulgaria and Rumania, where they’ve acquired eight major military basses in those two countries. Turkey of course is a NATO ally and Ukraine then becomes a very significant factor in the US military takeover of the Black Sea largely through NATO expansion. But what is even I think of more concern, a WikiLeaks document of in the last couple of years revealed that in 2006 the then-head of the US Missile Defense Agency, he’s now retired, General Henry, or Trey, Obering, met with Ukrainian officials, this was during the Yushchenko [administration] , to recruit Ukraine into the European missile shield.
And in the subsequent year, 2007, General Obering, head the Missile Defense Agency, visited to Ukraine during the Yushchenko years, administration years, and met with the defense minister and other key officials in Ukraine in an effort to bring Ukraine into that. If Ukraine were to join, along with Poland, Romania, Turkey and other countries, the beginning stages of the so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach for the interceptor missile system, this would be extremely dangerous. This would be such an open provocation to Russia that I don’t see how Russia could not take some fairly dramatic action in response to it.
So when we talk about the factors that are involved we have to keep several significant ones in mind.
First of all, Ukraine is strategically vital, it is indispensable. In the energy wars that the US and its European Union allies, which is to say NATO allies, have been waging over the past decade to try to curtail Russian exports of natural gas and oil to Europe, ultimately perhaps to cut them off altogether in favor of natural gas and oil projects bringing Caspian Sea energy into Europe via the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Georgia, but of course from there to Ukraine, from Ukraine into the Western Europe. So Ukraine is significant in that sense.
Ukraine is also one of four countries that NATO has announced, four non-NATO countries, that are to join the NATO Response Force, that is the international strike force that NATO has developed. The other three are Georgia, Finland and Sweden. Of course three of those four countries, all except Sweden, have lengthy borders with Russia.
And that Ukraine has been gradually, I think unbeknownst to most people in Ukraine, and certainly outside, has been dragged into the NATO net deeper and deeper and deeper.
Ukraine is, and these are significant facts, so I hope you don’t mind my emphasizing them. Ukrainet became the first, and to date only, non-NATO country to supply a naval vessel to what is now NATO’s permanent surveillance and interdiction naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea – Operation Active Endeavor. Ukraine’s second to that became the first, and to date only, non-NATO country to supply a ship to NATO’s Arabian Sea – Operation Ocean Shield. Ukraine, during the Kuchma government, supplied 2,000 troops to the United States, NATO in Iraq. They have a small contingent of troops serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Part 1 of an interview with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at http://voiceofrussia. com.
Following discussions with Merkel, demands to de-escalate tensions from Barrose, and threats of sanctions from President Obama. Ukraine’s President Yanukovych has gone on sick leave from “immense pshcological pressure.” Despite his exclamations that he’ll do everything for the sake of peace, he blames the opposition for “escalating the situation,” which fits, rather ominously with warnings from former presdent Leonid Kravchuk. As The BBC reports, Ukraine’s first post-independence president warned the country is on the “brink of civil war”. While the Hyrvnia is not collapsing as much as it was (always the silver lining), money is running away from Ukraine stocks (at 18-month lows), bond term structure is inverted, and CDS are spiking back to recent highs over 1000bps.
The headlines suggest things are getting worse:
- Ukraine’s Yanukovych Out Sick After Protesters Reject Amnesty
- *UKRAINE’S YANUKOVYCH SAYS OPPOSITION ESCALATING SITUATION
- *UKRAINE PRESIDENT SAYS GOVT HAS FULFILLED OBLIGATIONS: IFX
- *UKRAINE PARLIAMENT FULFILLED CONDITIONS ON AMNESTY: YANUKOVYCH
- *AUTHORITIES HAVE MET ALL OBLIGATIONS TO OPPOSITION: YANUKOVYCH
Global politicians are responding…
- *OBAMA PREPARES SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINE: REUTERS
- *EU’S BARROSO SAYS NEED TO DE-ESCALATE TENSION IN UKRAINE
- *TUSK SAYS NO UKRAINE GOVT CAN COUNT ON EU DEAL IF USES VIOLENCE
Ukraine Stocks are tumbling…
And “civil war” is coming
Ukraine’s first post-independence president has warned the country is on the “brink of civil war”.
Leonid Kravchuk, president from 1991 to 1994, urged parliament to “act with the greatest responsibility” as it debates an amnesty for detained protesters.
Mr Kravchuk told MPs: “All the world acknowledges and Ukraine acknowledges that the state is on the brink of civil war.
“It is a revolution. It is a dramatic situation in which we must act with the greatest responsibility,” he said in an emotional address that earned him a standing ovation.
Images suggest this is far from over…
In 2009, Jim Rickards, a lawyer, investment banker and adviser on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, participated in a secret war game sponsored by the Pentagon at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The game’s objective was to simulate and explore the potential outcomes and effects of a global financial war. At the end of the war game, the Pentagon concluded that the U.S. dollar was at extreme risk of devaluation and collapse in the near term, triggered either by a default of the U.S. Treasury and the dumping of bonds by foreign investors or by hyperinflation by the private Federal Reserve.
These revelations, later exposed by Rickards, were interesting not because they were “new” or “shocking.” Rather, they were interesting because many of us in the field of alternative economics had ALREADY predicted the same outcome for the American financial system years before the APL decided to entertain the notion. At least, that is what the public record indicates.
The idea that our government has indeed run economic collapse scenarios, found the United States in mortal danger, and done absolutely nothing to fix the problem is bad enough. I have my doubts, however, that the Pentagon or partnered private think tanks like the RAND Corporation did not run scenarios on dollar collapse long before 2009. In fact, I believe there is much evidence to suggest that the military industrial complex has not only been aware of the fiscal weaknesses of the U.S. system for decades, but they have also been actively engaged in exploiting those weaknesses in order to manipulate the American public with fears of cultural catastrophe.
History teaches us that most economic crisis events are followed or preceded immediately by international or domestic conflict. War is the looming shadow behind nearly all fiscal disasters. I suspect that numerous corporate think tanks and the Department Of Defense are perfectly aware of this relationship and have war gamed such events as well. Internal strife and civil war are often natural side effects of economic despair within any population.
Has a second civil war been “gamed” by our government? And are Americans being swindled into fighting and killing each other while the banksters who created the mess observe at their leisure, waiting until the dust settles to return to the scene and collect their prize? Here are some examples of how both sides of the false left/right paradigm are being goaded into turning on each other.
Conservatives: Taunting The Resting Lion
Conservatives, especially Constitutional conservatives, are the warrior class of American society. The average conservative is far more likely to own a firearm, have extensive tactical training with that firearm, have military experience and have less psychological fear of conflict; and he is more apt to take independent physical action in the face of an immediate threat. Constitutional conservatives are also more likely to fight based on principal and heritage, rather than personal gain, and less likely to get wrapped up in the madness of mob activity.
What’s the greatest weakness of conservatives? It’s their tendency to entertain leadership by men who claim exceptional warrior status, even if those men are not necessarily honorable.
Constitutional conservatives are the most substantial existing threat to the establishment hierarchy because, unlike dissenting groups of the past, we know exactly who the guiding hand is behind economic and social calamity. In response, the overall conservative culture has come under relentless attack by the establishment using the Administration of Barack Obama as a middleman. The goal, I believe, is to misdirect conservative rage toward the Democratic left and away from the elites. The actions of the White House have become so absurd and so openly hostile as of late that I can only surmise that this is a deliberate strategy to lure conservatives into ill-conceived retaliation against a puppet government, rather than the men behind the curtain.
Department of Defense propaganda briefings with military personnel have been exposed. These briefings train current serving soldiers to view Tea Party conservatives and even Christian organizations as “dangerous extremists.” Reports from sources within Fort Hood and Fort Shelbyconfirm this trend.
The DOD has denied some of the allegations or claimed that it has “corrected” the problem; however, Judicial Watch has obtained official training documents through a Freedom of Information Act request that affirm that extremist profiling is an integral part of these military briefings. The documents also cite none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a primary resource for the training classes. The SPLC is nothing more than an outsourced propaganda wing for the DHS that attacks Constitutional organizations and associates them with terrorist and racist groups on a regular basis. (Check pages 32-33.)
This indoctrination program has accelerated since January 2013, after Professor Arie Perliger, a member of a West Point think tank called Combating Terrorism Center (and according to the sparse biographical information available, a man with NO previous U.S. military experience), published and circulated a report called “Challengers From The Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right” at West Point. The report classified “far right extremists” as “domestic enemies” who commonly “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government , believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional right.” The profile goes on to list supporting belief in “civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government” as the dastardly traits of evil extremists.
Soldiers have been told that associating with “far right extremist groups” could be used as grounds for court-martial. A general purge of associated symbolism has ensued, including new orders handed down to Navy SEALs that demand that operators remove the “Don’t Tread On Me” Navy Jack patch from their uniforms.
The indoctrination of the military also follows on the heels of a massive media campaign to demonize Constitutional conservatives who fought against Obamacare in the latest debt ceiling debate as “domestic enemies” and “terrorists.” I documented this in my recent article “Are Constitutional Conservatives Really the Boogeyman?”
Obama and his ilk have been caught red-handed in numerous conspiracies, including Fast and Furious, which shipped American arms through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. And how about the exposure of the IRS using its bureaucracy as a weapon to harass Tea Party organizations and activists? And what about Benghazi, Libya, the terrorist attack that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton allowed to happen, if they didn’t directly order it to happen? And let’s not forget about the Edward Snowden revelations, which finally made Americans understand that mass surveillance of our population is a constant reality.
To add icing to the cake, a new book called Double Down, which chronicles the Obama campaign of 2012, quotes personal aides to the President who relate that Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, when discussing his use of drone strikes, bragged that he was “really good at killing people.”
Now, my question is, why would the Obama Administration make so many “mistakes,” attack conservatives with such a lack of subtlety, and attempt to openly propagandize rank-and-file soldiers, many of whom identify with conservative values? Is it all just insane hubris, or is he serving his handlers by trying to purposely create a volatile response?
Liberals: Taking Away The Cookie Jar
Many on the so-called “left” are socially oriented and find solace in the functions of the group, rather than individualism. They seek safety in administration, centralization and government welfare. Wealth is frowned upon, while “redistribution” of wealth is cheered. They see government as necessary to the daily survival of the nation, and they work to expand Federal influence into all facets of life. Some liberals do this out of a desire to elevate the poverty-stricken and ensure certain educational standards. However, they tend to ignore the homogenizing effect this strategy has on society, making everyone equally destitute and equally stupid. Their faith in government subsidies also makes them vulnerable to funding cuts and reductions in entitlements. The left normally fights only when their standard of living and comfort to which they have grown accustomed plummets below a certain threshold, and mob methods are usually their fallback form of retaliation.
Austerity cuts, which the mainstream media calls the “sequester,” are beginning to take effect. But, they are being applied in areas that are clearly meant to create the most public anger. Reductions in welfare programs are also being implemented in a way that will certainly agitate average left-leaning citizens. The debt debate itself revolved around those who want the government to spend within its means versus those who want the government to spend even more on welfare programs no matter the consequence. The loss of subsidies is at bottom the greatest fear of the left.
A sudden and inexplicable shutdown of electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT cards or food stamps) occurred in more than 17 States while the debt debate just happened to be climaxing. This month, cuts to existing food stamp funds have taken effect, and food pantries across the country are scrambling against a sharp spike in demand.
Remember, about 50 million Americans are currently dependent on EBT welfare in order to feed themselves and their families. The response to the relatively short EBT shutdown last month was outright fury. Imagine the response in the event of a long-term shutdown, or if extraneous cuts were to occur? And where would that anger be directed? Since the entire debt debacle has been blamed on the Tea Party, I suspect conservatives will be the main target of welfare mobs.
The left, once just as opposed to government stimulus and banker bailouts as the right, is now unwittingly throwing its support behind infinite stimulus in order to cement the continued existence of precious Federal handouts. The issue of Obamacare has utterly blinded liberals to fiscal responsibility. Universal healthcare, perhaps the ultimate Federal handout, is a prize too titillating for them to ignore. Democrats will now go to incredible lengths to defend the Obama White House regardless of past crimes.
They are willing to ignore his offenses against the 4th Amendment and personal privacy. They are willing to look past his offenses against the 1st Amendment, including the Constitutional right to trial by jury for all Americans, and Obama’s secret war against the free speech of whistle-blowers. They are willing to shrug off his endless warmongering in the Mideast, his attempts to foment new war in Syria and Iran, and his support for predator drone strikes in sovereign nations causing severe civilian collateral damage. They are willing to forget Snowden, mass surveillance and executive assassination lists — all for Obamacare.
And the saddest thing of all? It is likely that Obamacare was never meant to be successful in the first place.
Does anyone really believe that the White House, with billions of dollars at its disposal, could not get a website off the ground if it really wanted to? Does anyone really believe that Obama would launch the crowning jewel of his Presidency without making certain that it was fully operational, unless this was part of a greater scheme? And how about his promise that pre-existing health care plans would not be destroyed by Obamacare mandates? Over 900,000 people in the state of California alone are about to lose their health care insurance due to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Why would Obama go back on such a vital pledge unless he WANTED to piss off constituents?
Already, liberal websites and forums across the blogosphere are abuzz with talk of sabotage of the Obamacare website by “the radical right” and the diabolical Koch Brothers (liberals had no idea who they were a year ago, but now, they the go to scapegoat for everything). Once again, conservatives are presented as the culprits behind all the left’s troubles.
As I have stated in the past, Obamacare is designed to fail. The government has no capacity to fund it, and never will. Its only conceivable purpose is to further divide the country and excite both sides of the false paradigm into attacking each other as the reason the system is failing, when both sides should be questioning whether the current system should exist at all.
As the situation stands today, at least 50 million welfare recipients and who knows how many others exist as a resource pool for the establishment to be used to wreak havoc on the rest of us. All they have to do is take away the cookie jar.
Who Would Win?
Who would prevail in a second American civil war? Tactically speaking, conservatives have the upper hand and are far better prepared. Food rioters wouldn’t last beyond three to six weeks as starvation takes its toll, and mindless mobs would not last long against seasoned riflemen. The military, though suffering purges by the White House, still contains numerous conservatives within its ranks. Outside influences, including NATO or the United Nations, are a possibility. There are numerous factors to consider. But I would point out that the most dangerous adversary Constitutional conservatives face is not the left, Obama, or a Federal government gone rogue. Rather, our greatest adversary is ourselves.
If lured into a left/right civil war, would most conservatives be able to see beyond the veil and recognize that the fight is not about Obama, or the Left, or tyrannical government alone? Could we be co-opted by devious influences disguised as friends and compatriots? Will we end up following neocon salesmen and military elites who materialize out of the woodwork at the last minute to “lead us to victory” while actually leading us towards globalization with a slightly different face?
If a civil conflict has been war gamed by the establishment, you can bet they have contingency plans regardless of which side attains the upper hand. In the end, if we do not make the fight about the bankers and globalists, the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, the Council On Foreign Relations, etc., then everyone loses. Who wins in a new American civil war? If we become blinded by the trespasses of a certain White House jester, only the globalists will win.