To Oppose Russia and Maintain US Power, Washington Allies With Unscrupulous Characters in Ukraine

If you quickly survey the media coverage and political rhetoric surrounding the Ukraine crisis, you find there is nothing easier than to condemn Russia for its opportunistic and illegal incursions into Ukraine’s sovereign territory of Crimea. And this is correct: it is very easy to see these acts as unfair and unlawful. Russian troops, deceitfully hiding identifying marks, occupied Ukrainian police and military posts and basically took control of the territory before pushing for a referendum. That the referendum was strongly in favor of Russia is a separate issue. (If the U.S. did what Russia did, non-interventionists here would no doubt condemn it.)

Since it’s so easy to condemn these Russian moves, Americans, quick to take their government’s side, have whitewashed the very real problems with the new U.S./Western-backed regime in Kiev.

It hasn’t been a complete whitewash. You can find honest acknowledgement in the mainstream. In Foreign Policy, for example, Andrew Foxall and Oren Kessler write, “The uncomfortable truth is that a sizeable portion of Kiev’s current government — and the protesters who brought it to power — are, indeed, fascists.”

Ukraine is home to Svoboda, arguably Europe’s most influential far-right movement today…Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is on record complaining that his country is controlled by a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia,” while his deputy derided the Ukrainian-born film star Mila Kunis as a “dirty Jewess.” In Svoboda’s eyes, gays are perverts and black people unfit to represent the nation at Eurovision, lest viewers come away thinking Ukraine issomewhere besides Uganda.

Svoboda began life in the mid-90s as the Social-National Party (a name deliberately redolent of the National Socialist Party, better known as Nazis), with its logo the fascistWolfsangel. In 2004, the party gave itself an unobjectionable new name (Svoboda means “Freedom”) and canned the Nazi imagery, and in the subsequent decade has seen its star swiftly rise.

Today, Svoboda holds a larger chunk of its nation’s ministries (nearly a quarter, including the prized defense portfolio) than any other far-right party on the continent. Ukraine’s deputy prime minister represents Svoboda (the smaller, even more extreme “Right Sector” coalition fills thedeputy National Security Council chair), as does the prosecutor general and the deputy chair of parliament — where the party is the fourth-largest. And Svoboda’s fresh faces are scarcely different from the old: one of its freshmen members of parliament is the founder of the “Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre” and has hailed the Holocaust as a “bright period” in human history.

The new government in Ukraine, as the FP report notes, is chalk full of Svoboda members. The video below depicts Svoboda MPs and their lackeys attacking the head of Ukraine’s state TV company and demanding he resign. It looks like a scene of mafia bullying from a Martin Scorsese film.

Despite this, U.S. commentary largely hails the democracy that has come to Ukraine post-Yanukovych. Writing in The National Interest, professor of political science at Colorado College David Hendrickson explains that “The big problem with this narrative is that the United States and its western and Ukrainian allies did in fact do something very wrong.”

They broke a vital democratic norm—to wit, that in democracies the transfer of power occurs as a result and in the aftermath of elections or, in extremis, impeachments. There is simply no consciousness in the West that the revolution was brought about by illegal means. Yet it most emphatically was so. Power was seized, not transferred. In this tit for tat contest with Russia, we have focused exclusively on the tit; we have just as resolutely ignored the tat that preceded it.

Now, I’m all for people tearing down their own oppressive governments. But when U.S. policy starts to side with unscrupulous right-wing factions in some other country that has nothing to do with us, it’s a big problem. U.S. policy is anti-Russia. It is Russia’s geo-political designs in its traditional sphere of influence in eastern Europe that Washington opposes. Translated into policy, as always, this manifests into unacceptable, nefarious, interventionist meddling. It needs to stop.

18 thoughts on “To Oppose Russia and Maintain US Power, Washington Allies With Unscrupulous Characters in Ukraine”

  1. Something else to consider, from a lawyer:

    While American lawyers and diplomats claim that the use of force against the Ukraine is illegal, they forget that it is being requested by the elected President of the Ukraine. When the legitimate government of a State requests foreign assistance, it can receive it under international law. The provision of assistance to another government, even military assistance, is consistent with international law.

    The case is much different when foreign governments interfere in the domestic affairs of a State to change its government because they do not like it. In Ukraine this is exactly what the United States and the European Union did, not merely by expressing their political opinion from abroad, but by sending money, weapons and advisers to the non-State actors who eventually stormed the government buildings and caused the elected-government to flee due to the use of force against it.

    In such a situation Russia’s continued recognition of the elected government as a government that it is entitled to assist if it so requests, is consistent with international law. Such assistance must, of course, conform with the rules of international law relating to the use of force by the States against its citizens. However, when a State acts, even using necessary force, to restore the public order, which includes securing the elected government, then the State and those who support it, are acting in accordance with international law, not contrary to it. Any action from foreign countries to prevent Russia from assisting the elected government would itself be inconsistent with international law as an interference with a domestic affairs of a State that has requested assistance.

    Now that the elected President of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich has requested Russian assistance, including military forces, in writing, United States President Obama is wrong in claiming that Russia is violating international law. In fact, action taken by the United States to prevent Russia from assisting the elected government in the Ukraine is likely a violation of international law to the same extent that the United States and European efforts to change the government of the Ukraine were inconsistent with the prohibition of interference in the internal affairs of the Ukraine without the permission of its government.

  2. Democracy both in US and EU is declining rapidly and if continued, there won't be any democracy left in either side of Atlantic Ocean in few years. The uprising of fascism didn't started in Syria, nor in Libya or in Iraq or Sudan or Somalia, but it did start in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and etc, in cooperation with far right entity of capitalism economic system. In 2014 the concept spreading like a "Neo kind" of cancer throughout the continent. What is called western democracy is not even born to be called that, Ibrahim Lincoln was fighting the southern stats to free slaves, meanwhile he was murdering native Americans for their land, this was a kind of democracy imported to America by the Europeans, and as of today's date nothing has changed, the double moral and standard of the same democracy exist today. Today the western "democratic" regimes are fighting other nations for their natural resources and their strategical importance for feature wars and slaving their neighbors creating a cheaper labour while rising the food prices, therefor nothing in terms of economic slavery or the economic interests in other countries by far right regimes have changed.

    These countries that USG and EU governing body are at war with don't and didn't need the non existence western democracy, but they were invaded by the west pretending that their occupation of Iraq is about democracy, or Syrian war or the Libya and etc. In all of these countries the people's social economic rights were there before the invasion and now they lost it, so not only the western democracy never intended to help implementing a better kind if democracy, but the meaning was to destroy what is there, therefore, the modernized version of fascism is taking shape, replacing democracy with what is Neo fascism in economical terms, the Neo fascism don't need to wear SS uniform having a military pride, they only need to deal with their kind which is the reason for these far right government support and cooperation with their own kind, Ukraine is one of them, the Saudis barbarians in Syria is another.

    There is no other political or social progressive organization that would cooperate with these regime, neither with USG or the Neo fascism in Europe, therefore, the last result for the existence of far right regimes is to support and cooperate with what they can get their hands on, left overs hooligans, fascism of all kind and Saudis barbarians are their last resort. This is not because of democracy, but rather because west always has abused and used democracy for the benefit of far right political entity of capitalism.

    1. Indeed, US/EU "Democracy" is a fantasy. The US is the worst example, especially its use of a police force which is out of control, above the law, and non-accountable; that is frightening. Indeed, given the MO of frequent assaults, murders, trumped-up charges, corruption, guilty-until-proved-innocent assumption, without exaggeration this is truly the US SS.

  3. "arguably Europe’s most influential far-right movement today"

    A pale shadow compared to the far right warmongering duopoly party in the US

  4. This slavish acceptance of the "official" US(White House) Government line is disgusting.
    Are ALL Americans so naive or stupid to keep accepting the lies and deceipt spread by their government???????

    1. No, not all…but very, very many. It takes so much time away from personal pleasures to actually pay attention to what our "electeds" are doing. The American people, generally speaking, are disinclined to serious get involved in politics and political discourse. So much easier to pour a drink, sit down in front of the TV and doze off after an hour or so.

  5. Glaser is off the mark – again. No surprise.
    There is something out of whack when neo-Nazis are called "unscrupulous" characters as Glaser does here. Is Hitler – or Franco or Musdolini – simply an unscrupulous character? Absurd.
    Glaser too often – routinely? – uses lingo reminiscent of the elite's foreign policy journals (or the NYT) which he seems to spend entirely too much time poring over. The language therein is a vocabulary of euphemism meant to hide or soften the hard truths of the US Empire and its rampant cruelty and criminality.
    It is hardly the language of a committed antiwarrior and a telltale sign that perhaps Glaser has other ambitions.

  6. The WP board editorial accused Putin this week of 'mendacity' in calling the new regime in Kiev neo-nazi, anti-semitic and xenophobic. Apparently, the EU parliament was lying too when they condemned the Svoboda party two years ago for the same extremist sins.
    The editorial idiocy in the US (and Europe) has now reached a level where noone will puzzle out the simplest issues. Putin was a ranking KGB officer experienced in international security. He surely knows the Maidan happenings were as much a spontaneous outpouring of popular sentiment as was the attack on the US mission in Benghazi. He took Crimea just to assure the West that he knows and will act decisively if the West runs 'operations' against Russia.

  7. These sanctions against Russia have been planned for months because Russia veto UN resolution to attack Syria. The West are still thinking like the Eath was handed to them by its creator and they are the masters who can tell other nations like children what to do with their lives. I think developing economies should find other business partners rather than the west.

  8. It's worth reminding people that a definitive government will be elected on 25 May, unless the neocons sabotage the election in some way. Thus, it hardly matters who sits in the interim government. Also, the interim PM, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is himself a Jew. It these people don't bother him, why should they bother the American cloudcuckooland?

  9. I have asked myself if I would support what Russia did in Crimea, were it done by the U.S. military. One problem I have in trying to think about this is that I can't imagine an analogous situation involving the U.S. When do we have a military intervention that doesn't involve dropping bombs or at least firing shots? When is there ever massive popular support from the local population?

    And then there is the separate matter of Russia's right to have troops in Crimea. I have read mixed figures on how many troops can actually be on the ground.

    Sorry, but given the specifics of this Russian "intervention," including the historical background, and the fact that it was done in response to a US/NATO/Zionist backed coup that put fascists into power in Urkaine, I can't say I disapprove of Russia's actions. As for Putin's alleged "opportunism," he has previously given western powers every opportunity to reach a negotiated settlement, including the one that was just scuttled in February. He has hardly been just waiting for things to go wrong so that he would have a chance to go into Crimea. He has actively tried to prevent a resort to military solutions.

  10. America Invaded the worlds oldest civilization on lies occupied it for 10yrs destroyed it utterly murdered one million displaced 3 million made them refugees caused birth defects from depleted uranium and has become a failed state then complain about Vlad the occupier.

  11. The following statement: " … there is nothing easier than to condemn Russia for its opportunistic and illegal incursions into Ukraine’s sovereign territory of Crimea" disqualifies him from serious consideration. Russia re-absorbed a once-Russian province when its overwhelming Russian majority felt threatened by the illegal new neo-fascist government in Kiev. The referendum is one of the best examples of democracy in action. The "incursions" were neither illegal nor opportunistic. John Glaser, whoever he is, doesn't belong here: he should try the MIC media. Apparently Glaser doesn't know much about the history of Crimea and the military deal signed by Ukraine and Russia.

  12. Russia has not invaded Crimea, nor done an "illegal incursion". Russia has a long-standing treaty with Ukraine to keep up to 25,000 troops in Crimea, and they have not exceeded that limit. Nor was there anything "opportunistic" about it… the US cornered Russia into taking this action, or lose their only warm-water port in the region, from which they re-supply / trade with Syria and Iran.

    In short, the US is allying itself with fascists in Ukraine for economic and political reasons, and to defend our Al-Qaeda allies in Syria. It's all about empire and control, not self-determination or what's legal.

  13. First of all, I long ago declared eternal hostility towards anything that “expands the government’s tool box” or its bank account or its bathing-suit areas or whatever else it wants to expand. But the larger point is that it is clear this initiative is just a reiteration of the hypercritical approach to tyranny Washington has displayed for decades.

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