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Four Years after Odessa Pogrom – Neo-Nazism still rampages in Ukraine

Fascist elements that caused Odessa massacre still prevalent in the nation

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On May 9th, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and some other states celebrated Victory Day, a monument to the destruction of Nazism by the people of the USSR together with those in Europe.

Victory Day is a day to celebrate the annihilation of Nazism from the face of Europa. We look towards the bright future, but we cannot forget our past, lest we repeat it. In Ukraine, however, for the past four years, we have seen the dark clouds of neo-Nazism overcast.

It has been four years, and a little over one week, since tragic events occurred in an Odessa Trade Union building, claiming the lives of around 48 people in an arson assault by official numbers, though by some sources, the number of those killed during the Odessa clashes, may indeed be as high as 397.

Keeping with the theme of remembering the past, but looking to the future, in this article, we will call to memory the anniversary of the Odessa massacre and the events that occurred, and also to prove with examples, that the Neo-Nazi elements which caused it, are still prevalent throughout Ukraine.

The Fourth Anniversary of the Odessa Massacre

For those unaware, the Russophone and cosmopolitan city of Odessa, built by Russian Empress Catherine the Great is located in south-western Ukraine on the Black Sea.

When Odessa was founded, it was a part of the region known as New Russia (Novorossia), to differentiate from North-Central Ukraine, which was called Little Russia.

On May 2nd, 2014, a group of fascists and ultra-nationalists, participants in the broader Maidan coup which seized power in Kiev that same year, stormed the Trade Unions House, and set it ablaze, by throwing Molotov cocktails. They prepared the weapons openly on the street, amidst clashes in the streets with anti-Maidan and pro-federalization Ukrainian citizens who were voicing their concern against the rising tide of Nazism.

People were burned alive, they were suffocated by smoke, they fell from the building, some were strangled, and others shot, others still beaten to death. Those killed included youth, older citizens, and pregnant women including their babies (obviously). Officially 48 people died, however other sources are claiming the actual number was 397, and we will explore this difference briefly.

Above all, I’d like to say there is no reporting on these events I can offer, which has not already been handled better by the experts who were on the scene as it happened. This is a four-year-old story, and as a result, it has already been covered extensively, so I do not wish to relive the events, which have already been described, and say what has already been said.

In summary, however, I can offer these observations and articles. One of the best articles on the subject, with regards to its graphical documentation of the horror that took place in Odessa was this piece by American journalist George Eliason. Below is one the more tame photos it contains.

The photos are hard to look at, however, if you do not truly know what happened, or doubt the accounts, you must see for yourself the evidence, provided by this American journalist. Some of the photos are highly graphic, however not gory (with blood), but there is one of a person who was burned alive and possibly raped, and another of a pregnant woman who was apparently strangled as neo-Nazis wave Ukrainian flags from the window.

This article contains key evidence of what amounts to a Nazi pogrom in 21st century Europe, however, the photos there are not all simply of the dead, but they reveal and expose the perpetrators in action. This is all for the purpose of documentation, not shock.

Examples of the non-graphically disturbing, but important evidence the article contains, is this video, in which the leader of one of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist bands clearly gives orders to kill the anti-Maidan citizens and demonstrators.

In this video, one can see the pro-federalization citizens huddled up by the large Trade Unions House  , as the neo-Nazis swarm in and begin setting fires. The video is surreal, like the image of the Mongol Horde descending on Kiev which set fire to the Church of the Tithes in 1240.

That video alone provides an excellent example of what happened. I wasn’t aware Batu Khan was a “Hero of Ukraine”.

Later the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist extremist organization (banned in Russia) Right Sector expressly claimed responsibility for the Odessa 2 May massacre. They’re proud of it.

The Ukrainian law enforcement authorities have failed to investigate properly and bring to liability even those of neo-Nazi thugs who were originally detained as taking part in the Odessa mass murder.

Instead they persecuted and allegedly tortured the anti-Maidan activists who survived the massacre.

How Many Victims

Some of the victims

Take a moment to look at the faces of the victims. It’s important to understand, before we discuss the numbers of casualties, that these weren’t just numbers on a clipboard. These were people, they were burned alive, some were raped, some were strangled, some killed with smoke, others fell from burning buildings, survivors were shot and others beaten cruelly.

For example, Christina Bezhanitskaya, seen in the top right and bottom left, was born in 1992, was beaten to death on May 2nd, 2014, during the pogrom. These were human beings, and now they are gone.

As noted earlier in this article, there is debate as to the number of victims who actually died during the Odessa massacre.

While the official number and list of those outright murdered in the Trade Union House is 48, historian and publicist Aleksey Ivakin, an Odessa native explains in this Russian language article why he believes the actual number of those killed on that day, was 397, taking into account also fights in the streets, clashes with the police, the neo-Nazis also killed. This number is supported by a variety of sources, one of the most detailed being this Russian link.

Even if the number was “only” 40 people – which no one is claiming, that would still be 40 people killed by a veritable army of neo-Nazis. You saw the video yourself, the last time Odessa saw this was the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany and its satellites. Thanks to the West, the spirit of Hitler was awoken to wreak havoc on the long-suffering lands of Ukraine.

An Orthodox Church burning to the ground in the war

Why does west support Nazism in Ukraine

As Russians lay photos of the victims outside the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow, the Russian embassy in Washington has complained about the lack of response from the US.

This was a major event, not unlike a terrorist attack, in which large groups of people were killed by Nazis supporting a coup, backed by the US. The US has refused to comment on the actions of the people it supported, just like what happened in Kiev during the Maidan coup itself.

State Department official Victoria Nuland bribing nationalists with…cookies…seriously, we could not possibly make this up if we tried

This is a major issue which must be discussed, why did US officials support a coup in which many of the participants, and the general spirit of which was heavily fascist.

By in large, the Western response to this question, is to claim there was no violence in Ukraine, there were no Nazis, forget the deaths in Odessa, it was a tragic event, it was all Russia’s fault, etc. This is the western goal, to hide the facts of the Maidan coup sponsoring by foreign parties, the neo-Nazism in the Ukraine and the slaughter at Odessa, because once people see it with their own eyes, its impossible to not realize.

The US Department of State official Victoria Nuland had a very difficult time explaining before Congress the presence of Nazis, in the groups which Neo-Cons supported in Ukraine.

In the video, RT reports as Republican Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher from California challenges Nuland over Ukrainian Neo-Nazism.

We did have legitimate election before, and the legitimate president was removed after we had major street violence. There were pictures of people running around that we were told were neo-Nazis,” Rohrabacher challenged Nuland.

Nuland faced a hard time coming up with answers.

First of all the vast majority of those who were participating on Maidan were peaceful protesters. There were mothers and grandmothers and veterans,” Nuland said, but before being able to continue, Rohrabacher reminded the diplomat of vast presence of violent Ukrainian radicals.

I saw those pictures and I also saw a lot of people throwing fire bombs at groups of policemen. There were people shooting into the ranks of police. So, yes, there were mothers with flowers, but there were also very dangerous street fighters engaged in those demonstrations. The question is: were there neo-Nazi groups involved?”

Nuland could not provide a definitive answer, saying that there were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors.

Referring to these mass murdering Nazis as simply “ugly colors”, is almost as cynical as referring to the Maidan coup as a “Revolution of Dignity”. That is what Ukrainian sources, and official US Government sources (as of last year) call the Maidan coup to this day. Does this look like dignity to you!?!

The Maidan before and during the revolution of “dignity”

Four Years later, Nazism still rampages

One of the most powerful arguments against the false narrative being pushed about the Ukraine crisis, is simply to show these “very ugly colors” to the world. It’s very important to commemorate the victims, but that is only half of what this article is about.

If fascist elements in Ukraine were really a small minority of the forces fighting in the embattled borderlands, if Odessa was just an isolated incident, and the guilty parties were arrested and brought to justice, then this could have just been an anniversary article to commemorate a tragedy.

This article must be more than that, however, because Odessa was not an isolated incident. The people of Ukraine suffer daily beneath a criminal regime that allows neo-Nazis to rape Ukrainian girls, torture and burn Ukrainian people alive.

SHOCKING: ‘Hero of Ukraine’ Nadia Savchenko now accuses Kiev for Maidan Snipers

The fact that it was pro-Maidan forces, that organized the snipers which fired at both police and protesters, in February of 2014, in Kiev was revealed by independent researchers long before. I have written about this subject as well, at The Duran, though I highly recommend the very detailed link to the researchers work above.

Some more “Dignity” in the centre of Kiev on January 22, 2014.

The Ukrainian government is divided between oligarchs like Poroshenko, who care nothing for Ukraine, and wish to prostitute the country to the highest bidder, and their neo-Nazi enforcers who do the actual fighting.

It is worth noting, that as I’ve said before in numerous articles, there is a dichotomy between the kleptocratic criminal element, in control of the government itself, and the ultra-nationalist and Neo-Nazi doing the fighting for them. A good example is when Poland, a very Russophobic state, banned commemorating WW2 era Ukrainian Nazi Bandera, (a Hero according to Neo-Nazis), and called upon Ukraine to do the same.

Poland bans Bandera – Ukrainian nationalists demand Poroshenko condemn their NATO ‘ally’

This put Poroshenko between a rock and a hard place, he must please his Western overlords, but at the same time, his fascist subjects would happily overthrow him if he does not continue chanting “Glory to Ukraine”.

The real fighting is done by the radical Nazi elements, while the actual administration of the country is the work of greedy oligarchs, like Poroshenko, with hardly a shred of patriotism in their blood. No one is saying Poroshenko’s isn’t leading a pro-Nazi regime, he has said numerous horrifying things, such as in this video, when he said they will win the war in Ukraine, when Eastern Ukrainian children are hiding in bomb shelters, and their (Nationalist) children will go to schools.

He has no more care for the lives of children than the Nazis, but the difference is the Nazis kill children for ideological reasons, whereas their leaders indirectly profit from the war. Poroshenko is more of the “Let the poor idiots die in wars. I want to see if I can stuff as much money in my pockets, as I can chocolate in my mouth” kind of tyrant, rather than the passionate “For the Glory of Ukraine!” type.

He doesn’t have a patriotic bone in his body, certainly not the noble type, but not even the ultranationalist. Say what you will about those vile Nazi’s, despicable as they are, they love the fatherland and are happy to die for it. Poroshenko has no intention of dying for anyone, let alone Ukraine. His main goal is to rob the country blind, 1990s style, while everyone is distracted by the Nazis running rampant, and murdering people in Donbass. How can he possibly rob Ukraine blind while no one is looking, if he’s dead?

So while he profits, those “very ugly colors”, Victoria Nuland swept under the rug, murder Ukrainian children. It’s these examples of every day Neo-Nazism that must be exposed, in order to dispel the lies about Ukraine.

You’ll know Nazism when you see it, and below are some examples, illustrating that the circumstances which caused the Odessa massacre remains the norm in Ukraine. The people who support this violence are neither patriots nor Heroes of Ukraine. They are murderers of Ukrainian children, rapists of Ukrainian women, the scum of the earth, and daemons.

Only devils would do this to any people, let alone their own

Recent Examples of neo-Nazism

Below are some recent examples of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine, which occurred in the last several weeks. This is not even going as far as four years back, but here are several stories which emerged from different sources in different languages all within the last four weeks.

Ukraine neo-Nazis celebrate the Original Nazis in Galatian SS Memorial

Ukraine is a very diverse territory, formed by the combination of regions which often had less in common with eachother, than they did with neighboring countries.

For example, Western Ukraine was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and fell under the influence of Uniate Catholics trying to persecute Russian Orthodox Ukrainians.

Among those Uniates was Stepan Bandera, an infamous fascist leader in WW2, who united with Adolf Hitler against Russia (and Soviet Ukraine), as this declaration describes.

From Bandera’s region, an entire division of the Waffen SS, the Galicia division, was formed, which is considered a dark stain on fair Ukraine, by her sane residents. Traditionally, Ukrainians recognized this was a western plot to destroy Slavic people, however many Western Ukrainians fought with the Nazis in this division. Those who joined the Galicia SS division and other Ukrainian Nazi collaborators justified their adherence to the Third Reich in terms of anti-communism and by a reactionary racial conception of Europe, which embraced the Ukrainians but excluded the “Asiatic” Russians and, of course, Jews.

In 2010 the pro-US president of the Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko conferred the highest state honor of “Hero of Ukraine” upon Stepan Bandera.

Uniates and Ultra-Nationalists march with Bandera portrait

Uniates and Ultra-Nationalists march with Bandera portrait

After the Maidan coup, large groups of people can be found throughout Ukraine, especially in the West,  openly and proudly celebrating the original Nazis, wearing their uniforms, and hailing their memory.

Uniate Priest conducts memorial service for Nazis, note the Neo-Nazis in WW2 Uniform with swastikas

Uniate Priest conducts memorial service for Nazis, note the Neo-Nazis in WW2 Uniform with swastikas

In late April, around Hitler’s Birthday on the 20th, one such celebration took place. Ukrainian far-right activists dressed in Nazi uniforms and celebrated this dark aspect of history. Western media, however, was concerned that Russian media would use this as an opportunity to say “I told you so” saying this is “playing into the hands of Russian media

So, in other words, …they are concerned that the factual reality in Ukraine…will fit “Russian propaganda” if exposed. That would make it appear as if the Russian media are telling the truth, and it is the western narrative which is the propaganda, and literally is trying to defend and cover up the actions of Nazis.

Vandals deface Grieving Mother Statue with Nazi slogans

On April 22nd, a monument in Poltava, near the birthplace of legendary Russian-Ukrainian author Nikolai Gogol, fascists defaced a “grieving mother” statue, with anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda and graffiti saying “Heil Hitler” and “Death to the Jews”

On the first of May, Nazis disrupt the May Day demonstration

Neo-Nazi forces disrupted a demonstration of peaceful petitioners on the May Day.

Those are just three simple examples of Nazi incidents reported in the media, in the last several weeks in Ukraine.

The prevalence of neo-Nazism in Ukrainian Social Media

It’s one thing for a story to be reported on in the media, this is often a highly curated event, which no matter how unbiased the source was, can sometimes not show the complete reality of the situation. For those who speak Russian and/or Ukrainian however, and are active on social media, it is very easy to see how widespread neo-Nazism has become in the post-coup Ukraine.

This is NOT to say that all Ukrainians are Nazis and hate Russians, there are still plenty of Ukrainians who love and consider themselves Russian, and more so who have family in Russia.

This peaceful cross procession of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate demonstrates that the legitimate church can raise over 100,000 people, whereas the neo-Nazi supported and illegitimate Kiev Patriarchate only gathered a crowd of around 2000, so there still are good people in Ukraine, however many are afraid. In the video below, the legitimate Church (as recongnized by Orthodox Canon Law) is shown up until the 3 min. mark, and then the march of the nationalist church.

Here is another march, only of the legitimate church in Western Ukraine, which gathered around 20,000 people, around an old castle. Often times these marches are threatened by Neo-Nazis, who are too frightened to carry out their threats when they see the massive crowd of believers.

More than ever, the authorities in Kiev, and their militias try and suppress the people, many of whom would be more sympathetic to Russia if they were not afraid.

Still, it would be a lie not to say, that there is not a massive neo-Nazi presence in Ukrainian social media. Sadly, even if they are indeed a minority, the neo-Nazis march freely in Kiev and other major cities. There are now likely more Nazis in Ukraine per square meter, than any other state in Europe.

This is not a reflection on the Russian or Ukrainian people, as much as the pernicious western influence which has poisoned people’s minds there.

Here are some examples of “normal” social media posts displaying blatant Nazi propaganda, in the form of screenshots sent to me by those who were concerned and wanted to document what is happening.

Above, is a post with memorial photos of the victims of the Odessa pogrom.

And in this photo, we can see a user, whose profile picture seems to be a cat with a Hitler style mustache, saying that the second of May, the date of the Odessa massacre should be a national holiday in Ukraine.

Here is another example of pro-fascists posts across social media.

In this disgusting photo, the post is comparing the hellfire which burned innocent people, to the Holy Fire. The Holy Fire is a miracle in which Orthodox people believe an uncreated Fire manifests itself every year on Orthodox Pascha (Easter) at Christ’s tomb, which does not burn faithful people who touch it. It has been seen by millions of witnesses. Link to information and photos in many languages including English.

Sensible Ukrainian and Russian citizens do see and report these posts to Facebook as extremist propaganda, but Facebook seems to prefer censoring alternative media posting sensible and well-researched articles exposing extremists, rather than the actual extremists. This is the kind of insanity that normal Ukrainian citizens have to suffer under, all thanks to a Western coup which not only revived, but successfully revitalized Nazism in Europe.

Eternal Memory to Fallen – Never Again for the Living

Odessa – a beautiful seaside city founded by Empress Catherine the Great of Russia

I wish Eternal Memory to all the innocent people who lost their lives, when modern Nazis burned Odessa for the first time since the Great Patriotic War. May they rest in peace.

Beautiful Odessa

As to the living, it’s hard to sleep peacefully knowing such devils are raping, torturing and murdering across Ukraine, while the authorities in Kiev act like its business as usual, and the west ignores it completely.

Odessa however, is a Hero-City, she survived Nazi invasion once, when there was honor in Ukraine, and like in all Rus’, may God grant that there may again, be peace and honor in Ukraine.

Odessa – Hero City. Note the flag which says the 2nd of May

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Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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