The West is Run by Barbarians

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How much longer are we accepting the tyrannical dictate of the American rulers? It gets worse by the day – and it looks like the western world’s “leaders” (sic – so sic!) are caving in ever more to the American killing machine – the European Union – and all its members heads of state, and all the Zion-Anglosaxons and Japan – no one dares standing up and shouting “NO!” – no more of your hegemonic atrocities! – But they all bend over backwards to please a criminal empire, run like the Barbarians.

Imagine, the so-called world leader invites you to a foreign country to help mediate between different factions, you accept, and when you arrive at the airport, he kills you. Then he smiles and boasts in utter satisfaction that he has given the order to kill – kill by remote control, by drone. Much worse than extra-judiciary murder, because there was never any accusation launched against you – except for lies.

That’s exactly what happens, with the beloved, brilliant and charismatic Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. And that’s what Trump’s miserable minions, like Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo and War Minister, Mark Esper, shamelessly deny, namely that they invited him by intermediary of Iraq’s Prime Minister. Pompeo in front of a White House press briefing, cynically laughing, asked journalists – “would you believe such nonsense?” – And of course, none of the MSM journalists would dare say yes – even if they believed it. Instead they laugh congenially to express their agreement with the horrifying murderer-in-complicity in front of them, the Barbarian Sates highest diplomat, as it were. The MSM journalists are too coward to fearing risking their jobs, or losing access to the White House press-room.

Yet, that is precisely what the Prime Minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, said in disbelief and awe:

“Trump asked me to mediate with Iran – and then he kills my invitee.”

Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has certainly more credibility than Trump or any of his cronies, foremost US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who not too long ago told RT:

“[When] I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

General Soleimani was picked up at Bagdad airport by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi military commander and leader of the People’s Mobilization Forces. They drove off in a SUV, when US-drone missiles hit and pulverized them, along with 10 other high-ranking military from both countries.

Soleimani had diplomatic immunity – and the US knew about it. But no rule, no law and no standard of ethics is respected by Washington. A behavior very much like the one of the Barbarians. General Soleimani, who was much more than a general, he was also a great diplomat, was asked by PM Abdul-Mahdi on behalf of Trump to come to Bagdad to be part of a mediation process that Trump asked PM Abdul-Mahdi to lead, to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as between the US and Iran. This was an abjectly, cowardly ploy to assassinate Qassem Soleimani. – How deep can you sink? There are no words to describe the horrible crime.

The lie-spangled Pompeo immediately came up with a general cover-all phrase used by Washington at nauseatum, Soleimani was a terrorist and a danger to (US) national security. – Be aware – dear reader, no Irani, not General Soleimani nor anybody else, has ever threatened the US, not with words, not with weapons.

Then the Barbarian-in-chief had the audacity to threaten Iran to hit 52 of their cultural heritage sites, in case Iran dared to retaliate. But retaliate Iran did – last night, by sending some 22 missiles onto two US-Iraqi military bases. There were casualties, but no clear figures are known. Trump tweeted, “all is good”. When asked about his promised retaliation on the retaliation, Trump backtracked saying he has been told that destroying historic sites would be against the law, and he wanted to abide by the law. Can you imagine?

The next immediate act against the law, Trump barred IranianMinister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, from coming to the UN in New York to address the Security Council, later in the week, by simply refusing a US entry visa. This is against the UN Charter the US signed in 1947, that foreign representatives had to be given always access to the UN territory in New York (same applies to the UN in Geneva).

And where is Mr. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, when you need him? What does he have to say? – A big NOTHING. He didn’t even condemn the murder of General Soleimani. That’s what the UN has become. A worthless toothless body to do the bidding of the Barbarian Empire. What a sad legacy.

Shouldn’t there come the moment when the majority of UN member states – call for a vote to expulse the US from the United Nations – and start from scratch – with a new revamped, leaner and more efficient UN that would act according to its original charter seeking and mediating for peace in the world? There is a majority of more than 120 unaligned states that stand behind countries which are harassed, oppressed, sanctioned by the US – like Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea…. Why not stand up in unison and make the UN what its charter tells it to be? – And that without the Barbarian tyrant.

There are lots of countries that have drones and precision-target technologies, and not all are friends with the Barbarian State. Imagine, somebody, some country, sends a drone to extinguish Pompeo. Or god forbid, the Chief Barbarian himself. That would unleash an extreme furor – maybe a nuclear holocaust – annihilating the world as we know it. End of civilization. Perhaps good riddens.

We may deserve it. As we seem to be unable to reign in what rightly is called by some “The Great Satan” – or simply and more down to earth, the Barbarians. We haven’t seen them for hundreds of years. But they are back, the shameless, ruthless, lawless Barbarians in the form and shape of the US of A – exerting a last attempt to clamp down on civilization with their bleeding, weakening, tentacles.

Why would anyone in this world still want to have relations with the Barbarian empire? – Never mind (profit) business deals with the US. They can be cut off and replaced by new relations, the rebuilding of natural relations with Russia and the Eurasian Continent, including China. It will happen naturally, sooner or later. Isolate the Barbarians and let them rot in their own corrupt swamp.  Maybe they will recover and become a decent nation again – one that can be a partner and respected. It may not happen tomorrow, but in a foreseeable future it may. Everybody has a conscience, even if in most of the western culture its reduced to a tiny flame or only some flickering amber. But it can be awakened.

Brief Update of the Barbarian Empire’s Behavior

Iraq wants to reestablish national sovereignty, asking all foreign troops to leave the country– The Iraqi Parliament has by majority decided to take back Iraq’s sovereignty and that US and foreign troops must leave the country. As a consequence, on 6 January an apparently unsigned letter from Brig. Gen. William Seely III, the Marine Corps officer commandeering the US coalition against ISIS (sic), addressed to Mr. Abdul Amir, Deputy Director, Joint Operation Bagdad, Iraqi Ministry of Defense, saying that the US is ready to withdraw her troops. This was immediately contradicted by the White House, as well as the Pentagon, calling it a confusion, a mistake, that the US has no intention of withdrawing any troops. “We will stay”.

The US has currently some 5,200 troops stationed in Iraq. The UK, some 400. That’s how much an ally’s wishes for recuperating national sovereignty is honored. Barbarians know no respect, no ethics, no laws – Barbarians are sledgehammer people.

Several European Countries have decided to withdraw their troops, respect Iraq’s decision and leave Iraq and the Region. Only the UK, the closest Barbarian ally, has not decided yet and will leave her 400 troops in Iraq, alongside the US troops. How typical!

Tokyo Summer Olympics– On another account of Barbarism, the US decided that Russia is not to participate in this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Under false pretexts of doping, when according to history records, available on internet, the US is by far the nation with most proven doping disqualifications, worldwide. And the rest of the world, instead of boycotting the US and letting Russia compete – is silent. Cowards! Miserable cowards.

Baseball Caribbean Series in Puerto Rica in February 2020– The Barbarians are attempting – and probably succeeding – preventing Cuba from participating in the Caribbean Series of the Baseball Professional Confederation, in February in Puerto Rico. No reason given. Just visa complications.

The Ukrainian Airline Crash – BBC’s immediate reaction: The Russians did it – The Russians did it!  – BBC announced in the morning of 9 January, that there was a high possibility that the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in the early morning hours of 3 January near Tehran airport, shortly after take-off, was shot down by a Russian missile. All passengers and crew, 176 people, died in the crash. There is not a shred of evidence, or even suspicion that a Russian missile was close to the place of accident. But the Barbarians live off lies and crimes in impunity.

Admission by IRGC– In the meantime, however, the Iranian Revolutionary Forces, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), admitted having shot down the Ukrainian airliner by mistake, taking it as a foreign object, especially so close to Tehran airport. Why would they only know admit the responsibility for the disaster? – Because apparently it took the IRGC 48 hours to clarify among themselves, the IRGC is afairly autonomous branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, what happened, before even informing the Government. That’s why the Government did not come forward earlier with the truth. They didn’t know.

It is also still not clear why the Iranian / Tehran airport authorities allowed any planes to take off in this heated, tense situation of Iranian missiles being shot at two US bases in Iraq, with a high probability of an exchange of missiles – which miraculously did not happen, because Trump’s advisers told him to back off in order to avoid a major conflict or war.

People in the streets of Tehran and major Iranian cities are protesting against their government’s delayed admission of responsibility. But the Government, President Rouhani, has said that there will be a thorough investigation of the case, and that those responsible will be held accountable. He also apologized to the victims’ families and said they will be compensated.  While not refuting Iranian responsibility for the accident, Rouhani pointed to the highly fragile and delicate pressure situation in a conflict brought about by the United States.

New sanctions on Iran– The Master Barbarian Trump says new sanctions will be added to those already existing, sanctions that will hurt even more – and, yes, he says, like the Good Father of Mother Earth talking to his children, it’s all up to the Iranians, they can behave like a good nation behaves, or they will be punished with sanctions. And they will hurt. It’s entirely up to them.No description of what the appropriate behavior for the Barbarians would involve.

Can you believe this? – If you wouldn’t witness such aberrant BS with your own eyes and ears, it would be truly unbelievable, that the world is run by such un-people, well, Barbarians – and, yes, again – the docile people of this globe accept it, say nothing, keep silent. Thousands of people may die again from the sanctions – confiscated medical equipment, medication, food – imposed on Iran, as did in Venezuela – 40,000 according to a recent study by the Washington thinktank, CEPR – only because Iran has backbone, and dares not to kneel in front of the Barbarian king to do his bidding.

This kind of backbone you could not expect from the Europeans and all those neolib-governments in Latin America, like in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and now against all odds, the new US-installed “interim” racist-fascist government in Bolivia. They would lay down and kiss the chief Barbarian’s feet, to put it politely.

And again, the world looks on in insanity and in silence.

This western world must fall.

Barbarism, i.e. neoliberalism – already tending towards fascism – must be eradicated fast, if humanity is to be saved.


Originally published on 2020-01-13

About the author: Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.  He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Source: Global Research

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Violation of Human Rights of Serbs in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija

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The struggle for peace and the struggle for full respect of universal human rights, as defined by UN Declaration on protection of human rights, are interdependent and non-separable. Violations of sovereignty and territorial integrity, military interventions, aggressions and occupations go hand in hand with massive violations of the basic human rights.

It is clear that there are no humanitarian military interventions.

NATO military aggression against Yugoslavia ( Serbia ) which started March 24rth, 1999 was launched to allegedly protect human rights of Kosovo Albanians. It was carried out in blatant violation of the basic principals of International Law and without approval of UN Security Council. The precedent was used later in various other parts of the world whenever it suited the interests of USA and NATO: Afghanistan , Iraq , and Libya . There are threats that it may be used against other countries like Syria, Iran, North Korea or any other country.

NATO aggression against Serbia (FR of Yugoslavia) in 1999 left close to 4000 dead and more tan 10.000 wounded, two thirds of whom where civilians including close to 1 hundred children. NATO forces were using missiles with depleted uranium, causing massive cancer disease, deformation of newly-born babies unknown before. NATO polluted soil, water and food production for unbelievable period of four billion years. Direct economic damage caused by aggression was estimated to an amount of over one hundred billion dollars.

Immediately after the end of the aggression, USA constructed on Serbian soil in Kosovo and Metohija the biggest American base in the world known as Bondsteel. This was the beginning of mushrooming of USA and NATO military basis all over the Balkans and Eastern Europe .

Today there are more USA and NATO military basis in Europe than any time during the Cold War Era.

Why?

Warsaw Pact has been disbanded. There are no confronting socio-political systems; all European countries apparently enjoy free market economies and multi-party parliamentary democracy. What and who to defend and where from by so many military bases and long range ballistic rockets carrying nuclear warheads? From international terrorism? Cyber attackers? International organized crime groups? Rogue states?

The overall economic, financial, political and moral crises of the leading countries of the West will probably lead to further spreading of interventionism, militarization and total disregard of the basic principles of international relations. Cover up justifications will not be a problem. So far there has been abundance of “positive” experiences of “humanitarian interventions”, “protection of civilians” from dictatorial regimes etc. The richest and militarily the strongest are not ready to carry alone the burden of the crises that they have caused themselves. Their might is serving them to transfer the burden of the crises to the weaker, especially, if the weaker happen to have oil, gas, or strategic minerals.

The crises have already caused the most massive violation of human rights such as the right to employment, education, health, information, privacy.
Shortly after NATO “humanitarian” aggression on Yugoslavia (Serbia), it became clear that intervention actually resulted in an unprecedented scale of violation of human rights of Serbs and non-Albanians of Kosovo and Metohija Province. Alliance between NATO and the Albanian terrorists and separatists during the military aggression (KLA), continued ever since and reached its peak in February 2008 by unilateral proclamation of illegal secession of the province from Serbia . This act would never be possible without NATO aggression, occupation and support. It, again, violated the basic principles of the national and international laws, UN Charter and UN Security Council’s resolution 1244 (1999) which guaranties sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia.

The consequences are that Kosovo and Metohija after 12 years of being under UN mandate continues to be the source of instability in the Balkans, organized international crime and spring board of extremism and terrorism toward the rest of Europe.

The Province of Kosovo and Metohija is the birth place of Serbian nation, culture, religion and state. Thousands of Serbian medieval monuments witness to this. There are two large communities living in the Province – Kosovo Serbs, who are Orthodox Christians, and Kosovo Albanians, the great majority of whom are Moslems. Before the beginning of the Second World War Serbian population in the Province were majority. Today, Serbs make less than 10 percent of the total population of the Province. The drastic change in national structure was due to the policy of ethnic cleansing of Serbs occupation for about 500 years, then by fascist-Nazi occupation forces (1941 – 1945) of over decades if not centuries – first by Turkish Empire which kept the Province under Mussolini and Hitler and finally by NATO aggression and occupation which continues up to these days.

UN Security Council Resolution 1244, of June 10, 1999 put the end of the NATO aggression but introduced military occupation of the Province, formally by international UN mandated forces (KFOR), in reality by NATO forces. Ever since June 1999, we have been witnessing large scale of individual and even institutionally-sponsored violation of basic human rights and freedoms of Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanians.

Here are some examples of major human rights violations.

No free and safe return for 250,000 displaced Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija

After June 1999, International Red Cross noted some 250,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians who had been expelled by terror, intimidation and ethnic cleansing leave their birth places and homes in Kosovo and Metohija. Current UNHCR data show return of some 18,000 Serbs, but in reality this number is some 6,000, or 2.1%. UN Mission and other international stakeholders organized the process of the return, but no results. Therefore, Serbia remains the country with the highest number of refugees and displaced persons in the whole of Europe.

No justice for the victims

After June 1999, close to 1,000 Serbian and other non-Albanian civilians have been abducted and eventually killed. In July 1999, 14 people, including children, in the village of Staro Gracko were killed while harvesting in the field. In the winter 2002, a bomb was planted and set-off under a passenger bus killing many Serb passengers. In August 2003 a group of Serbian children playing by the river in village of Gorazdevac , were killed. Thousands of other crimes against Serbs in the Province have been committed and none of the culprits brought to justice although justice and police are directly managed by UN and EU missions (UNMIK, EULEX).

Human organs trafficking

In December 2010, Special Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Swiss MP Dick Marty , published Report on trafficking of human organ of abducted Serbs in 1999. The Parliamentary Assembly adopted the Report and passed Resolution demanding independent international investigation. So far no results because the people involved in this organized crime are Kosovo Albanian top politicians, former leaders of the terrorist KLA (UCK). They enjoy support and protection from Washington, London and Berlin.

We demand that the investigation in the human organs trafficking in Kosovo and Metohija be conducted under auspices of UN Security Council without further delay.

Illegal occupation of Serbian-owned property

After June 1999, Kosovo Albanians simply occupied all immovable and movable possessions of 250,000 Serbs who left Kosovo, but also of Serbs who remained there. Often, owners were either killed or expelled by force from their properties. In September 1999, the UN founded a body that was supposed to facilitate the return of property to legal owners, the Housing and Property Directorate, but there are no results.

General insecurity

Since June 1999, there was almost no freedom of movement outside the so-called enclaves in which Serbs found their safety. Today Serbs still cannot access their businesses and land without risk of being attacked end even killed. They still cannot go churches and cemeteries without KFOR military escort. Some of Serbian enclaves even today continue to be fenced by barbed wire and their inhabitants living in ghetto-like conditions.

Rewriting history

Ever since NATO aggression in 1999, there has been systematic destruction of any traces of Serbian monuments and Christianity in Kosovo. Some 150 Serbian Orthodox churches and medieval monasteries have been destroyed, originating from as early as 13th and 14th centuries, including some from the UNESCO List of World Heritage. In addition, there has been a wide-spread exercise to rename remaining churches and monasteries as “Byzantine” or “Albanian”, or “Albanian castles and towers.

Violation of right to health

Kosovo Albanian authorities have been stopping and seizing shipments of medical equipment and medical drugs intended for medical facilities in Serbian enclaves. In addition, they have been willfully and intentionally trying to worsen situation for Serbian populated areas, by cutting the electric power supply. For three years in the row, in winter time they have been cutting power supply to Serbian enclaves.

Violation of right to education

Since June 1999, all cities and towns in Kosovo except Mitrovica in the north were ethnically cleansed and became mono-ethnically Albanian. Serbs and other ethnic groups were driven to villages. School facilities were inaccessible for Serbian schoolchildren. They had to resort to inadequate premises for schools. However, most drastic situation is in Gorani community. The Goranis are local Serbian speaking ethnic group of Muslim belief, who have been exposed to incessant assimilation attempts and forced to accept Albanian language and Albanian curriculum. This pressure still goes on.

Struggle for peace and struggle for social, economic, political and cultural human rights are the duty of peace movements and all peace loving forces.

Freedom, equality in rights and opportunities and sovereignty of states and nations are preconditions for full respect of human rights as provided for in the UN GS Declaration on human rights.

Liberal corporate capitalism in its imperialistic stage is the chief source of massive violation of the basic human rights of the mankind.

Global economic, financial, political and moral crisis of the western societies is accompanied by the most massive violation of the basic human rights after the end of the Second World War.

Global interventionism, wars and violations of human rights, disrespect of the international law and abuse of United Nations, are immanent features of corporate capitalism.

As the NATO aggression against Serbia (FRY) 13 years ago had shown there are no humanitarian military interventions whatsoever.

NATO has become the most dangerous tool for massive violation of human rights in the second half of XX and first two decades of XXI centuries. Therefore NATO as remnant of the cold war area should be abolished and its entire military bases, as well as military bases of member countries all over the world, should be dismantled.

The use of the missiles with depleted uranium should be formally banned by international convention.

Abuse of human rights for spreading domination of imperialism is impermissible and should be stopped forthwith.

All Serbs and other non-Albanians expelled from the Province after NATO aggression 13 years ago are entitled to free and safe return to their homes in the Kosovo and Metohija Province.

Territorial integrity and sovereignty of each country should be fully respected in the interest of peace and stability. Natural and economic resources, including oil and natural gas reserves, are subject to sovereign control and exploitation by concrete countries and can not be excuse for any interference or intervention from abroad.

The role of the UN, respect of the UN Charter and UN GS Declaration on protection human rights should be reaffirmed and reinforced.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia should be respected and UN SC resolution 1244 (1999) fully implemented.

Unilateral secession of Serbian Province of Kosovo and Metohija is not acceptable and should not be recognized. We call for peaceful solution of the issue of the status respecting UN SC resolution 1244 and equal human rights of all inhabitants of the Province.

All pressures and blackmails against Serbia to trade its sovereignty over the Province of Kosovo and Metohija in exchange for candidacy or membership in European Union are neocolonial methods which should be condemned and rejected as absolutely unacceptable.


About the author: Zivadin Jovanovic, President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, Serbia

The original source of this article is Global Research

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Ukraine’s Cult of Stepan Bandera: Not a Detail, but a Cornerstone

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During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).

THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS

Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?

The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941, trying to curry favor with the advancing Germans. And between 1943 and 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), taking its orders from Bandera’s OUN officers, ethnically cleansed his native Western Ukraine of ethnic Poles, killing from 70,000-100,000 of them (the infamous “slaughter of Volhynia”). The aim was to create an “ethnically pure” Ukraine before the arrival of the Red Army in late 1944. Documents published by the Polish historian Grzegorz Motyka indicate that Bandera and the OUN hoped that the Red Army would soon be replaced by Anglo-American domination. “His strategy was to clean up the house before the arrival of the real master,” Motyka concludes in his book.

THE LADY OF THE RADA VS. ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT

The American domination took another 70 years, but it did come. And now the Banderites’ (and Poroshenko’s) only historic disagreement with the West is over the infamous “ethnic cleansing,” to which Bandera’s “glorious heroes” subjected Ukraine in 1941-1944. When Israeli President Reuven Rivlin dared to raise the issue during his visit to Ukraine in 2016, he got a scolding from the vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), Irina Gerashchenko: “The Israeli president allowed himself some incorrect and undiplomatic words about the OUN’s tragic history,” Gerashchenko said at the time. “It was highly inappropriate, especially now, when Ukraine is fighting for its independence.” Gerashchenko forgot to mention the fact that Babi Yar, the burial site of some 30,000 Jews killed by German and Ukrainian Nazis in Kiev in 1941, was vandalized nine times between 2015 and 2016, according to data provided by the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

WHY THE WEST WANTS TO FORGET, BUT CANNOT

In the immediate aftermath of the Maidan coup in 2014, the mainstream press was ready to forget even that, since an honest account of Bandera’s activities between 1939 and 1959 could rekindle memories of the undesirable parallels to the “resistance to Russian occupation” by Poroshenko’s army in the Donbass in 2014 and 2015. Between the summer of 2014 and the winter of 2015, about 10,000 people died there, victims of the aircraft and tanks sent by Poroshenko (just months earlier, the US and the EU had been unable to abide the use of truncheons by the police of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych). At the time, the NYT called Bandera the “Ukrainian nationalists’ hero.” Obviously, the NYT’s authors were taking their cues from the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum, with her Banderite headline, “Nationalism is exactly what Ukraine Needs” in the once-glorious New Republic.

But here the mainstream press tried to kill off a memory that will never die — the memory of how Hitler’s East European Nazi allies participated in the destruction of the region’s Jewish population in the early 1940s. This was something not even Anne Applebaum could make people forget.

In his articles in the American press, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, tried to explain to the American public that Bandera’s cult is not an isolated, unpleasant phenomenon: Stepan Bandera never acted alone, he represented a crudely nationalist ideology. Unfortunately, this ideology reigns triumphant in modern Ukraine behind the “liberal” façade displayed for the West. For example, Dolinsky notes that Poroshenko’s hypocritical speeches memorializing Jewish victims can be heard next to, say, a memorial to OUN activist Ivan Rogach, whose newspaper called Jews “the greatest enemy of the people” in 1941. “The Ukrainian leadership set itself on the course of rehabilitating anti-Semitism and introducing censorship of history,” concludes the official statement of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human-rights group, famous for its work to bring Nazi criminals to justice.

THE RUSSIAN QUESTION BEHIND THE JEWISH ONE

If the West cannot afford to be completely silent about Bandera’s participation in the Holocaust, it is willingly ignoring another huge injustice that is inseparable from Bandera’s cult in modern Ukraine — the erasure of the Russian and anti-Banderite component of Ukraine’s historic memory. In 2017, Kiev’s Vatutin Avenue was renamed Bandera Avenue, resulting in an outcry in Russia and complete silence in the West. This avenue, a major thoroughfare in the Ukrainian capital, had originally been named in honor of General Nikolai Vatutin, who liberated Kiev from Nazi occupation in 1943 and died in a shootout with the OUN’s guerillas in 1944. At the time, there was no question about where America’s sympathies lay: the fight against Hitler was not yet over, and Vatutin, born in 1901 to a peasant family living immediately adjacent to the future Russian-Ukrainian border, was a useful ally for the United States. Will Bandera and his modern followers be a good replacement? Only someone with Poroshenko’s plans for Ukraine or with Anne Applebaum’s views on history could agree.


Originally published on 2019-01-15

Abouth the author: Dmitry Babich, born in Moscow, has worked for various Russian and international media outlets for more than 25 years. He is a frequent guest on BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, and CNN. His core areas of focus include Russia’s modern political history and international relations.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

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Former Kosovar Jihadist Recounts Syrian Odyssey

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Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda video

Albert Berisha, a former Kosovar jihadist who travelled to fight in Syria, appeared before a Pristina court on Monday to recount his version of the story and maintain his innocence.

Berisha, who graduated in political sciences from the University of Pristina and holds a Masters degree from the University of Tirana, was arrested in 2014 and is charged with participating in terrorist organisations. This crime is punishable with a minimum of five years in prison.

Berisha said he went to Syria from October 6 to 20, 2013, to help the Syrian opposition in their struggle against Bashir Al-Assad’s regime but never engaged in fighting.

On arrival in Syria, he asked to join other Albanian-speaking formations to “avoid language barriers”, and was taken to meet Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the ISIS commander of Albanian fighters.

“I swear by God, that I had never heard of him or met him before,” Berisha said, when the prosecution asked whether he knew Muhaxheri before that meeting.

Berisha claimed he searched the internet during the two available daily hours of electricity, trying to understand where he had ended up and came across a video of Muhaxheri.

“It was then when I understood that he was part of the Islamic State organisation, so I decided to leave and join the Ahrar al-Sham group,” Berisha said.

As escaping ISIS proved almost impossible, according to Berisha, he used Facebook to contact a friend in Kosovo to arrange an exit plan.

“He then sent me an SMS saying a relative of mine was sick and I had to return home, which I used as justification to return to Kosovo,” the suspect told the court.

Berisha claimed he then joined Ahrar al Sham, saying he also checked the US State Department list of terrorist organisations, to make sure the group was not included among them.

“The group was being financially supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and indirectly supported with weaponry from the US,” Berisha recounted.

While Ahrar al-Sham does not appear on Western lists of terrorist organisations, it is recognised as such by Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia. Other sources say the group has affiliations with Al Nusra – Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria and Iraq.

Berisha said that when he returned to Kosovo after Muhaxheri granted him permission to leave, an Albanian from Skopje told him that other “Albanian recruits at ISIS had expressed regret for not having killed” him.

Berisha said he spent little time with Ahrar al-Sham because of increased tensions between this fighting formation and ISIS, and he did not want to become part of the fighting between the two formations.

Around 100 people have been arrested in Kosovo since September 2014 on charges of active membership of, or affiliation to, Islamist groups including ISIS and Al-Nusra.

More than 50 are currently on trial. The latest estimates from the authorities are that about 300 Kosovo Albanians have joined ISIS and Al Nusra.


Source: Balkan Insight

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Photo: ISIS propaganda video

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