Thursday, July 03, 2014

There are many troubles in our world, and it is good to get things off our chest sometimes. I do try to keep up with politics in Australia, as well as around the world, and much of it is not pretty.

In order to get some frustrations off my chest, I have just written this. It was written in a hurry, and is not fully thought through and correctly expressed, but it might be of some interest anyway.

On the current crisis in Ukraine, I take an entirely different view to the one expressed below by Paul Dibb. I believe his is really just a restatement of Western propaganda, not the actual facts. 

No wonder Australian foreign policy is in such a mess if this is the standard of advice it is based on! ~
International Relations
Paul Dibb | Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
27 June 2014 | This paper analyses the reasons why President Putin decided to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea, the implications of this for Russia’s return as a major power, and the broader geopolitical policy implications
27 June 2014
This paper analyses the reasons why President Putin decided to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea, the implications of this for Russia’s return as a major power, and the broader geopolitical policy implications.
Executive summary
  • This is the worst crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War. It marks the return of a Russia hostile to the West that is prepared to reject international norms about state sovereignty and risk confrontation with NATO. Under Putin, we can expect protracted and wider confrontation with the West.
  • Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea because he regarded the threat of Ukraine’s membership of NATO as undermining Russia’s vital national security interests.
  • Russia has significantly improved its military capabilities since its invasion of Georgia in 2008. This was demonstrated in the surprise occupation of Crimea. Moscow’s positioning of 50,000 troops on the eastern Ukrainian border threatens further intervention, the risk of civil war and military conflict with Ukraine.
  • The strategic implications for Australia are whether Washington’s pivot to Asia will now be diverted to Europe and whether China also will be encouraged to greater territorial adventurism.
Policy recommendation
  • Australia’s defence strategy should now take account of how major powers such as China and Russia might use conventional force, or threats of use of conventional force, to challenge territorial sovereignty and impose their will more generally.
  • Canberra also needs to factor into its strategic assessments the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on a) China’s strategic policy and regional ambitions and b) the US military commitment to Asia.
  • Given the rise of military capabilities and nationalism in our region, the new Defence White Paper should give appropriate priority to policies of countering conventional threats and coercion, including from major powers.

Paul Dibb's views are consistent with much of the Western news media propaganda, so I guess it will seem familiar and believable to most people. However, there is a wealth of alternative information and analyses available to refute just about everything he has written. Much of this I have already been posting on my blog for months, but I hardly ever see it in the mainstream media.

Simply, as I and many others see it... 

Russia did not "invade" Ukraine - Russian troops were already there, legally under their treaty agreement, and actually in lower numbers than allowed by that treaty.

Russia did not "annex" Crimea - they agreed to accept it back after an overwhelming majority of Crimean people voted for that, which is their right.

The Ukraine crisis was not started by Russia - it was entirely the responsibility of the US and NATO who have been creeping closer to Russia's borders for years, in serious violation of an agreement made with Gorbachev. 

It was the US that admitted to spending 5 billion USD to politically interfere in Ukraine, to stir up and support the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government that was soon to face elections anyway, so they could put their chosen leaders, including extreme anti-Russian nationalists and neo-nazis, into power.  

All this is part of a long term imperial strategy to contain and weaken Russia. 

They tried to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine so they could further unfairly demonize Russia, but Putin was too clever to take the bait. 

They also want to end Russia's vital naval base in Crimea (not going to happen!). 

And to impose austerity and imperial plunder on the people of Ukraine to benefit the super rich and Western corporations. The alternative deal offered by Russia, and naturally accepted by the previous Ukrainian government, was much more beneficial to the people of Ukraine, but it did not suit the US and Europe, so that government had to go. 


If Russia is "hostile to the West", it has many reasons to be, and that is entirely the fault of the West!

The West complains about Russia placing "50,000 troops on the eastern Ukrainian border" - but they are in Russia! Does a country not have the right to place their own troops inside their own country?! Especially when a hostile superpower has just instigated a violent, anti-Russian coup on their border?!

When US troops are placed inside other people's countries against their wishes in a real invasion, that is ok apparently. If the US kept their own troops inside their own borders, just for defence, instead of invading wherever they choose, we would have less to complain about.

When the West forcibly breaks off Kosovo after a relentless and brutal aerial bombing campaign killing many people, and with no democratic vote by its people, we don't hear them talk about "state sovereignty". That is ok apparently. 

Oh, but when the US instigates an extremist coup in Ukraine, and the people of Crimea vote to join Russia instead of living under a bunch of fascists, then this is Russia "invading and annexing Crimea"! 

Fortunately, it seems Putin is clever enough to understand the Western hypocrisy, and is quietly taking steps to bring the superpower down! 

This is why Russia is wisely moving away from the USD in international trade, strengthening relations with China and others, and becoming more independent of Western financial and banking systems, so Western sanctions will have no serious effect. 

As he should, in Russia's national interest. 

But of course all this is precisely why the West hates Putin so much, and is actively demonizing him as some sort of new "Hitler", a ludicrous proposition considering the decisive role played by Russia in defeating Hitler and fascism in World War 2!

And meanwhile Australia continues its pathetic subservience and grovelling before the imperialist superpower and warmonger, even if clearly against its own long term strategic and economic interests. 

Strategic advice from people like Paul Dibb is predictably unhelpful.

Sorry, but I had to get it off my chest, again. If it seems I am sick and tired of Western economic and war policies, and the lack of intelligent information in the Western mainstream media, it is because I am!

Bruce McPhie
July 3, 2014

Further proof, if you don't believe me...
NYT Dishes More Ukraine Propaganda 

By Robert Parry

As you read or watch the mainstream media accounts of the Ukrainian government’s military offensive against ethnic Russians in East Ukraine, it’s worth remembering that these MSM outlets have been feeding a highly biased narrative of the crisis non-stop from the beginning...

Then, there is the cherished MSM tale of the Russian “invasion” of Crimea, which – unlike every other “invasion” in history – did not involve military forces crossing an international border. Russian troops were already stationed in Crimea under an agreement with Ukraine’s government.

And, the impetus for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and rejoining Russia came from the local government and the Crimean people, not from Russian military force. But repetition of the words “invasion” and “annexation” is needed to elicit the desired revulsion from the American people...

It was also the much-maligned Russian press that first reported the secret visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev. Though the White House later confirmed that report, Herszenhorn cited Medvedev’s reference to it in the context of “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.” Nowhere in the long article did the Times inform its readers that, yes, the CIA director did make a secret visit to Ukraine.

Now, as the Kiev regime celebrates its bloody conquest of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, it might be advisable for Americans who don’t want to continue being deceived by U.S. government/media propaganda to recognize – and reject – these one-sided and false narratives.

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