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Donetsk Jewish community calls alleged registration letter a smear

by Rodan ( 2 Comments › )
Filed under Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, Russia, Special Report at April 17th, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Once again the anti-Russian haters in the GOP have egg on their faces. The idiots at Hot Air and several other blogs ran with a  story claiming Pro-Russian militias in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk  handed out letters telling Jews to register. As usual with the Russia/Ukrainian situation, this story turned out to be false. The Jewish community of Donetsk said the letters were a hoax and done to smear the Pro-Russian militias.

Today, the Western press caught up with the Ukrainian rumor mill: apparently, the People’s Republic of Donetsk had ordered all Jews over the age of 16 to pay a fee of $50 U.S. and register with the new “authorities,” or face loss of citizenship or expulsion. This was laid out in officious-looking fliers pasted on the local synagogue. One local snapped a photo of the fliers and sent it to a friend in Israel, who then took it to the Israeli press and, voila, an international scandal: American Twitter is abuzz with it, Drudge is hawking it, and, today in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the fliers as “grotesque.”

The Donetsk Jewish community dismissed this as “a provocation,” which it clearly is. “It’s an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. “I have no doubt that there is a sizeable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid—this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east.”

Rather than fact check, Allahpundit let his anti-Russian bigotry get the better of him. Meanwhile he and most of the Conservative media are silent about the real Nazis in the IMF/EU puppet regime in Kiev. It is a shame a Liberal website like New Republic publishes the truth, while a conservative outlet like Hot Air lie.

Here is the statement by the Donetsk Jewish community on these fake letters in Russian.

 

The Goldwater legacy

by Rodan ( 7 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Libertarianism, Republican Party, Special Report at April 13th, 2014 - 10:47 pm

Barry Goldwater has become a forgotten icon of the American Right. Many forget his 1964 run for President which ended in defeat pave the way for Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980.  He warned as early as the 80′s of the sinister and authoritarian agenda some new (at the time) factions of the GOP.  Overtime these factions took over the GOP and erased his name from the political history of the Republican Party. Now with the rise of Ran Paul and the Libertarian faction of the GOP, many are rediscovering Barry Goldwater and his legacy for the Republican party.

Goldwater’s impact on the Republican Party was immediate and irreversible, said Rick Perlstein, author of “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus.”

“What 1964 did was put the conservative movement in the driver’s seat of the Republican Party,” he said.

The campaign also reoriented the national GOP to the West from the Northeast, the power base of moderate Republicans such as New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton, Michigan Gov. George Romney and Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, who at the 1964 Republican convention became the first woman to have her name offered for the presidential nomination of a major party.

The Western shift benefited two Californians with presidential aspirations.

Richard Nixon, one of the few establishment Republicans to campaign heavily for Goldwater, tapped Goldwater’s grass-roots network to win the 1968 nomination. Nixon also successfully employed a strategy that, as a consequence of 1964, has become common in GOP presidential politics: running to the right in primaries and pivoting back to the center for general-election races.

Ronald Reagan had his first political star turn delivering a pro-Goldwater televised address on Oct. 27, 1964. Reagan won the White House 16 years later channeling Goldwater’s messages of limited government, free-market economics and an anti-communist foreign policy that promised “peace through strength.”

Goldwater’s Republican libertarianism continues to be reflected in emerging GOP figures such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a possible 2016 presidential candidate who emphasizes individual rights as he rails against National Security Agency surveillance and other big-government intrusions.

“I believe what you do on your cellphone is none of their damn business,” Paul said with a dash of Goldwater saltiness in a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Although many are in denial and Conservative talk shows and websites lie to Republican voters about the state of their party, the truth is the GOP is in deep trouble. It is perceived by much of the electorate including many on the Right in a negative context. Obamcare is giving the GOP some lift for 2014, but trends do not favor the party. Only embracing Goldwater’s message can the GOP move forward.

Sadly I know my words will fall on deaf ears and only a massive electoral defeat in 2016 will wake the Right up to reality.

 

Finally, a chance to move on

by Speranza ( 8 Comments › )
Filed under Gaza, IDF, Israel, John Kerry, Palestinians, Special Report at April 11th, 2014 - 7:00 am

I agree with Miss Glick that the “peace process” – thankfully – died last week when the Palestinian Authority under the kleptocratic leadership of the increasingly autocratic Mahmoud Abbas made some absurd demands (even by the Palestinians admittedly  own standards of delusion)  on Israel just so they could continue the fruitless talks. However every Secretary of State seems to  think they have the solution or believe in their own powers of persuasion to change events over there for the better.   As for that corrupt loser Ehud Olmert and the feckless former chief of staff  Gabi Ashkenazi – good riddance to them both!  She makes clear what I always suspected,  that  Ashkenazi should have kept the pressure on Gaza  during  Operation Cast Lead to the point where Hamas would be begging for mercy and offering to release Gilad Shalit.  Indecisiveness in politics and war (the two are often intertwined) leads to disaster.

by Caroline Glick

On Monday, former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s career ended.

Earlier this month, former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi’s career ended.

And on Tuesday, the phony peace process ended.

In the lead-up to last year’s elections, the media and key political figures were yearning for Olmert’s return to politics.

In July 2008, Olmert was forced to cede leadership of the Kadima party, and so opt out of running for reelection, when then-attorney-general Menahem Mazuz announced he was indicting the premier on corruption charges.

Olmert left office in March 2009 when his government was replaced by Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The public abandoned its support for Olmert in the summer of 2006 as a result of his incompetent leadership of the Second Lebanon War. By the end of the summer, Olmert’s approval rating stood at 3 percent. But with the able assistance of the media, and of Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman who saved Olmert’s government by joining it, Olmert was able to weather the storm and keep going despite the public’s lack of faith in his leadership and ardent desire to force him from office.

The media’s romance with Olmert began formally in late 2003, when he followed then-premier Ariel Sharon from the center-right to the far Left. Indeed, as Sharon abandoned his pledges to voters and adopted the platform of the defeated Labor Party of unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza, Olmert outflanked him from the Left.

Always a political pugilist, Olmert was eager to attack everyone who opposed Sharon’s withdrawal plan. He had no qualms about using rank demonization to attack his former political allies in the Likud.

It was Olmert’s newfound devotion to the platform of the far Left that won him the support of media heavies like Yediot Aharonot’s Nahum Barnea, Ma’ariv’s Ben Caspit and Channel 2’s Amnon Abramovich. They were more than happy to attack as delusional independent investigative reporter Yoav Yitzhak who broke nearly every corruption story regarding Olmert, beginning in 2005.

After four years of desultory, at best, probes between 2009 and 2012, Olmert was indicted in four separate cases on corruption charges. After he was acquitted of most of the charges in his first two trials, his media allies began a campaign to return him to politics. Only Olmert, they said, had a chance to defeat Netanyahu. None of the other leftist party heads had a shot.

[......]

Even his media friends have to cut their losses and find a new leader.

Several years ago, they were certain that they had their man. Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was promoted to the helm of the IDF following his predecessor Dan Halutz’s forced resignation due to his incompetent leadership of the army in the Second Lebanon War.

Ashkenazi was everything the media and the Left love in a leader. He was a general. He was handsome. And he was going to save the IDF from its demoralization.  [.......]

Oh, and he was a leftist. Which meant that even if he failed, no one would ever find out.

And indeed, Ashkenazi’s leadership of the IDF during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 was a failure. As one senior commander put it shortly after the operation ended, “Gabi Ashkenazi marched the army into Gaza, and marched it out again, leaving Hamas in charge and Gilad Schalit behind.”

Officers who wished to take a more constructive approach to fighting, like OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant and Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Moshe Tamir, were immediately placed on Ashkenazi’s enemies list.

Allegations of wrongdoing against Ashkenazi first surfaced three-and-a-half years ago. In August 2010, Abramovich exposed a document on Channel 2 which purported to show that Galant was waging a negative campaign against Ashkenazi and then-Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz to replace Ashkenazi as chief of the General Staff.

Within a week the document was shown to be a forgery. It was concocted by an associate of Ashkenazi’s named Boaz Harpaz. It was leaked to Channel 2 by a senior Defense Ministry official, Gabi Shimoni, a close friend of Ashkenazi.

Rather than pursue the story, which stank to high heaven, the media ignored it. Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein refused to order the police to investigate it.  [......]

The only reason that the story of the forged document didn’t disappear is because state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss investigated it, and Channel 1’s Ayala Hasson pursued it. And due to their efforts, the police were shamed into investigating.

[......]

Earlier this month, Ashkenazi’s closest aides Col. (res.) Erez Winer and former IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu were arrested in connection to rising allegations of mass abuse of power. Since then, a parade of Ashkenazi’s close associates including current Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkott and deputy director-general of the Defense Ministry Betzalel Tribor have been called in for questioning.

The widening probe paints a revolting picture of a mass abuse of power by Ashkenazi, facilitated by senior IDF officers and officials at the Defense Ministry and then covered up by senior officials at the Justice Ministry and the police, with the active collusion of the media.

Ashkenazi, it appears, was positioning himself to become the next prime minister. To this end, he allegedly decided to end the careers of IDF officers who criticized his leadership. And far more egregiously, he actively undermined then-defense minister Ehud Barak, and subverted Barak’s authority and that of the elected government in a bid to force Netanyahu and Barak to toe his timid line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Although the police probe is only at its early stages, and it is far too early to know who if anyone will be indicted for what, as a result of the investigation Ashkenazi’s political aspirations have been destroyed. More important, the permanent bureaucracy, which enabled Ashkenazi to run roughshod over democratic norms in his quest to position himself as the prime minister in waiting, has been weakened.

Ashkenazi’s foot soldiers are all in trouble. And their troubles will likely deter other officers and senior officials from abusing their power in similar ways in the future.

[.......]

Olmert’s fall and Ashkenazi’s fall coincide with the implosion of the so-called peace process. For the past generation, allegiance to the phony peace process with the PLO has been the glue that has held the Left together. No matter how opposed to concessions the public became, the leftist establishment maintained its faith and total commitment to continued appeasement of the PLO. In large part they did so because allegiance to the peace process earned them the support and legitimization of the US.

In the absence of any capacity to win the public’s support for continued concessions to the PLO, the Left has used its close ties to the US as a shield from criticism and as valuable leverage against the government. Only the Left, it was said, could protect Israel’s alliance with the US.

Back in January, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon let the truth be known about the nature of Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process.

In private remarks reported by Yediot, Ya’alon said, “There are no actual negotiations with the Palestinians. The Americans are holding negotiations with us and in parallel with the Palestinians.

So far, we are the only side to have given anything – the release of murderers – and the Palestinians have given nothing.”

This week, Kerry proved that Ya’alon’s statement was a gross understatement. The US is not acting as a go-between between the sides. It is acting as the PLO’s proxy.

By offering Israel to trade imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard for Palestinian terrorist murderers, Kerry transformed the US from the leader in the war against terrorism, into the champion of terrorists. Moreover, he indicated that he views Pollard as a hostage that the US is free to use to extort concessions to terrorists from Israel.

As a result of Kerry’s scandalous behavior, the US media, which for 20 years have enthusiastically supported every US effort to force Israel to make concessions to the PLO, lost their stomach for the show. Everyone from The New York Times to The Washington Post to The Wall Street Journal and network news attacked Kerry for his actions.

To a degree, the US media’s castigation of Kerry was unfair. He only followed the two-state model to its logical conclusion. Since the Palestinians refuse to abandon their goal of destroying Israel, they will never agree to a peace deal with Israel that will require them to live at peace with the Jewish state. As a result, they will never make any concessions to Israel.

The only way to keep this fraudulent negotiating process going is for the US to both coerce Israel into making more and more one-sided concessions to the PLO, such as freeing terrorist murderers form prison, and providing Israel with US payoffs to make the government continue to abide by a fiction. In other words, Kerry had no option other than to offer up Pollard as a hostage to be swapped in exchange for freedom to Palestinian terrorists.

Transforming the US into the proxy of a terrorist organization was just the beginning of Kerry’s failure.

His desperate behavior showed PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas that there are no depths Kerry will not plumb to prolong the fictional peace process.

And so on Tuesday, in an open act of contempt for Kerry, Abbas applied for membership in international bodies, in breach of the foundational requirement of the peace process: that a Palestinian state only be formed as a consequence of a peace agreement with Israel to prevent such a state from gaining independence while in a state of war with Israel.

Until now, it was US pressure on Israel for concessions to the Palestinians that kept the Israeli Left going. Now, without any leadership, with its power base in the permanent bureaucracy weakened, and the US role as mediator wholly discredited not only among the Israeli public, but in the US media, the Left has nothing to latch on to.

If the government uses the opportunity to abandon the two-state paradigm, it stands its best chance in 20 years of succeeding.

Read the rest – A chance to move on

Shoe thrown at Hillary Clinton

by Rodan ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under Fascism, Marxism, Progressives, Special Report at April 10th, 2014 - 10:22 pm

I seems not everyone views Hillary as a benign “great Mother” figure who will save America. At a speech in Las Vegas someone thew a shoe at the Marxist pantsuit.

(LAS VEGAS, KXNT, A.P.)–A woman was taken into federal custody after throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton as the former Secretary of State began a Las Vegas convention keynote speech.

The incident happened moments after Clinton took the stage before an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting at the Mandalay Bay resort.

Clinton ducked but did not appear to be hit by the object, and then joked about it.

This is a waste of a show.

Great Tweet

by Rodan ( 2 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Marxism, Progressives, Special Report at April 5th, 2014 - 12:45 am

Not every Gay supports the Gaystapo’s Fascist agenda against Christians. American Elephant is a Gay Rightwinger who rejects the Totalitarian Gay Fascists.

Bravo!

UKIP’s Nigel Farage blames EU for the Ukraine crisis

by Rodan ( 1 Comment › )
Filed under Europe, Russia, Special Report at March 30th, 2014 - 10:37 pm

As much as the conservative media at the behest at the Republican Party is covering up the truth about the Ukraine, there is plenty of information that contradicts the narrative. The EU wanted to expand into the Ukraine to ad it to their transnational Empire and rape them for their resources. Putin had stopped the EU by offering the Ukraine money, then the EU used Neo-Nazi thugs to overthrow the Ukrainian government an install a puppet regime. Putin had enough and seized Crimea as a result of this. Yet you will not hear nor read about these chain of events in the American media.

The UKIP is an anti-EU party in the UK. Their leader Nigel Farange destroys the narrative about the Ukraine and pouts the blame where it belongs, the EU.

Nigel Farage has accused the European Union of having “blood on its hands” over the Ukraine.

Does that sound over the top?

Well it might if you’ve been taking your cue from much of the media this last month. Mostly it has been following the line that Putin is a warmongering bully whose incursion into the Crimea was entirely unprovoked.

But you really don’t need to be a massive Putin fan to acknowledge that Farage has a point. It was the EU that provoked this crisis in the Ukraine, not the Russians.

To appreciate how, you have to go back to documents like this, which outlines the strategy for absorbing Ukraine into the EU. First step is an Association Agreement like the one signed, behind closed doors, by its acting prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Brussels last week. Full membership normally follows later.

Well, that was the EU’s plan and it has been working on it for some time. The Ukraine was to form the jewel in the crown of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme, which would see Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus brought closer to the bosom of the EU.

This was what David Cameron was endorsing last year when, at the time of Croatia’s accession to the EU, he described his dream of seeing a European Union which stretched “from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

The diarrhea mouth pundits beating their chests for confrontation with Russia are nothing but EU lackeys. I wish the Right in America would wake and realize how they are being deceived by people with an evil and sinister agenda.

Announcement From ESO

by coldwarrior ( 18 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Astronomy, saturday lecture series, Special Report at March 26th, 2014 - 9:44 am

Lets keep an eye on this. Press conference is later today.

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT? Later today in Brazil, an international team of astronomers will announce a controversial discovery in the outer solar system. According to an ESO media advisory, “the unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate.” The press conference, to be held in Portuguese, commences at 18:30 CET (15:00 BRT) on March 26th. Stay tuned for the surprise.

An international team of astronomers, led by Felipe Braga-Ribas (Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), has used telescopes at seven locations in South America, including the 1.54-metre Danish and TRAPPIST telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, to make a surprise discovery in the outer Solar System.

This unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate. A press conference will be held in Brazil to present the new results and allow opportunities for questions.

Note that all information regarding these findings is under strict embargo until 19:00 CET (15:00 BRT) on Wednesday 26 March 2014.

When: The conference will be held on 26 March 2014 at 14:30 local time (BRT) and will take place in Portuguese with a summary in English.

Who: The conference presenters are:

  • Felipe Braga-Ribas, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Bruno Sicardy, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Paris, France
  • Prof. Roberto Martins, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Prof. Julio Camargo, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where: The event takes place in Observatório Nacional, Auditório do Grupo de Pesquisas em Astronomia (GPA), in the GPA/LINEA Building in Rua General José Cristino, 77, Bairro de São Cristovão, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20921-400, Brazil.

Happy Anniversary, Neo-Cons.

by coldwarrior ( 1 Comment › )
Filed under History, Special Report at March 24th, 2014 - 8:46 am

Yeah, it’s RT, so what.

 

Do note our idiot ambassador at the bottom of the article.

 

 

15 years on: Looking back at NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia

Published time: March 24, 2014 04:01
Edited time: March 24, 2014 12:17

An explosion followed by a huge fire rages in the south-west part of Pristina in the early hours March 25, 1999 after NATO forces launched a missile attack against Yugoslavia (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)An explosion followed by a huge fire rages in the south-west part of Pristina in the early hours March 25, 1999 after NATO forces launched a missile attack against Yugoslavia (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo. Questions remain on the very legality of the offense, which caused casualties and mass destruction in the Balkan republic.

 

The Yugoslav Army Headquarters building hasn't been rebuilt after being damaged by cruises missiles in April 1999 during NATO's bombing of Serbia over Kosovo. Belgrade (AFP Photo)The Yugoslav Army Headquarters building hasn’t been rebuilt after being damaged by cruises missiles in April 1999 during NATO’s bombing of Serbia over Kosovo. Belgrade (AFP Photo)

Codenamed ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” “war on terror,” or “preventive war” – something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.

Nineteen NATO member states participated to some degree in the military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), which lasted for 11 weeks until June 10, 1999.

More rubble, less trouble

In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo.

In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health, as well as the billion-dollar economic damage.

 

A woman passes a destroyed car March 28,1999 after a NATO missile hit downtown of Kosovo's capital of Pristina in Saturday night's NATO attack (Reuters)A woman passes a destroyed car March 28,1999 after a NATO missile hit downtown of Kosovo’s capital of Pristina in Saturday night’s NATO attack (Reuters)

News correspondents Anissa Naouai and Jelena Milincic, the authors of RT’s documentary ‘Zashto?’ – which means “Why?” in English –traveled through former Yugoslavia to Belgrade, Kosovo, and Montenegro and spoke to people who endured the atrocities and horrors of the war and lost their friends and relatives.

There is a bridge near the city of Nis, which was bombed at the time when a passenger train was passing through it,” Milincic recalls.The tragedy on April 12, 1999 killed 15 people and wounded 44 others, while many passengers were never accounted for.

“We felt the blast and saw flames under the locomotive. The train was blown so powerfully, half a meter from the ground. I don’t know how we stayed on the rails,” recalled witness Boban Kostic.

Our colleague got off the train when I did,” he said. “He was really scared. But another rocket hit and blew him to pieces,” added another witness, Goran Mikic.

Why? Why civilians? Why a train?” said Dragan Ciric. “It still torments me, if the first rocket was a mistake, what were the next three for?” he told RT.

The Chinese embassy in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade was also hit and set on fire by NATO airstrikes on May 7, 1999. Three citizens of the country were killed. The alliance called the attack “a mistake.” China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and, along with Russia, did not support a military solution for the Kosovo crisis.

 

A worker walks in front of the remains of the former Chinese embassy during its demolition in Belgrade November 10, 2010. During the NATO offensive against Yugoslavia, U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, killing three Chinese nationals, and consequently igniting protests outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing (Reuters)A worker walks in front of the remains of the former Chinese embassy during its demolition in Belgrade November 10, 2010. During the NATO offensive against Yugoslavia, U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, killing three Chinese nationals, and consequently igniting protests outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing (Reuters)

Prior to the military assault, the Milosevic regime was accused of “excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.” But was the force that NATO used when bombing the sovereign state’s territory proportionate and restrained? Rights organization Amnesty International accused the allied forces of committing war crimes.

“Indications are that NATO did not always meet its legal obligations in selecting targets and in choosing means and methods of attack, On the basis of available evidence, including NATO’s own statements and accounts of specific incidents, Amnesty International believes that – whatever their intentions – NATO forces did commit serious violations of the laws of war leading in a number of cases to the unlawful killings of civilians,” the rights watchdog said in a report published in June 2000.

The alliance dismissed the accusations, saying that cases involving civilian deaths were due to technological failure or were simply “accidents of conflict.” NATO failed to say that they were due to the alliance’s own failure to take all necessary precautions.

We never said we would avoid casualties. It would be foolhardy to say that, as no military operation in history has been perfect,” said Jamie Shea, NATO’s chief spokesman, the Guardian reported at the time.

Bombing background

Former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana ordered military action against Yugoslavia following a failure in negotiations on the Kosovo crisis in France’s Rambouillet and Paris in February and March 1999.

NATO’s decision was officially announced after talks between international mediators – known as the Contact Group – the Yugoslav government, and the delegation of Kosovo Albanians ended in a deadlock. Belgrade refused to allow foreign military presence on its territory while Albanians accepted the proposal.

 

A US F-15C Eagle flies a mission over Yugoslavia 08 April 1999 (AFP Photo)A US F-15C Eagle flies a mission over Yugoslavia 08 April 1999 (AFP Photo)

Back then, Slobodan Milosevic’s forces were engaged in armed conflict with an Albanian rebel group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which sought the province’s separation from Yugoslavia. Former US President Bill Clinton’s special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, had earlier described the KLA as “without any questions, a terrorist group.” (The KLA was later repeatedly accused of being involved in the organ trafficking of Serbs in the late 1990s.)

However, despite not announcing the link officially, NATO entered the conflict on the side of the KLA, accusing Serbian security forces of atrocities and “ethnic cleansing” against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The main objective of the campaign was to make Milosevic’s forces pull out of the province. The fact that there was violence on both sides of the confrontation was ignored both by allied governments and Western media – which stirred up public anger by focusing only on Serbs’ atrocities and being far less vocal regarding abuses by Albanians.

All efforts to achieve a negotiated political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action,” Solana said on March 23, 1999. “We must halt the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in Kosovo.”

 

A police training centre in Novi Sad, in the north of Yugoslavia burns 25 March 1999 after it was destroyed during NATO air strikes, according to the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug (AFP Photo)A police training centre in Novi Sad, in the north of Yugoslavia burns 25 March 1999 after it was destroyed during NATO air strikes, according to the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug (AFP Photo)

Racak massacre controversy

An incident involving the “mass killing” of Albanians in central Kosovo’s village of Racak – a KLA stronghold – became a major excuse and justification for NATO’s decision to start its operation. Serbs were blamed for the deaths of dozens of Albanian “civilians” on January 15, 1999. However, it was alleged that the accusations could have been false and the bodies actually belonged to KLA insurgents whose clothes had been changed.

 

Kosovar families enter Racak mosque where the coffins of ethnic Albanians killed on January 15 were brought in,10 February, in southern Kosovo (AFP Photo)Kosovar families enter Racak mosque where the coffins of ethnic Albanians killed on January 15 were brought in,10 February, in southern Kosovo (AFP Photo)

A central role in labeling the events in Racak “a massacre” belonged to William Walker, who headed the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission. He visited the site shortly after the incident and made his judgment.

“[Walker] arrived there having no powers to make conclusions regarding what had happened,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazenta paper in November last year.

Yugoslav authorities accused Walker of going beyond his mission and proclaimed him persona non grata, while Western leaders were infuriated over the Racak incident.

 

Smoke rises over the local red cross office destroyed in last night's NATO air strike on centre of Kosovo's capital Pristina March 29, 1999 (Reuters)Smoke rises over the local red cross office destroyed in last night’s NATO air strike on centre of Kosovo’s capital Pristina March 29, 1999 (Reuters)

And some time later the bombing started,” Lavrov recalled, adding that the situation in Racak became the “trigger point.” Moscow insisted that an investigation should be carried out. The EU commissioned a group of Finnish forensic experts to prepare a report on the incident. Later, the European Union handed it over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Lavrov said. The full version of the document has never been made public, said the minister, who was Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN between 1994 and 2004.

But parts of the report leaked and were quoted in the media saying that [the victims] were not civilians and that all the bodies found in Racak were in disguise and that bullet holes on clothes and bodies did not match. There was also no one who was killed at short range,” Lavrov said. “Even though I’ve repeatedly raised this issue, the report itself still has not been shown.”

 

An Ethnic Albanian refugee from Kosovo looks at her destroyed kitchen after she returned to her house, reportedly destroyed by Serbs, 22 June 1999 on a road near Orahovac (AFP Photo)An Ethnic Albanian refugee from Kosovo looks at her destroyed kitchen after she returned to her house, reportedly destroyed by Serbs, 22 June 1999 on a road near Orahovac (AFP Photo)

NATO halted its air campaign with the signing of the Military Technical Agreement in Kumanovo on June 9, 1999, with the Yugoslav government agreeing to withdraw its forces from Kosovo. On June 10, 1999, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1244 to establish the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

In August 2013, Amnesty International accused the UNMIK of failing to properly investigate the abductions and murders of Kosovo Serbs in the aftermath of the 1998-1999 war.

“Years have passed and the fate of the majority of the missing on both sides of the conflict is still unresolved, with their families still waiting for justice,” the organization said.

Moscow’s former envoy to NATO (1997-2002), Viktor Zavarzin, believes the military alliance’s aggression was “a crime against humanity” and a “violation of international laws and norms.” The event that unfolded 15 years ago laid ground to a new era of the development of international relations – the era of “chaosization of international law and its arbitrary manipulation,” Zavarzin, an MP for the United Russia party said at the State Duma plenary session on Friday.

 

Photo released 11 May 1999 by the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug shows a view of a bridge on the Belgrade-Nis highway, 90 km south of Belgrade which was reportedly damaged during NATO air strikes the night before (AFP Photo)Photo released 11 May 1999 by the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug shows a view of a bridge on the Belgrade-Nis highway, 90 km south of Belgrade which was reportedly damaged during NATO air strikes the night before (AFP Photo)

Michael McFaul, who recently quit the post of the US Ambassador to Russia, tweeted his reaction to RT’s NATO bombing anniversary coverage, pointing to dramatic growth in Serbia after Milosovic was ousted.

However, the cost of NATO’s bombardment was estimated at billions of US dollars.

8h
Michael McFaul        ✔ @McFaul

.@RT_com Want to know what life after Milosevic has been like in Serbia? Just Google like I did: “gdp per capita serbia” . Congrats Serbs!

jelena milincic RT @Jelena_Milincic
Follow

@McFaul @RT_com I invite you to come with me to Serbia and see how “economy grows” after bombing that left us with $30bln dollars damage
2:18 AM – 24 Mar 2014
61 Retweets 37 favorites

Former countries of Yugoslavia did see a growth of their GDP in the beginning of the 21st century, reflecting global growth, but like almost all emerging economies, suffered a drastic fall in 2008.

 

Image from www.google.com/publicdataImage from www.google.com/publicdata

 

 

 

The Crimea, Russia, and The Ukraine

by coldwarrior ( 20 Comments › )
Filed under Bigotry, History, Open thread, Orthodox Christianity, Politics, Russia, Special Report at March 3rd, 2014 - 5:30 pm

This ‘crisis’ in The Crimea’ is fascinating to watch. I am watching the reaction in America more than the events on the ground in The Crimea.  The reaction here is interesting and sad. Strange bedfellows are being made. None of the reactions make much sense.  I’d like to take this time to bring in some facts, try to do some education and maybe clarify some things. So let’s get started.

 

The Crimea is a peninsula that is NOT part of Ukraine in the traditional sense. It is an Autonomous Parliamentary Republic with it’s own constitution. It is 60% Russian, 25% Ukrainian, and 10% Muslim Tartars.  The Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 when Khrushchev decided to make it part of the Ukraine. He was a Ukrainian and his Dacha was located on the coast in the Crimea. It was a jab in the eye to the Russians who looked at him as an oaf.  The Crimea is the Home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The Crimea has seen turmoil in the past. It was Scythian, then Greek, then Roman, then Turk, Then Slavic (1783). (an error here has been corrected, do see comment 15 for details. my apologies in advance.)

Until the late 18th century, Slavery in the Ottoman Empire thrived, with Crimean Tatars selling slaves to the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[21] About 2 million slaves from Russia and Ukraine were sold over the period 1500–1700.[22] In 1769 a last major Tatar raid, which took place during the Russo-Turkish War, saw the capture of 20,000 slaves.[23]

In 1853-6, The Russians faced off against the Western powers over the right for Russia to protect Orthodox Christians and to prevent the expansion of the Christian Russian Empire by helping the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War . This wouldn’t be the last time that the West fought on the side of the Muslims against the Orthodox Christians.  The Serbs got the same treatment in the 1990′s by The ‘Christian West’.

The Ukraine and Russia. To say that The Ukraine and Russia are culturally close is a gross understatement. There are instances in history when they are at each others throats and times when they are staunchly allies. This spat over the Crimea wont be the last feud either. The purposeful lack of understanding and misinformation in the press and on the blogs is doing nothing but compounding the problems and stoking the fire. Does no one fact check anymore? I rolled out of bed and saw on the Screaming Drudge Headline that ‘Russia Invades Ukraine’. I was stunned. Then I read on and saw that it was the Crimea the Russians were protecting. The headline looked like WW3 just started because tanks and paratroopers were all over Kiev, when in fact it is Russia protecting their people, bases, assets, and Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea as any responsible nation would do.

This is a pretty weak example of an invasion. treaty between the Ukraine and Russia states that the Russians can have 25k troops in the Crimea, there are 16k. the Crimean government wanted all 25 k until further notice but Putin said no. It’s kind of hard to call this an invasion if the government asked for the troops. The thing with Putin is that he isn’t Hitler, this isn’t 1939, he isn’t Satan. He is a patriotic neo-Tsarist. He wants to assure that Russia is a regional power if not THE regional  hegemon. remember, he has China to the East and the Muslim world and India to the South. Like him or not, he acts in the best interest of Russia. And he knows that if he invade Ukraine proper or any of the NATO members that there will be war. He won’t though. There is no need and nothing to gain by forceably holding these lands.

Just about every truck and vehicle I have seen in photos and video has Black Sea Fleet markers on them, all of the troops except the pro-Russian Crimean defense guys are Black Sea Fleet uniformed, plus 2k actual marines. The non-Russian airbases that they went to and then left also contained Russian air defense systems for the Fleet. so I’m guessing they grabbed some ‘brains’ or other sensitive gear and left on the same trucks as they came in on.

Here is one of the big problems for Kiev, they get a billion dollars a year for ‘rent’ until 2042 for the Fleet. If the Crimea bolts and goes to Russia, that payment is over.

No actual violations of treaties have occurred as Russia is allowed free travel to and from the Crimea for the Black Sea Fleet. As invasions go, this one is pretty weak. I’ll say that Palin, The Neo-cons, the press, and many on the right are correct when Putin actually invades the Ukraine and not the Crimea. We and NATO are under absolutely no obligation to defend the Crimea, or the Ukraine, for that matter.

The Crimea will vote in late May on whether to stay attached to Kiev or to Moscow. They are an autonomous republic in union with Kiev right now. They can walk away at any time. Given the new nationalism in Kiev and the economic turmoil to come, this will be an easy decision. The Crimea will leave the Ukraine and return to Russia. Then what will all of the chest-thumpers over here do? This will be a free people voting to move.

The Ukraine. The Ukraine is in a terrible economic mess. Two consecutive governments have wrecked the place by incompetence and corruption. Ukraine needs a bailout. The ousted, and wildly corrupt, Viktor Yanukovych ran into trouble not because of the corruption. That would have got him later. He ran into trouble when he refused to sign the IMF bailout. The IMF was ready with 15 Billion in loans and a stack of demands. The problem is, when the IMF steps in, local control and autonomy leave.  Profit and capital leave as well. The only group who make money on the deal are the large banks and holders of hedge funds that profit on this chaos.

 

This was illustrated brilliantly during the Sach’s ‘Shock Therapy’ in the 1990′s in Eastern Europe. It worked in some areas, failed in others and the large international banks ended up holding capital and assets that otherwise would have remained native profit centers. It works like this: the state has to raise interest rates and retard the loans at teh direction of the IMF thereby destroying the flow of money. Businesses fail, Soros et al come in and buy these assets and control or resell for a profit. Some might say this is capitalism. I do not. This is not capitalism, this is the willful destruction of the very assets that would lead a country out of trouble and out of the grip of IMF control.  This occurred all over Eastern Europe in the 1990′s with Soros ans his hedge fund Quantum Fund NV. They vampire off of IMF destruction. The IMF, large banks, BCCI(remember them?) , and Soros are so intermarried that I wont’ get into it here. Google it yourself.

Since Yanukovich refused to sign the loan, something had to be done. Yes, he should have been jailed for corruption, but after a trial. What occurred is that Soros, through his ‘Open Societies’ initiative, infiltrated the Maidan uprisings and helped turn them violent. At the beginning, these protests were legitimate native anger. Then in comes the NGO’s, Open Societies, Anarchists/Nazis/OWS from outside Ukraine and some of Soros’ people like John McCain to help capitalize on chaos.

Putin also offered a $15 Billion loan package that Yanukovich  signed that was far less abusive to the Ukraine, but Yanukovich was removed from power and Putin agreed with IMF demands to suspend after the first $3 billion worth of Ukrainian Eurobonds had already been purchased. Yanukovich was legitimately elected and removed illegally.  (He should have been tried on corruption charges. ) S0 who steps in after this removal of a legally elected President? The former President of Ukraine and Central Banker Viktor Yushchenko. He has already stated he is more than willing to accept the IMF deal without negotiations. This will give Soros, who backed the removal of Yanukovich by funding the escalation to violence of the year old Maidan Protests, the arena he needs to make a profit from the chaos in Ukraine. Soros doesn’t fund these things for free.

 

America: First I would ask, What is our national interest in the Crimea? Given its history, none.  Second, Does it matter if the Crimea becomes Russian? It does not. Third, Why did we help overthrow a legitimately elected head of state who was not at all hostile to us or in any way a threat? Fourth, Is this ‘concern’ over Crimea simply a cover to let Obama distract the people from his failures? Fifth, is it even worth the effort given the ethnic makeup of the Crimea that they will vote to join Moscow in the near future? It isn’t worth the chest-pounding. And lastly, are the ever so brave Neo-con chicken-hawks willing to personally go to war over this?

And last; How long until we hear about the ‘plight of the ethnic Tartars’ ? The same Muslim Tartars who sided with the Nazi’s in WW2.

 

Ukraine – Another Perspective

by 1389AD ( 12 Comments › )
Filed under Orthodox Christianity, Special Report at March 1st, 2014 - 9:56 am

Podcast from Ancient Faith Radio:

James George Jatras
James George Jatras

February 26, 2014 Length: 34:13

As we continue to follow the news in Ukraine, Ancient Faith Radio is commited to bring you a balanced perspective on the events and implications for the Orthodox Church. Today, Kevin Allen is speaking with Ukrainian expert and Orthodox Christian Mr James Jatras. Mr Jatras is a former US diplomat, US Senate staffer and a member of the American Institute of Ukraine.