zaterdag 1 november 2014

Media Corruptie 22

Allereerst dit:

'If you think of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia there were war crime tribunals set up because of atrocities in those places. Those atrocities were absolutely no worse than the atrocities perpetrated in Latin America, and the hand behind the perpetrators was the United States,' says Jean Franco.

Launched in January 2014, the histories of violence 'Disposable Life' project interrogates the meaning of mass violence and human destruction in the 21st Century. Inviting critical reflections from renowned public intellectuals, artists and writers, this three year project will feature a series of monthly filmed reflections from our illustrious list of participants (see contributors below); a subsequent feature film for public broadcast; accompanying book of complementary essays and associated publications/media articles; along with a series of global events that will bring together the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to offer innovative and publicly engaging forums to inform debate and rethink the ideals of global citizenship.

The tenth contribution to our reflections series is provided by the renowned Latin American specialist Jean Franco. Drawing upon her extensive understanding and personal experience of the region, Franco maps out the history of state violence as perpetrated against disposable populations, notably indigenous, onto the privatization of atrocity in more contemporary times and what this means for normalizing a fatalistic politics that destroys hope and political transformation. Franco focuses directly here on the symbolic nature of violence against disposable bodies, onto asking searching questions regarding complicity and who should still be held responsible for past atrocities.

Jean Franco spreekt over de onzichtbaren, de stemlozen, de overtolligen, degenen die door de macht worden gezien als wegwerpartikelen, individuen die geen geschiedenis maken, maar haar over zich heen krijgen, mensen die zonder ophef konden worden vermoord door het politieke beleid van Washington. Hun dood heeft de westerse mainstream media niets geleerd, werkelijk helemaal niets, want nog steeds spreken de poortwachters van de macht van 'het vredestichtende Westen,' en prijzen ze de VS als een 'democratie' die ‘decennialang als ordebewaker en politie agent [fungeerde].’ En nog steeds presenteert de 'vrije pers' elk nieuw bloedbad als 'humanitair ingrijpen.' De propaganda stelt dat de 'beschaafde' wereld de 'reponsibility to protect' bezit, terwijl de chaos in bijvoorbeeld Afghanistan, Irak, Libië precies het tegenovergestelde bewijst. Overal waar het neoliberale Westen openlijk of in het geheim intervenieert is een bloedige chaos het resultaat. Overal waar de CIA als bloedhond van de machtigen in Washington en op Wall Street actief is, laat de VS 'een spoor van vernieling' achter, zoals Tim Weiner in zijn boek over de geschiedenis van de geheime dienst stelt. De voorstelling van zaken van de commerciële massamedia kan niet, nee mag zelfs niet de werkelijkheid van de geopolitiek van deze grootmacht structureel tegen het licht houden, omdat dan de mythe van het altruïstische Westen wordt doorgeprikt. De wereldwijde kloof tussen arm en rijk kan alleen blijven groeien zolang de propaganda van de mainstream-pers geloofwaardig blijft. Intussen kan de grootst mogelijke smeerlapperij ongestoord doorgaan. Nazi's en neo-nazi's werden en worden nog steeds door Washington ingehuurd om het vuile werk te doen. 

Investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau’s new book unveils the secret history of how the United States became a safe haven for thousands of Nazi war criminals. Many of them were brought here after World War II by the CIA and got support from then FBI-Director J. Edgar Hoover. Lichtblau first broke the story in 2010, based on newly declassified documents. Now, after interviews with dozens of agents for the first time, he has published his new book, 'The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.'

Maar ook het fascisme van de elite in Washington en op Wall Street kent zijn — in  het jargon van geheime diensten — 'blowback,' oftewel 'unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the aggressor.'

Het CIA-draaiboek voor Oekraïne had kennelijk niet voorzien dat de bevolking van de Krim zich zou mogen uitspreken over aansluiting bij Rusland, waardoor de NAVO achter het net viste, en Rusland een warme haven behield voor zijn marine. Maar dit feit wordt nauwgezet verzwegen door de westerse mainstream-pers, die het conflict presenteert als een strijd tussen goed en kwaad. In die simplistische voorstelling van zaken past natuurlijk geen informatie over de 'false-flag-operations,' waar de CIA om bekend staat. Maar dat er sprake is van CIA- en ongetwijfeld KGB-interventies beseft iedere onafhankelijke waarnemer. Zo berichtte de kritische westerse website globalresearch op 18 april 2014:

Hidden Agenda behind CIA Director Brennan’s Trip to Kiev: 'Initiate the Use Of Force' in Eastern Ukraine

The recent visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Ukraine was likely an attempt to initiate the use of force against pro-federalization protests, Brandon Turbeville, an American international affairs expert, told RIA Novosti.

'It’s clear that the CIA director’s presence in Kiev is much more than mere coincidence,' Turbeville said.

'Despite the denials by the White House, it seems that Brennan’s visit was an attempt to, at the very least, express support for a violent crackdown on pro-Russian protesters and militants in Eastern Ukraine. It is more likely, however, that Brennan’s trip was an attempt to formulate, encourage and initiate that use of force,' he added.

CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters.

'Brennan’s appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence,' Turbeville said.
'Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals,”'Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti.

“The reported presence of Greystone mercenaries in Ukraine is typical of the CIA using shadowy front companies with murky interconnecting relationships to carry out agency operations,” Madsen said.

Sreeram Chaulia, Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs, believes the CIA director traveled to Kiev with promises of large sums of money 'to create new special units and squads that can help in crushing the people’s uprisings in eastern Ukraine.'

'He must have gone in person rather than leave it to the local CIA station chief so as to give hope to the Ukrainian security agencies that a new Western-dominated reordering of the state is underway, and that they should hence stop being ambivalent about Russia,' Chaulia told RIA Novosti.

Chaulia said the visit was a US attempt to make Ukraine 'more confrontational and aggressive toward Russia by showing a high level of Western commitment for counter-intelligence and sabotage.'

Several American organizations are known to be involved in meddling in domestic affairs of other countries, including staging revolutions. In Ukraine, the US held a series of so-called TechCamps over the past two years to train social activists. Similar workshops are regularly held in other states and often coincide with epicenters of revolutions and unrest.

'The involvement of organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute should not be overlooked either, since John McCain, who is heavily involved with the IRI even went so far as to travel to Ukraine to express support for the neo-Nazis and fascists who were in the process of seizing power,' Turbeville said.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has said the US spent $5 billion over the past 20 years to build up so-called pro-democracy forces in Ukraine and that Washington was ready to financially support Kiev if it implements necessary political reforms.

Het spreekt voor zich dat deze context door de 'vrije pers' zorgvuldig wordt verwegen, ondanks het feit, of beter nog, juist omdat informatie over de 'vreselijke staat van dienst' van de CIA bij mainstream-journalisten algemeen bekend is. De kwalificatie over de CIA-terreur is van Tim Weiner, geen zwart/wit denkende polderjournalist, maar  

a New York Times reporter, author of three books and co-author of a fourth, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. He is a graduate of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and has worked for the Times since 1993, as a foreign correspondent in Mexico, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan and as a national security correspondent in Washington, DC.

Weiner won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as an investigative reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, for his articles on the black budget spending at the Pentagon and the CIA. His book Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget is based on that newspaper series.

He won the National Book Award in Nonfiction for his 2007 book Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.

He is featured along with other foreign affairs experts in interviews in Denis Delestrac's 2010 'Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space.' Enemies: A History of the FBI, Tim Weiner's latest book, traces the history of the FBI's secret intelligence operations—from the bureau's creation in the early 20th century through its ongoing role in the war on terrorism. Weiner places heavy emphasis on the role of J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO.

De recensent van de New York Times schreef over A Legacy of Ashes:

The chief target of Mr. Weiner’s anger, however, is not C.I.A. immorality but C.I.A. incompetence. 'The most powerful country in the history of Western civilization has failed to create a first-rate spy service,' he complains. 'That failure constitutes a danger to the national security of the United States.' […]

Mr. Weiner argues that a bad C.I.A. track record has encouraged many of our gravest contemporary problems: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism. For instance… he complains that the C.I.A. 'failed to see that the Islamic warriors it supported would soon take aim at the United States, and when that understanding came, the agency failed to act.'

De recensent eindigde met de woorden:

He hopes that his book will 'serve as a warning,' insisting that 'this nation may not long endure as a great power unless it finds the eyes to see things as they are in the world.'

Maar net als de gangsters in Langley, waar het CIA-hoofdkantoor staat, bezit de 'vrije pers' in de polder niet het vermogen 'to see things as they are in the world,' en blijft zij de officiële propaganda klakkeloos herhalen, ten koste van de ontelbare naamloze slachtoffers. Laatst genoemden worden opgeofferd om de belangen van de machtigste 'democratie' op aarde te beschermen. De collaborerende mentaliteit van mainstream-journalisten werd nog eens duidelijk geïllustreerd door Geert Mak die na het verschijnen van zijn 'Amerika' boek tegenover Humo verklaarde: 'Ik vind Friedman altijd wel leuk om te lezen, lekker upbeat, hij is zo’n man die altijd wel een gat ziet om een probleem op te lossen.' Hoe ‘lekker upbeat’ Thomas Friedman, de bekendste en best betaalde Amerikaanse columnist van de New York Times, is blijkt uit zijn uitspraken:

Sooner or later, Mr. Bush argued, sanctions would force Mr. Hussein's generals to bring him down, and then Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein.

The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
A Manifesto for the Fast World’. New York Times. March 28, 1999.

The historical debate is over. The answer is free-market capitalism.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.  May 2, 2000.

We needed to go over there, basically, and take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble.… What they [Muslims] needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying ‘Which part of this sentence don't you understand? You don't think we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we're just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this!’ That, Charlie, is what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia! It was part of that bubble. We could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.
Charlie Rose (30 May 2003).

I was speaking out in Minnesota — my hometown, in fact — and a guy stood up in the audience, said, ‘Mr. Friedman, is there any free trade agreement you’d oppose?’ I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ I said, ‘You know what, sir? I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn’t even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade.’
Meet the Press (23 July 2006), referring to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

'Thomas Friedman is an app. People who read Thomas Friedman, like President Obama and other rich Americans, are like teens using apps on their iPhones. Only this app doesn’t take a selfie, it takes a they-me. See, Friedman’s a mirror, and like a mirror, he reflects. I call the people he’s reflecting “Friedman World.” In Friedman World, America is always saving Muslims from themselves by bombing them and columnists never learn any lessons from their worst mistakes. In Friedman World, the destabilization of America’s former middle class is actually an opportunity for formerly employed people to work on building their branded reputations.'

De visie van broodschrijver Thomas Friedman wordt door vooraanstaande Nederlandse opiniemakers als Henk Hofland en Geert Mak gekwalificeerd als 'lekker upbeat,'  dus als 'having a positive, lively, or perky tone, attitude.' Dat de 'pedante toon,' en de 'positieve houding' ten aanzien van het militair-industrieel complex die de dictatuur van de zogenaamde 'vrijhandel' mogelijk maakt, miljoenen mensenlevens kost, speelt geen enkele rol bij de Hoflanden, de Makjes en de Smeetsen, om slechts drie opiniefabrikanten uit de polder te noemen. Ondermeer hun vorm van journalistiek zorgt ervoor dat de VS zijn terreur ongestoord kan blijven uitoefenen. Voor hen gelden de slachtoffers als 'collateral damage,' die nu eenmaal noodzakelijk is wil het huidige neoliberale bestel overeind blijven; de armen moeten arm blijven om het Westen rijk te houden. Om te voorkomen dat de steun aan dit soort terreur publiekelijk bekend wordt, maakt de mainstream de slachtoffers elders onzichtbaar door ze onvermeld te laten, zoals 'the renowned Latin American specialist Jean Franco' aan het begin van mijn stuk duidelijk maakt. Ik had ook naar de beroemde Uruguayaanse auteur Eduardo Galeano kunnen verwijzen, die in zijn boek De aderlating van een continent. Vijf eeuwen economische exploitatie van Latijns-Amerika (1971) schreef dat 'Dankzij het offer van de slaven in het Caribisch gebied James Watts stoommachine en George Washingtons kanonnen op de wereld kwamen.' Immers

De suiker uit de Latijns-Amerikaanse tropen vormde een grote stimulans voor de accumulatie van het kapitaal ten behoeve van de industriële ontwikkeling van Engeland, Frankrijk, Nederland en ook de Verenigde Staten, terwijl tegelijkertijd de economie van Noordoost-Brazilië en de Caribische eilanden erdoor verminkt en de historische ruïnering van Afrika erdoor bezegeld werden. De steunpilaar voor de driehoek-handel tussen Europa, Afrika en Amerika was de slavenhandel met als bestemming de suikerplantages. […]

Adam Smith zei dat de ontdekking van Amerika 'het mercantilistische systeem tot een stadium van schittering en glorie had verheven dat het anders nooit bereikt zou hebben.' Volgens Sergio Bagú (Argentijnse historicus svh) was de Zuidamerikaanse slavernij de krachtigste motor voor de accumulatie van handelskapitaal in Europa; dit kapitaal was op zijn beurt weer 'de basis waarop het reusachtige industrie-kapitaal van tegenwoordig gegrondvest is.' […]

Dankzij het geaccumuleerde kapitaal uit de driehoek-handel — manufactuur, slaven, suiker — was de uitvinding van de stoommachine mogelijk: James Watt werd financieel gesteund door kooplieden die zo fortuin gemaakt hadden. […] 

Weliswaar kwam een groot deel van het kapitaal, waardoor de industriële revolutie in de Verenigde Staten van Amerika vergemakkelijkt werd, uit de slavenhandel in New England. Halverwege de 18de eeuw brachten de  slavenschepen uit het noorden tonnen vol rum uit Boston , Newport of Providence naar Afrika: in Afrika werden ze ingeruild voor slaven; ze verkochten de slaven in het Caribisch gebied en vandaar namen ze stroop mee naar Massachusetts waar het gedestilleerd werden en om de cirkel rond te maken, in rum veranderde. De beste rum van de Antillen, de West Indian Rum, werd niet op de Antillen gemaakt. Met behulp van kapitaal verkregen door deze slavenhandel installeerden de gebroeders Brown uit Providence de ijzergieterij die generaal George Washington van kanonnen voorzag voor de Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog. […] 

Zo werd het bloed overgetapt door al deze processen. De landen die in onze tijd ontwikkeld zijn, ontwikkelden zich; de onderontwikkelden onderontwikkelden zich. 

Niet alleen moet door mijn collega's de hedendaagse werkelijkheid worden vervormd, maar tegelijkertijd ook die van het verleden. De historische continuïteit die Galeano aantoont, moet verzwegen blijven in de mainstream-media. Daarom kan de polderpers de slachtoffers alleen laten zien zolang ze zonder context blijven. Zodra duidelijk dreigt te worden dat de slachtoffers de dupe zijn als gevolg van de neoliberale context, die de dagelijkse werkelijkheid dicteert, dienen zij ogenblikkelijk onzichtbaar te worden gemaakt. Daarom blijven ze stemloos in de massamedia en wordt het conflict in bijvoorbeeld de Oekraïne voorgesteld als een strijd tussen 'the good and the bad.' En dus verzwijgen mijn mainstream-collega's de onvermijdelijk 'blowback,' net zo lang tot die niet meer te negeren is. Meer daarover later aan de hand van het boek van de Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson.


Let op datum: 16 april 2014.

WASHINGTON  10.497 views

Why CIA Director Brennan Visited Kiev: In Ukraine The Covert War Has Begun

Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, Vladimir Putin has said, and he should know because the country is already in the midst of a covert intelligence war. Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine’s communications systems – and Washington isn’t about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.
If you have any doubts that the battle is raging on the ‘covert ops’ front just consider today’s events in Pcholkino where Ukrainian soldiers from the 25thAirborn Division handed over their weapons and APC’s to pro-Russian militiamen and pretty much surrendered. The Ukrainian commander was quoted as saying “they’ve captured us and are using dirty tricks”. This is the kind of morale-busting incident that can spread quickly. It doesn’t happen spontaneously and it often begins with mixed messages, literally – messages purporting to come from the chain of command but actually originate from the enemy’s dirty tricks department. 
So what kind of conversations did Brennan have during his visit? There’s no way of knowing for sure of course. But, according to my sources, and based on my experience of reporting on the Russian invasion of Georgia, the US-Ukraine information exchange would go a lot further than simply tracking numbers and motions of Russian tanks and soldiers. The operative term here is ‘non-lethal’ help – that remains Washington’s official position. But in today’s digital and virtual battlefield, the game can be over before the first shot gets fired. And if Moscow’s mastery over the digital domain can be countered, Putin might think twice about risking the expensive hardware that he has invested billions in upgrading since the Georgian war. 
In that conflict, the US refused to sell air-cover missiles (Manpads) to Tbilisi while the Israelis deactivated the ones they’d sold after Putin threatened them with retaliation by selling Hezbollah comparable weapons. So Georgia was left with the Ukraine-made missiles it had purchased, which proved effective but not numerous enough. The Russians have undoubtedly rectified that vulnerability, especially as they and Ukraine share the same weapons systems. In effect, Russian warplanes have likely found ways to jam targeting vectors or to create illusory electronic clusters to decoy the manpads. 
So Brennan might have shared data on how to get past the jamming. The same kind of forensic struggle applies to aerial combat, a rare thing these days but one that may become decisive if ground-based missiles prove ineffectual. Since the Russians can hack into any kind of long-distance chatter about such details between the US and Kiev, Brennan probably had to physically hand them over to his Ukrainian interlocutors. That is, to fully vetted individuals, because as we’ve seen repeatedly during the current crisis, not least in the Maidan, Russian spies masquerading as Ukrainian patriots are not uncommon. Ukraine’s politicians and military personnel (though not nearly as much) have a long history of divided loyalties. 
Digital conflict, by its very nature, is a shadow conflict and therefore fundamentally psychological. If you lose touch with central command or you suspect the enemy is messing with your communications, you become isolated. You fire at your own side, shoot down your warplanes. In fact, you’re likely to stop shooting altogether, out of confusion and paralysis, as happened in some military bases in Georgia. And now is happening in Ukraine. You don’t know if the coded messages telling you to refrain from firing are a feint or genuine. In a modern war between two sides with hardware i.e. not a guerilla war, line-of-sight engagements occur less often than you’d think. Tanks and planes and artillery get knocked out from afar. Digital certainty is everything. The absence of it spells disaster.   
So Brennan needed to reassure his hosts above all on that matter. Or perhaps vice-versa. They might need to reassure the US that Ukraine’s military position is not hopeless. If the US assessed the Ukrainian armed forces as too electronically compromised to use heavy weapons systems, then Washington might discourage a confrontation, might refuse to help in crucial ways, as happened in Georgia. Or Washington might suggest alternate methodologies, low-tech or asymmetrical alternatives, to create enough confusion or humiliation as to tarnish Putin’s popularity. The Russian side has clearly initiated such tactics already. Brennan will try to shore up the security of Ukraine’s military signals systems. He will suggest ways to retaliate in kind by hacking into the pro-Moscow militia’s comms. 
To get an idea of how crucial is this stage of the confrontation, just witness how images of Ukrainian armored vehicles now driven by militias have gone global. Moscow will trumpet the news, claiming that even Ukrainian soldiers don’t want to fight, that the US is stoking artificial hatred. The government in Kiev will find itself snookered – either to admit that its signals channels are hopelessly compromised and therefore cannot mount a convincing military operation or that such incidents are spontaneous but limited. A tough position either way. One thing is certain, the war has begun. 

Zionist Fascism 282

Construction in a Jewish neighborhood in a disputed section of Jerusalem (Reuters ) 

More proof, if more proof were needed, that there is a crisis in U.S.-Israel relations, and that the crisis goes deeper than simply the dysfunctional personal relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu's government and the Obama administration (or between their colorful staffs): A lead editorial in The New York Jewish Week, the flagship American Jewish newspaper, center to center-right in orientation, with many thousands of Orthodox Jews among its readers and an ardently pro-Israel editorial line, bluntly asks whether the Israeli government has become unmoored from reality. 
The editorial, "Bibi Takes on the World," takes note of the recent snub by top American officials of the Israeli defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon (a snub prompted by Ya'alon's earlier insults directed at Secretary of State John Kerry), and of the Netanyahu government's announcement that it would build more than 1,000 new housing units in parts of Jerusalem captured by Israel in 1967—"fully aware," the editorial reads, "of the negative response it would receive in America and in the international community." 
The editorial continues:
(T)he State Department (called) the plans “incompatible with the pursuit of peace.” A European Union spokeswoman went further, asserting that the move “once again” calls into question Israel’s commitment “to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians.” She also warned that “the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend” on Jerusalem’s “engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”
Netanyahu responded by saying that Israel will “continue to build in our eternal capital,” adding: “I heard the claim that our building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant, but it is the criticism itself that makes peace more distant.” He said the criticism feeds the Palestinians’ false hopes and is “detached from reality.”
And then The New York Jewish Week drops the hammer:
But it’s fair to ask just who is more detached from reality these days, the president of the U.S. and leader of the free world, or the leader of a small country almost totally dependent on American support? (It’s not so much the $3 billion a year in U.S. aid that counts as much as its support at the UN and in countless other ways that would be felt should the relationship continue to erode.)
When future historians write about this period in U.S.-Israel relations, this editorial will warrant serious mention. The unease felt by some American Jews about Israel's direction is moving into the mainstream. Over the past few months, I've spoken with lay leaders of many of the largest Jewish organizations (organizations that would very much prefer not to be affiliated with such left-wing outfits as J Street), and the question they ask is this: Just what is Bibi doing? If American Jews are forced to choose between their liberal values (and most American Jews are liberal) and support for a Jewish state that seems to be growing increasingly illiberal, these leaders say that Israel—and not the Democratic Party—will be the one to suffer.

Oekraïne 93


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Something very, very interesting has happened in Novorussia

Something fantastically interesting has happened in Novorussia: two senior Novorussian commanders, Igor Bezler and Alexei Mozgovoi have attempted to communicate with those Ukrainians who are on the other side.

Though I am not sure about the exact dates of the events (all I have is the dates of the posting on YouTube), this apparently began when Igor Bezler agreed to be interviewed by three TV crews at the same time: a Russian one, a Novorussian one, and a Ukrainian one.  The big news here was, of course, that a Ukrainian journalist was given access to the city of Gorlovka, currently surrounded by Ukrainian forces, and that she got to speak with the local people, including combatants and then that she was given access to Bezler himself.   Since all the journalists were more or less openly accusing each other of "filtering the truth" all parties agreed that the full recording, unedited, would be made available on YouTube.  Now please keep in mind that in Banderastan, Russian journalists are blacklisted, Russian TV stations banned, and that the people in the junta controlled Ukraine are told that the other side are terrorists and Russian soldiers.  Oh, and the Ukrainian media is the most disgusting, sold out, subservient, propagandistic you can imagine.  And then suddenly, at least one Ukrainian TV crew agrees to show the face of one of the most feared Novorussian commanders and he get's to speak his mind.

But the next event was even more amazing.  Alexei Mozgovoi agreed to a videoconference with not only Ukrainian journalists, but with actual field commanders of the Ukrainian military.  To see Mozgovoi and the Ukrainians speak directly to each other was absolutely amazing.  And here I have to apologize.  I will not ask our translators to translate and subtitle the full thing.  First, there were not one, but two such videoconferences.  Then, we are talking about three long videos, see for yourself:

Bezler interview: Published on Oct 21, 2014 (length: 2 hours 17 min)

First videoconference of Mozgovoi: Published on Oct 22, 2014 (length: 1 hour 20 mins)

Second videoconference of Mozgovoi: Published Oct 28, 2014 (length:1 hour 51 mins)

I do hope that somebody somewhere will translate it all, but this is way too big a load for me to ask any of our volunteers.

Also, these are very complex videos.  There are discussions, some short moments of yelling and interrupting, there is cross-talk and there are even two songs.  This is complex, very emotional stuff, very hard to convey in a translated text.  Besides, who will have the time to sit through it all?

No, what I propose is to share with you the elements which struck me so much.

But first I need to clarify an important point: while the original idea apparently had been to have combatants talking to combatants, the Ukrainian side only had a few commanders and a few activists.  The Novorussian side was composed of actual soldiers.  Apparently, the Ukrainian side did not feel comfortable putting their foot-soldiers on the spot.

First and foremost, it was amazing to see how much both sides fully agreed upon.  Both sides agreed that this war was useless and only benefited the enemies of the Ukraine.  Both sides expressed contempt, disgust and even hatred for the politicians in power and the oligarchs who rule over Banderastan today.   Both sides also agree that Yanukovich was a scumbag and that the Maidan protests were absolutely legitimate but that the original protests had been hijacked by enemies of the Ukraine.  Both sides also agreed that this war had to be stopped.  Now, please keep in mind that Ukrainian Nazis were, of course, not invited.  These were mainly regular Ukrainian military speaking to Novorussian military and Ukrainian activists speaking to Mozgovoi.   There were also some real disagreements.

The Ukrainian position was this (paraphrase - not real quote): "the Maidan was legitimate and correct but you - the Novorussians - took up arms and you thereby created a crisis which the illegitimate junta used and which prevented us from defending our political goals.  We don't want our country to further break up and what you are doing is exactly that.  Also, we know that the Russian "Polite Armed Men in Green" are fighting on your side and many of you are not representing true Ukrainian interests, but Russian interests.  Stop fighting and join the political process to clean our country from the crazies".

To which Mozgovoi replied (paraphrase - not real quote): "we did not choose to fight, you came to our land and you are killing our people.  If you really want to clean Kiev from the Nazi scum, then don't stand between us and Kiev and let us pass - we will take care of them no problem.  You are taking orders from Nazis and oligarchs and you are doing nothing to stop them from killing our people.  If we were to lay down our arms, we would all be massacred.

One interesting thing was that when the Ukrainians accused the Novorussians of doing Russia's bidding, Mozgovoi replied that the Ukrainians were pawns of the CIA and, amazingly, the Ukrainians pretty much agreed that the CIA was running the show.  As for Mozgovoi, he did not deny that Russia was helping.

Both sides were expressing frustration that they could not unite their forces and jointly get rid of the oligarchs and Nazis.

During the Bezler interview, there was one amazing moment was when the Ukrainian crew asked Bezler if he spoke Ukrainian, to which he replied that 'yes'.  Unconvinced, the Ukrainian crew asked him if he could recite a poem by the famous poet Taras Shevchenko.  Then, to everybody's surprise, Bezler recited the poem "to the Poles" in which Sevchenko describes how happy the Cossaks were,

Until in the name of Christ
ксьондзи (Latin Priests) came and set afire
To our quiet paradise. And spilled 

A huge sea of tears and blood,
And killed and crucified orphans 

In the Name of Christ 
The heads of Cossacks then dropped 
Like trampled grass,
The Ukraine cried, and moaned!
And the head after head
Fell to the ground. As if enraged,
A priest furious tongue
Screamed: «Te Deum! Hallelujah! .. "
And this is how my Polish friend and brother!
Evil priests and rich men
Separated us from each other
When we could have lived together happy 

[nb: this is my own translation, I could not find this poem in English anywhere; as any Russian, I mostly understand Ukrainian, but I can easily misunderstand a word or expression so, caveat emptor, and don't take this translation to the bank!  The Saker]

It was quite amazing to see how well Bezler spoke Ukrainian and how he used this opportunity to remind his Ukrainian counterparts how already in the past they were used and manipulated by Russia and Orthodoxy -hating westerners, and he did so using verses of their own national hero!

In another rather surreal moment, a Novorussian solider took out a guitar and sang a song about the war.  The Ukrainians were clearly moved, although they were also disturbed by the fact that the song repeatedly said that these were "Russians fighting Russians".  This issue came up several again later in the conversation.  From the Novorussian point of view, the Ukrainians were also part of the "Russian cultural realm" (as opposed to state or nationality) albeit with a different accent and a different history.  The Ukrainians insisted that they were a different nationality, albeit one with strong ties to the "Russian cultural realm".

During both the Bezler and Mozgovoi interviews the issue of prisoners was raised.  Both sides reported that their men were mistreated and even tortured while in captivity.  Interestingly, during the Bezler interview there were two Ukrainian officials present, one human right activist and another who was representing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for the topic of POWs.  They both readily admitted that Bezler treated the Ukrainian prisoners not as prisoners at all, but as guests: they were free to walk around, they ate and slept with Bezler's men, they were treated with kindness and hospitality. In once instance he even fed them red caviar!  But the very same Bezler openly admitted that "we take no prisoners from the Nazi death squads" confirming  what I have said many times: the Russian kindness and generosity towards Ukrainian POWs only extends to regular army units - captured death squad members are immediately executed.

There are hundred of small moments and exchanges which I wish I could convey to you, but that would take too much space and time.  What I will say is that it was quite amazing to see enemies talking to each other in a very friendly manner.  I was also amazed at how readily the Ukrainians agreed that the Ukraine must rid herself from the Nazis and the oligarchs.  In various occasions people on both sides said "let's do that together!".  Others were more dubious.  Frankly, I am extremely impressed by the courage and decency of many of the Ukrainians in these interviews who, while standing their ground on the issue of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine, quite openly said how much they hated the Nazis and the oligarchs.  I sure hope that God will protect these men for their courage.

Both Bezler and Mozgovoi looked very, very good.  The latter especially surprised me by explicitly stating that his goal was regime change in Kiev and not just the separation of Novorussia which he clearly sees as a only temporary solution and as a necessary self-defense measure.  Clearly, both Bezler and Mozgovoi are first and foremost anti-Nazis and both of them see that there is not "Novorussian solution".  Mozgovoi explicitly stated that he think that both sides could live together if the Ukrainians got rid of their Nazis and oligarchs.

While I have always said that the only possible stable solution of the crisis is a de-nazification of the Ukraine and a conversion of the current Banderastan into a "mentally sane" Ukraine, I am not naive and I also see that this might take a decade or more.  However, seeing how Mozgovoi and his Ukrainian counterparts agreed on the need to de-nazify and de-oligarchise (is that English?) I see that there is hope because the bottom line is this: both sides have much more in common than what separates them!

Again, these were regular Ukrainians, not crazed Nazi death-squad members, I understand that.  And the two sides do disagree on fundamental issues.  I see that too.  But I also see that there is a basis, a minimum in common, to negotiate.  This does not have to be a war of extermination.

The Ukraine as we knew her is dead.  Now we have Crimea and Novorussia which are gone forever, and a rump-Ukraine I call "Banderastan" which is occupied by the US CIA, Ukie Nazis and oligarchs.  My hope is that the just as the Ukrainian civil war turned into a war for the self-determination and liberation of Novorussia, so will the war for self-determination and liberation of Novorussia turn into a war for the liberation of Banderastan from its US/Nazi/oligarchic occupiers.  If that happens and if a new Ukraine eventually emerges, then I have no doubt that the people of the Ukraine will agree that each region should have the right of self-determination ranging from cultural right to full separation.  Only then will we really find out which regions want to stay and which ones want to leave forever.

In the meantime, I am very positively impressed by the Novorussian field commanders.  Bezler and Mozgovoi of course, but also Givi, Motorola, Zakharchenko, Kononov  and the others are all strong figures capable of both fighting and talking.  Strelkov, alas, is still more or less in political no man's land and I am very concerned about his proximity with the blogger el-Murid who is clearly a "gateway" to the "hurray-patriots" and "Putin bashers" which are being used by the Empire to try to discredit Putin. Still, the political infighting amongst Novorussian leaders continues and there is still no clear leader.  Hopefully, the upcoming elections will help to solve this issue.
The Saker

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