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Member since: 2002
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Laughable disinformation.

The most pathetic of your moves is in believing there is any way to obscure the direct sponsorship of the banker Yatsenyuk by NATO, State Department, NED and the Western oligarch class of Peterson, Gates, etc., through Pinchuk, Horizon Capital and others. In this case it's of course particularly hard for you to distract from this with weak attempts at ridicule because of one of the main sources telling of this close and warm relationship is, of course, Yatsenyuk himself.

Partners of the Ukrainian coup d'etat prime minister... http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024946300

This connection is so self-evident that you could at least be honest and admit it. Yatsenyuk is the West's man, chosen by the State Department, encouraged to make a coalition with neo-Nazis as needed, and concerned solely with implementation of a neoliberal program as dictated by IMF and EU. Instead you engage in the false characterization that I point to this obvious connection only out of some anti-Western bias. It is your attitude that if there is regime change anywhere in the world, the West is never behind it and anyone who says so is a self-hating Westerner (or whatever). Sad that you choose these blinders.

On the other hand, you have no trouble with conspiracy theories no matter how lacking for evidence, as long as they involve dastardly Russians. No trouble seeing Russian imperialism in everything they do: in this case, every bad claim about them, whether it is true or not, is accepted. However, I have no need for a good guy-bad guy narrative. Ukraine has traded a predatory oligarch kleptocracy that favored Russian interests for a predatory oligarch kleptocracy in the pockets of Western interests. Nothing unusual in that; unfortunately regime changes of bad guy for bad guy are close to the norm. The difference in the new regime is that it wasn't elected, didn't disguise its function as an implementing arm of the IMF and EU, and was willing (and stupid enough) to ally with fascists and stir up ethnic troubles as a means of dividing the people. This backfired in Crimea and moved eastern Ukraine toward a new Yugoslavia-type war among competing ethnic nationalists (one hopes it can still be avoided).

The "stalled bill" abolishing Russian as a language of the Ukrainian state was enacted on the very first day of the coup government under Yatsenyuk. It was the law of the land, and only later reversed by the interim president. Before the reversal, the message had been sent: the new government had welcomed ethnic Ukrainian fascists who blamed all problems on Russian plots and Jews, and had catered to them immediately by abolishing Russian as a language of the state. Furthermore, the first choice of defense and security minister was one of the fascist party leaders. This is the most important ministry in most times, and even more so given the civil conflict -- an even more clear signal to ethnic Russians that the new government was willing to put the fascist attack dog in charge.

This was incredibly stupid, but what does one expect from a plunder team allied with fascists? Predictably, the overwhelmingly Russian area of Crimea, which was already home to Russian forces and bases, wasted no time in going its own way. This hardly required the "infiltration" of paramilitary forces from Russia itself. Seeing what had developed in Kiev, the majority of Ukrainian army forces who were already in Crimea went over to the Russian side. The subsequent election was stage-managed and under authoritarian-hysterical conditions, and I don't support annexations on principle (because of the obvious "Yugoslavia" effect this will encourage) but there's no doubt the result was a valid expression of the will of the overwhelming Crimean majority. The Kiev government should have and could have sought a deescalation at that point, before major hostilities began, and held parliamentary elections in peace throughout the country. As the eastern separatists began their protests, the Kiev government chose the way of crackdown and massacre, risking a civil war.

You still have time to save a little bit of face, not to go down as DU's most extreme apologist for Ukrainian fascism. Simple question: do you support the inclusion of Svoboda as a partner in the Kiev government? Would you have chosen a different route than to include fascists, even if this meant elections instead of a successful coalition? That is an essential litmus test at a time when fascism is on the rise throughout Europe. They don't get majorities, they don't come to power without assistance from liberal bourgeois parties who are ready to make a deal.

This is an ancient right-wing smear.

The crazy thing is that the U.S. supported the Khmer Rouge through China, after Vietnam invaded Cambodia to overthrow them and stop the genocide in 1979. But what does history matter?

For decades the right-wing has engaged in a vicious smear campaign to suggest, falsely, that Chomsky supported the Khmer Rouge. It's no surprise to hear this old lie coming from a "Conservative Democrat," emphasis on the conservative. After all, Wolfowitz and Perle and Co. started as staffer to the insane hard-line cold warrior, Sen. Henry Jackson, a Democrat. Some Democrats were neocons before there were even neocons -- a tradition that goes back to Truman.

What Chomsky actually did was to compare U.S. press coverage of atrocities by Khmer Rouge to those of the simultaneous atrocities by the U.S. client state dictatorship, Indonesia, in East Timor following the visit there by Ford and Kissinger in 1975. Coverage of the Khmer atrocities was plentiful because they were "communists," even though they later received U.S. government support once the Vietnamese communists overthrew them and stopped the genocide. Coverage of similar atrocities in East Timor was almost non-existent. By pointing this out, Chomsky was apologizing for the Khmer Rouge, at least in the insane logic of the American right wing.

That meme apologizing for Ukrainian fascism...

You may have seen this meme since last week's elections to the European parliament, and the simultaneous snap presidential elections in Ukraine:

It's good news that the proportion won in the May 25th presidential election by the leader of the extreme-right Svoboda was very low.

Despite the presidential election results, however, this group remains in the Kiev government. Svoboda has been a junior partner since the February 2014 coup, in a coalition with the Fatherland party, which also accommodates ethno-nationalism. The Kiev government continues to implement an extreme neoliberal program as dictated by EU and IMF -- the same set of policies that have ruined the lives of people in Greece and elsewhere in the EU, after being pioneered for many years in the IMF's class war on the third world.

Those who defend the Kiev government must answer this. The Ukrainian ethnic-nationalist fascists of Svoboda, who present apologetics for Nazi collaborators from the WWII period, and who engage in thug violence against perceived Others on the street, currently hold key power positions in the Kiev cabinet. A past Svoboda member is in charge of the security forces currently attacking ethnic Russians in the east.

How would the international left act, if Golden Dawn held the security ministry in Athens? Would anyone try to excuse it by saying that Golden Dawn was only a junior partner in a coalition, or didn't hold that many ministries? Would they consider it a mitigating factor that Golden Dawn was actually not very popular with the voters? Wouldn't an electoral defeat for Golden Dawn be even more of a reason to call for the expulsion of Golden Dawn from an Athens government?

The meme graphic is opportunistic and methodologically invalid. In any presidential elections there can be only one winner. EU parliament elections are often used for protest votes, since the EU parliament has little real power. In the most comparable recent election in Ukraine, for parliament in 2012, Svoboda took 10% of the vote. Anti-fascists should rightly see this as a crisis, as they do when Golden Dawn takes a comparable percentage of the Greek vote.

The May 25th Ukrainian elections were otherwise suspect, declared after the February coup and held under conditions of civil conflict in the eastern provinces, with low turnout compared to earlier, undisputed presidential elections.

Progressive popular movements were among the broad coalition of political orientations expressing themselves in the Maidan movement. That doesn't mean that the government that took power after Yanukovich fled the country in February merits apologetics from the international left community. This government was planned in advance by the State Department. Prior to the coup, the prime minister, Yatsenyuk, a former central banker, announced on his foundation page that he is in partnership with the State Department, NATO, and NED (a U.S.-government agency that engages in "regime change" operations).

The international left needs to resist false dichotomies wherein, if they oppose Putin, they must therefore support the current Kiev regime backed by the State Department.

Svoboda's poor performance in the presidential election should not be the occasion to make excuses for their continued participation in the Kiev government. No one's saying that Ukrainian people are more susceptible to being fascist than other European peoples. Clearly, fascism is a Europe-wide problem right now. What we are saying is that unlike in France or in Greece, bad as the situations are there, the Ukrainian fascists are in the government! The fault for that lies not with the Ukrainian people, but the Kiev government, the Fatherland party, Yatsenyuk and his partners: NATO, EU, State Department, NED, and a variety of Ukrainian and Western oligarchs.


(Why did they call a snap presidential election but no parliamentary election? We'll see what Poroshenko does about it, if anything.)
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