Bloomberg says in a post today that the “confrontation between Russia and the US” over Ukraine was “provok[ed]” by Putin’s annexation of Crimea:“…Putin annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea last March, provoking the biggest confrontation between Russia and the U.S. and Europe since the Cold War.”
That’s odd, though, because the reintegration of Crimea into Russia (after a vote in favor – but remember democracy is what we say it is) happened, as Bloomberg says and BBC confirms, in March, 2014, about five months after violent, US-backed protests began in November 2013, and ended in the the elected Ukrainian president, Victor Yanukovych, being driven out of the country by, as BBC put it, “radical groups”, including neo-Nazis: see BBC’s “Neo-Nazi Threat in Ukraine“, Feb. 28, 2014. (“BBC Newsnight’s Gabriel Gatehouse investigates the links between the new Ukrainian government and Neo-nazis.” Later articles covering the topic were published by, among many others, Glenn Greenwald, Robert Parry, and even, albeit 8 or 9 months too late to make a difference, NBC)
It’s also strange that BBC would say the following (even in a piece rife with the British state-run outlet’s typical pro-Western spin):
Pro-Russian forces [ie the Russian troops already stationed in Crimea by agreement] took control of Crimea in February. They moved in after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after street protests.
So, they reacted to the US-backed overthrow of elected Yanukovych. To be precise, Russian troops began the process of, in US political-speak, liberating and securing Crimea on “February 23rd, 2014“.
Yet, again oddly, here is Time on February 22nd, 2014:
“Ukraine protesters seize Kiev as President flees”
“Yanukovych fled to the eastern city of Kharkiv where he traditionally has a more solid base of support…”
It is noted in Wikipedia that Yanukovych had “won election in 2010 with strong support in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and southern and eastern Ukraine.”
Here is US historian William Blum, March 7, 2014, on these events:
The Ukrainian insurgents and their Western-power supporters didn’t care who their Ukrainian allies were in carrying out their coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month … thugs who set policemen on fire head to toe … all manner of extreme right-wingers, including Chechnyan Islamic militants … a deputy of the ultra-right Svoboda Party, part of the new government, who threatens to rebuild Ukraine’s nukes in three to six months. … the snipers firing on the protestors who apparently were not what they appeared to be – A bugged phone conversation between Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, reveals Paet saying: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” … neo-Nazi protestors in Kiev who have openly denounced Jews, hoisting a banner honoring Stepan Bandera, the infamous Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.
And who could forget the pictures of Victoria Nuland and John McCain meeting with Ukrainian neo-Nazi and extremist leaders who use terms like “cleanse” and “kike”, or Nuland’s bragging to Chevron that the US had put billions and billions of dollars into these events, highly reminiscent of the US investment in overthrowing Iran’s democracy in 1953 after Iran nationalized its oil.
To the untrained eye, it would certainly seem that, in “liberating” Crimea, Russia was, very understandably, reacting to the above-mentioned series of events (not to mention the encroachment of a hostile, US-led, nuclear military alliance, NATO…).
So why would Bloomberg publish a piece that says the confrontation between Russia and the US was provoked by the annexation of Crimea, when it was provoked by a US-backed overthrow (one of about 60) of an elected president, who had strong ties to the highly ethnic-Russian east (including Crimea)?
We cannot credibly postulate that the Bloomberg author is unaware of the events prior to the “annexation of Crimea”, so we are forced to assume that he has a desire to paint Russia as the aggressor in the West/East standoff, as do so many working for the Western information systems.
This time, he has taken the easy way out by just pretending that nothing happened before Crimea, but other Western outlets have risen to the challenge, with impressive results.
When forced to acknowledge events that show the West as current aggressor in the (now perhaps winding down) West/East conflict, Western outlets have done what they do best: spin crackpot conspiracy theories about how everyone is trying to destroy the “free world” (the US happens to imprison more of its own people than any country in history, but in the free world we are smart enough to know that doesn’t count).
The New York Times, for example, attempted to explain the events that provoked Russia’s actions in Crimea (the US-backed protests and violent overthrow of an elected leader), by claiming Putin orchestrated all of that, too.
Robert Parry reports on the Times’ fanciful effort:
Is the New York Times really suggesting that Putin pulled the strings on the likes of Merkel and Nuland, secretly organized neo-Nazi brigades, and ruthlessly deployed these thugs to Kiev to provoke violence and overthrow Yanukovych, all while pretending to try to save Yanukovych’s government – all so Putin could advance some dastardly plot to conquer Europe?
…the Times’ narrative is something that would make even the most dedicated “conspiracy theorist” blush. Yet, the Times not only asserts this crazy conspiracy theory but calls it “incontrovertible.”
True to form, another times article recently proclaimed:
In all likelihood no one in the Kremlin actually ordered the killing [of Nemtsov]… The Kremlin has recently created a loose army of avengers who believe they are acting in the country’s best interests, without receiving any explicit instructions.
If someone in the US were to insist that Obama or Bush created a “loose army of avengers” who went around killing people “without receiving any explicit instructions”, he or she would be told to take off the tinfoil hat, leave mom’s basement, and get a job.
But when discussing the dark, ruthless, senseless forces of pure evil outside of our huddling “free world”, we are *free* to boldly rewrite history in our favor, concoct wild-eyed conspiracy theories to our hearts’ content, and use our new and improved histories and our nut-job theories to promote mass-violence against the bad people conspiring against “our freedoms”, and then kill millions of them.
Follow author Robert Barsocchini on Twitter@_DirtyTruths
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly HeartsThe Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.