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US, UK, Poland and Canada Pumping Up Ukraine War Despite Minsk Agreement

UK joins US, Poland in sending military trainers to Ukraine
by Jean Shaoul - WSWS
 
26 February 2015
 
Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain is to send military “advisors” and “nonlethal aid” to Ukraine. The purpose, according to defence sources, is to “improve the survivability” of Ukrainian troops who have taken a beating from separatist forces in the east of the country.
 
The move is widely seen as a bid by Cameron in the run up-to the general election in May to counter criticism from the military and political establishment that Britain has become virtually invisible on the international arena. A parliamentary committee denounced the government for not being “active or visible enough” in dealing with the situation in Ukraine.
 
More crucially, it signifies that Washington and London are determined to arm Ukraine, up the ante against Russia, and further undermine the ceasefire agreed between Russia, France, Germany and the Ukrainian regime at Minsk earlier this month.
 
Britain’s deployment of a training force coincides with the deployment of a US battalion to train Ukrainian battalions, and expectations that other NATO countries will follow suit.
 
After the US announcement that it could directly arm the right-wing regime in Kiev at the beginning of the month, leading European officials publicly acknowledged that the world was on the verge of “total” war between NATO and Russia. London is joining the US and Polish governments in aggressively arming Ukraine and stoking the risk of world war.
 
Polish Defence Ministry official Boguslaw Pacek announced yesterday that Warsaw would send military advisors to help train Ukrainian non-commissioned officers.
 
The Ukrainian government is also trying to obtain military support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key US ally in the Middle East.
US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of backing the separatists and failing to abide by the Minsk ceasefire, though he admitted that there had been a lull in the fighting. “To date, neither Russia nor the forces it is supporting have come close to complying with their commitments,” he said, renewing warnings that Moscow would face further sanctions.
 
Cameron promised, “What we need to do now is deliver the strongest possible message to Putin and to Russia that what has happened is unacceptable. These ceasefires need to hold and if they don’t, there’ll be more consequences, more sanctions, more measures.”

Shortly afterwards, Royal Air Force jets were scrambled to escort two Russian military aircraft seen off the Cornwall coast, although both the prime minister and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon acknowledged that they had not entered British airspace.
 
Britain will be sending 75 trainers to western Ukraine in the next few weeks to provide instruction in command procedures, tactical intelligence, battlefield first aid, logistics, and the planning and execution of urban operations. They will also assess the training needs of the army’s infantry.
 
While Britain has deployed troops as part of NATO exercises in Ukraine, this is the first explicit British mission there.
 
Fallon denied that this was the beginning of a wider deployment of troops and claimed that there would be no mission creep. “We are not deploying combat troops to Ukraine and we will not do so,” he said, adding: “We should come to the help of a friend in need.”
 
In the next breath, however, he acknowledged that his officials were looking at what other training might be needed, in addition to that announced on Tuesday.
 
He also said that the Ukrainian government had requested all kinds of military equipment, but insisted that “at this stage” any British military supplies would be “nonlethal,” an indication that heavy weaponry as well as “nonlethal” supplies are indeed being actively considered.
 
Cameron called on the European Union to examine wide-ranging sanctions on Russia’s economy, which is already on the rocks due to the fall in oil prices.
 
His move to send British troops to Ukraine has the Labour Party’s support, according to Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones. In what amounted to a call for stepped-up intervention, he asked how the plan accorded with “broader NATO strategy” on Ukraine, and “what the overall objective of the deployment is and how long has it been in the planning.”
 
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for military and technical cooperation while attending the IDEX military trade fair in Abu Dhabi.
 
In the wake of the virtual secession of the eastern manufacturing belt of the country following the Berlin and Washington-backed fascist-led coup a year ago, Ukraine has been forced to find new suppliers for its armed forces. Poroshenko said that Ukrainian companies had signed contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to accelerate the modernisation of its armed forces.
 
The UAE is the fourth-largest arms purchaser in the world, buying mainly from the US and to a lesser extent, France. Thus, any military deal between Ukraine and the UAE must have US approval.
 
The semi-feudal Gulf monarchy that presides over a migrant labour force forced to live in slave-like conditions is—in terms of arms per capita—the most heavily armed country on the planet. It has tried to build up its own defence manufacturing capacity and taken an increasingly open military role, sending forces to Kosovo and Afghanistan, and carrying out airstrikes in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
 
Speaking to reporters at the IDEX trade show, Poroshenko said that he hoped that Washington would agree to provide arms to Ukraine. He had reportedly planned to meet chief Pentagon weapons buyer Frank Kendall at the show.
 
He said of his talks with Washington, “We are in a very practical dialogue, and we hope in the very near future, we have a decision to help us attain defensive weapons.”
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Framing Iran: Stirling Whistleblower Case Reveals CIA Files on Tricks

Planting False Evidence on Iran
by Norman Solomon - Consortium News
 
February 26, 2015 


Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was.

The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence, writes Norman Solomon.

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran’s 
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian gov't photo)

A month after former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine felony counts with circumstantial metadata, the zealous prosecution is now having potentially major consequences — casting doubt on the credibility of claims by the U.S. government that Iran has work on a nuclear weapons program.

Why Does the Toronto Star Supports Ukraine's Nazis and Coupsters?

Toronto Star Promoting the Extreme Right in Ukraine
by Roger Annis - New Cold War
Feb 20, 2015
 
The three conglomerates that dominate print media in Canada—Torstar, which publishes the Toronto Star, the country’s largest daily newspaper; Woodbridge, which publishes The Globe and Mail, the largest national daily; and Postmedia, which controls the daily newspapers of most cities in English Canada–speak on Ukraine as though they all attended the same indoctrination sessions.

Viewed through their prism, Ukraine is topsy-turvy and bears little resemblance to reality. Human rights, moral standards and the concerns of the people of the east of the country are given no standing, no voice and no sympathy.

Insignia of Army SOS, one of the far right
projects promoted by Toronto Star writers
 
Among the three, the Star has distinguished itself in that three of its writers have used their column and article space to vaunt the fundraising projects of Ukraine’s extreme-right parties and militias and the Ukraine army. These are the forces which have been shelling towns and cities in eastern Ukraine and otherwise committing countless war crimes for the better part of the past year.

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How Americans Die: Threat Assessments Real and Imagined

The Grand Illusion
by John Chuckman - ICH 
In the years since 9/11, American police alone have killed at least twice as many Americans as died in that single large event, the annual toll of police killings being somewhere between 500 and 1,000, the variation owing to many such events going inaccurately reported by police.
 
Each year, somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand Americans are killed in automobiles, the level having declined in recent years. Each year about 15,000 Americans are murdered, down from about 25,000 not too many years ago. Each year about 100,000 Americans are killed by medical malpractice. About 40,000 Americans commit suicide annually. These are just a few causes of death in America, not the largest ones but some of the more interesting.
 
Let’s get a rough total estimate of what has happened to Americans from these causes in the time since 9/11. Just using the low number in each case for fourteen years, 7,000 Americans were killed by their own police, 420,000 were killed by something parked in their garage, 210,000 were murdered by fellow citizens, 1,400,000 were killed by friendly family doctors, and there were 560,000 who just decided to pack it in for one reason or another.
 
The total of these various causes of death rounds to 2, 600,000 deaths, nearly 867 times the number of Americans killed in 9/11, 867 collapsed sets of twin towers, nearly 62 collapsed sets of towers per year.
 
So why are we spending countless billions of dollars fighting terror, an almost insignificant threat to our well-being?
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Kim Ives, Janine Bandcroft 25th Women's Memorial March Feb., 25, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
 
Next week marks another of Haiti's too many "days that live in infamy." Before the February 29th, 2004 sun rose on Port-au-Prince, soldiers sat in the shadow waiting for the signal to overthrow a president. As the sun set Jean Bertrand Aristide, the most popular of all popularly elected presidents in the Americas, would be a prisoner on a plane high above the Atlantic Ocean; destination unknown.
  
 Kim Ives is founder of, and contributing editor to, Haiti Liberté, a newspaper with offices in Haiti and New York. The Haitian-born Ives also has more than twenty years experience reporting with the paper, Haiti Progrès, and currently hosts the weekly WBAI New York radio program, 'Haiti: The Struggle Continues.'
 
Ives is too a filmmaker who has collaborated on many films documenting human rights abuses, trade struggles, and conflicts between the island's peasant farmers and corrupt State enterprise.
 
He's contributed to the books: 'Dangerous Crossroads,' 'The Haiti Files,' and Haiti: A Slave Revolution,' and appeared on many international news programs promoting the cause of Haiti's disenfranchised, travelling Canada and the U.S to deliver lectures on the persistently dire situation there.

Kim Ives in the first half.

And; Valentine's Day has for the last 25 years marked a more sombre remembrance than romance; it's the day Canadian women and their supporters march in memory of those afflicted by physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence. These women are the killed and disappeared and the march is an effort to bring to them "courage and committment to end the violence."

Sounds from the 25th Annual Women’s Memorial March in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's going on in and around our city in the coming week. But first, Haiti eleven years after Aristide.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.ca . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

West Goes South on Israel

Israel's New Asian Allies
by Jonathan Cook
It was another difficult week for Israel.

In Britain, 700 artists, including many household names, pledged a cultural boycott of Israel, and a leader of the Board of Deputies, the representative body of UK Jews, quit, saying he could no longer abide by its ban on criticising Israel.

Across the Atlantic, the student body of one of the most prestigious US universities, Stanford, voted to withdraw investments from companies implicated in Israel’s occupation, giving a significant boost to the growing international boycott (BDS) movement.

Meanwhile, a CNN poll found that two-thirds of Americans, and three-quarters of those under 50, believed the US foreign policy should be neutral between Israel and Palestine.

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Playing Nuclear Chicken in Kiev

Ready for Nuclear War over Ukraine?
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

 

A senior Ukrainian official is urging the West to risk a nuclear conflagration in support of a “full-scale war” with Russia that he says authorities in Kiev are now seeking, another sign of the extremism that pervades the year-old, U.S.-backed regime in Kiev.
 
During a recent visit to Canada, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told CBC Radio that “Everybody is afraid of fighting with a nuclear state. We are not anymore, in Ukraine — we’ve lost so many people of ours, we’ve lost so much of our territory.”
 
Prystaiko added, “However dangerous it sounds, we have to stop [Russian President Vladimir Putin] somehow. For the sake of the Russian nation as well, not just for the Ukrainians and Europe.” The deputy foreign minister announced that Kiev is preparing for “full-scale war” against Russia and wants the West to supply lethal weapons and training so the fight can be taken to Russia.
 
“What we expect from the world is that the world will stiffen up in the spine a little,” Prystaiko said.
Yet, what is perhaps most remarkable about Prystaiko’s “Dr. Strangelove” moment is that it produced almost no reaction in the West. You have a senior Ukrainian official saying that the world should risk nuclear war over a civil conflict in Ukraine between its west, which favors closer ties to Europe, and its east, which wants to maintain its historic relationship with Russia.
 

Ukraine: Debaltsevo Rout First Step to Poroshenko's End?

The “Exceptional” U.S. Suffers Crushing Defeat in Debaltsevo
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

“There’s no city left. It’s destroyed.” — Anonymous Ukrainian soldier following the battle of Debaltsevo

In less than a year, the United States has toppled the democratically-elected government of Ukraine, installed a Washington-backed stooge in Kiev, launched a bloody and costly war of annihilation on Russian-speaking people in the East, thrust the economy into a downward death spiral, and reduced the nation to an anarchic, failed state destined to endure a vicious fratricidal civil war for as far as the eye can see.

Last week, Washington suffered its greatest military defeat in more than a decade when Ukraine’s US-backed army was soundly routed in the major railway hub of Debaltsevo. Roughly, 8,000 Ukrainian regulars along with untold numbers of tanks and armored units were surrounded in what-came-to-be-known-as “the cauldron.”

The army of the Donetsk Peoples Republic led by DPR commander Alexander Zakharchenko, encircled the invading army and gradually tightened the cordon, eventually killing or capturing most of the troops within the pocket. The Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered major casualties ranging between 3,000 to 3,500 while a vast amount of lethal military hardware was left behind.

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Leaked: RCMP Source of "Anti-Petroleum Movement" Intel Revealed!

9 weirdest things about this RCMP intelligence report on the "anti-petroleum movement"

The Mounties always get their man.

But a newly disclosed intelligence assessment from the RCMP looking at the "anti-Canada petroleum movement" suggests the same might not always be true about their facts.

First reported in La Presse, and again Monday in the Globe and Mail, the RCMP report dated January 2014 warns of "a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society's reliance on fossil fuels."

The report surfaces amidst fresh debate in Parliament over the Tories new anti-terror legislation and its potential use against groups involved in peaceful protest and legitimate dissent. The Harper government already has a proven track record for gathering intelligence on opponents of the oil sands.

Famed "RCMP" Crime Buster, D. Do-Right


Murdering the Mother of Democracy: Killing Greece

The Assassination of Greece
 
periclesThe Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union. What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union. If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule.
 
If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse.
 
The leadership of the EU is counting on Syriza leaders abandoning their commitments to the Greek electorate, which as of early February 2015, is overwhelmingly (over 70%) in favor of ending austerity and debt payments and moving forward toward state investment in national economic and social development [1].
 
The choices are stark; the consequences have world-historical significance. The issues go far beyond local or even regional, time-bound, impacts. The entire global financial system will be affected [2].
 
The default will ripple to all creditors and debtors, far beyond Europe; investor confidence in the entire western financial empire will be shaken. First and foremost all western banks have direct and indirect ties to the Greek banks [3]. When the latter collapse, they will be profoundly affected beyond what their governments can sustain. Massive state intervention will be the order of the day. The Greek government will have no choice but to take over the entire financial system . . . the domino effect will first and foremost effect Southern Europe and spread to the ‘dominant regions’ in the North and then across to England and North America [4].
 
To understand the origins of this crises and alternatives facing Greece and the EU, it is necessary to briefly survey the political and economic developments of the past three decades. We will proceed by examining Greek and EU relations between 1980 – 2000 and then proceed to the current collapse and EU intervention in the Greek economy. In the final section we will discuss the rise and election of Syriza, and its growing submissiveness in the context of EU dominance, and intransigence, highlighting the need for a radical break with the past relationship of ‘lord and vassal’.

UN Appoints "Israel's Good Friend" Peace Envoy to Palestine

UN Peace Coordinator Unwelcome by Palestinians
by Nicola Nasser - Dissident Voice
February 20th, 2015

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) did not object to the appointment of new UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov, although he was described by Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, as “persona non grata” — not trusted by the Palestinians and nor qualified for the job.
 
The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted to appoint Bulgarian Mladenov, 42, to succeed Holland’s Robert Serry. He would also be the representative of the UN secretary general to the International Quartet (the UN, US, EU and Russia), and personal representative of the UN chief to the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
 
Although protocol allows the PLO the right to reject diplomatic representatives to the organisation, observers cannot understand why it accepted Mladenov. There is no convincing answer except a futile desire by the PLO to appease the UN and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, at a time when PLO diplomatic efforts are focused on the UN and its agencies.
 
Mladenov not only failed in a similar mission as UN envoy to Iraq and resigned, he is someone who describes himself — and is described by the leaders of the Israeli occupation — as “a good friend of Israel”.
 

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