Category Archives: War

War criminal awarded by established charity organization

What do we get if we mix the most bizarre, dystopic and satiric pieces from Kafka, Orwell, Swift and The Simpsons?

Perhaps traumas of the kind that followed from reading RT.com the other day: that Tony Blair had been honored with the Global Legacy Award by the UK branch of the global charity organization Save the Children.

The first reaction was to take a deep breath and try to cool the brain.

Save the Children‼
Rewarding a man directly responsible for the killing of children on a gigantic scale‼
A man who by any definition possible is a war criminal‼

A war criminal? The United Nations Charter states in Article 2:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

The war on Iraq – which Blair bore a main responsibility for – glaringly violated the UN Charter’s ban on waging wars. But Blair’s guilt doesn’t end there. The legal basis upon which Nazi leaders were sentenced to be hanged in Nuremberg was laid out by the chief American prosecutor during the trials, Robert H. Jackson, with the words:

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

A verbatim interpretation of Jackson’s statement leads to the conclusion that Tony Blair is responsible also for the destruction – material and political, including the deaths through atrocities – which Iraq since has suffered as a direct consequence of the war of aggression spearheaded by US and UK.

Another significant aspect of this tragic story is the media coverage. While independent web media and the blogosphere are overflowing with mostly appalled comments, mainstream media seem to hide the embarrassing incident in silence. I could at least get no hits using Dagens Nyheter’s or New York Times’ search engines.

My family was a member of Save the Children in Sweden and we used to contribute a small, monthly amount. We are now forced to turn our backs to this compromised organization and find another, more trustworthy charity receiver.

Ukraine politics – western hypocrisy at its peak

Most things regarding the conflict in Ukraine are dealt with entirely propagandistic here in Sweden. On other issues our “Pravda” – Dagens Nyheter – usually lets through an occasional dissident voice, if only to get an alibi and at the same time by contrast enhance the proscribed view. Not so in this case. What happens now in Ukraine is confirmed to be a war of aggression, and the sole aggressor is Russia. Period.

There is no ambiguity about the Ukrainian government’s right to use force against its own citizens. Such questions are not discussed whatsoever. No one suggests that there would have been no war had the Ukrainian army not launched the attacks against their own citizens in Donbas. Despite that nobody suspected the independence forces in the Donbas area for any plans to conquer the rest of Ukraine.

Neither taken into account is the apparent divide between people in western Ukraine with links to Europe and those in the southeast with ties to Russia (of which tens of millions are related through intermarriages across the border). We (DN) obviously find it quite appropriate that one of these two parts rule over the other, even when there is no agreement on such a regime. And even when the suppressed part convincingly argues that the opponent has seized power trough an illegal street coup, spearheaded by Nazi elements, at that.

Very little is reported here about the way government forces conduct the battles; their indiscriminate firing of shells and rockets into cities, blowing innocent civilians to pieces and thus scaring away their own citizens, creating hundreds of thousands of refugees. Nor do we read very much about other results of this shelling: a destroyed infrastructure leaving the people who can’t flee destitute of elementary means of existence such as water, food and electricity.

But we had the guts to demonize and ridicule the Russians for sending a convoy of trucks with necessities to help those human beings in their neighboring country. There was much fuss about the first convoy; now at least five more have followed, obviously giving substantial relief for many people. It thus turned out that the Russians had benign intentions, a circumstance that immediately killed our media’s interest.

It’s fascinating and revealing to compare the identical events in Crimea and earlier in Kosovo. When a part of Serbia inhabited by a large group of Albanians wanted to secede from its motherland, USA and EU immediately engaged fully with the secessionists. To force Serbia to accept the creation of a sovereign Kosovo NATO bombed the Serbian capital for 78 days (thereby also killing some Chinese diplomats, creating additional problems). It’s notable that the ethnic cleansing performed by Serbia in Kosovo started as a reaction to the bombings, not the other way around.

When “we” intervened in Serbia it was under the auspices of R2P – responsibility to protect – a concept invented to justify the violent actions we for the moment are prone to engage in. Thus the very same kind of action, on identical pretexts, that we praised ourselves for as morally exemplary in Kosovo, we deemed Russia for as the most unlawful atrocity in Crimea. We can live with that since we have grown accustomed to our own hypocrisy, the worst kind of that one can think of. History will judge our politics as deprived of all moral.

Stupid losses of invaluable lives in meaningless wars.

Who’s killing whom in Ukraine? The secessionists in the southeast obviously declared independence from a government which they considered illegal, hostile and even dangerous to them and their Russian language, culture and religion. Thus they occupied buildings, obtained arms and built barricades. But they didn’t kill anyone.

“We” (US and EU) had no objections to the violent street coup in Kiev spearheaded by neo-Nazis, who then got important seats in the resulting new government (with a Prime Minister picked by US diplomats). Nor did we react towards blatant anti-Russian statements and decisions made by that government and directed towards their own citizens living in the southeastern part of the country.

During this phase we could easily have calmed down the situation, since the Ukrainian leaders were completely in our hands. We did the opposite. After each visit by characters like the US Vice President, the head of CIA, the notorious John McCain and others, the Ukrainian military made new attacks, though in the beginning rather futile. But we helped instigate the atrocities to come.

The regular Ukrainian army had qualms against killing their own fellow countrymen. It was not until the ruthless neo-Nazi elements in the so called militia were engaged that the indiscriminate murdering of civilians took off. Shelling and bombing hit the population (a war crime, by the way) leading to what must be called ethnic cleansing, forcing by now probably one million Ukrainians to leave their homes; many of them their country. Still we had no objections to this tragic part of the conflict and its perpetrators.

We see only one villain, whom we harass with defamation and sanctions: Vladimir Putin. His administration had from the beginning a reluctant attitude towards the rebels, making them disappointed by denying them open support. In our Goebbels-like propaganda, though, it’s Russia and Putin who are waging the war in Ukraine. Russian hawks naturally prevent Putin from denying the rebels at least some real help, but still probably no decisive backup that could be pictured as waging a war.

To evaluate the moral content of the Russian behavior we have to compare with our own actions in similar situations. There happens to be a case as close to equivalent as history can provide, namely Kosovo, where an Albanian minority wanted the enclave seceded from Serbia. They got western support for this action and to implement the secession US bombed Belgrade and other parts of the country for 78 days, without UN authorization, killing an estimated 3,000 people. One pretext for the bombing was Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians, although these really started as a response to the US attacks.

Not only are we morally prevented from criticizing Russia for the secession of Crimea, since we have done exactly the same thing (at that expecting praise for it), we would neither possibly be in a position to morally condemn Putin if he got the bizarre idea to order bombing of Kiev for 78 days, as punishment for the obvious and lethal atrocities against civilians performed by Ukraine. But moral has no place in power games performed by militarily superior states. Putin cannot do the same things we have done; he has to do what we tell him.

This lack of moral principles is something that makes normal people sick, and we really don’t have to endure it. We just have to organize and overrule our governments. The problem is that power not only has the means of violence, but also has the propaganda tools that create our world view, unless we enlighten ourselves – together with others.

How to create a State Truth

Developments in Ukraine have driven media and majority opinion in Sweden quite nuts. Not even the traces of reason sometimes visible in New York Times can be detected here (except for dissident media outlets that no one has heard of). The Editor in Chief of our most important paper Dagens Nyheter – Peter Wolodarski – has turned into a paranoid buffoon conducting a limitless and hateful campaign against Russia and Putin.

Wolodarski and his colleagues in thought are acting as if their intention is to fire up conflicts and enhance the risk of a global war. Their simple truth is that Putin is an imperialist dictator; nothing that puts perspective on the whole Ukrainian problem is allowed to appear in print. That is: one of DN’s columnists, Johan Croneman, had the guts to curse in the church the other day, namely about the shoot-down of MH17.

Croneman had studied some of the works by Robert Parry and the Malaysian paper New Straits Times. Parry is a prize-winning reporter known for his role in revealing the Iran-Contra affair, and his webpage contains interesting information. There he describes a number of convincing indications that the shoot-down of the airliner couldn’t have been performed by the pro-Russian rebels. Foremost of those is the lack of pictures or other evidence for Russian Buk missiles transported into and out of Ukraine.

The Buk missiles are 5.5 meters long and the launch vehicles are more than double that length. Parts of the radar equipment are some 20 meters high. The whole battery demand support facilities carried by a number of large vehicles. Thus the units are easily detectable by US surveillance techniques. For the Buk system to be operative in the shoot-down it had to be transported quite some distance from Russia into Ukraine territory. And more than that: after the shoot-down, when the advanced US supervision machinery must have been intensely focused on the area, this caravan had to drive back to Russia. If US had pictures of this operation, is it conceivable that they had been kept secret to this day, Perry asks.

Other important indications are leaked testimony by independent arms experts, saying that the plane wreckage showed signs of being hit by a missile fired from an aircraft, plus bullet holes indicating machine-gun fire. The black boxes implicate another question. If they had contained evidence for the Ukrainian standpoint, wouldn’t that have been disclosed already? Now the whole question is remarkably muted.

Croneman’s observation and outrage concerns the absolute silence about these matters in Swedish media. I would add that conformity of this kind would hardly be possible even in a dictatorship. But here the political truth, declared by Carl Bildt two hours after the shoot-down, is prescribed as a state fact. Croneman sums this up as “unspeakably sad, and dangerous, and terrible”. (We have of course freedom of expression here, so Croneman isn’t fired, but he’s back writing about his ordinary topics: sports and movies.)

To recommend Wolodarski and all the other Swedes of his faith to read about the Ukraine problem in “one of the most prestigious periodicals of its kind in the world” – Foreign Affairs – would of course be presumptuous. In its Oct/Nov issue that rag publishes a comprehensive and analyzing article by John J. Mearsheimer under the rubric: “Why the Ukrainian Crisis Is the West’s Fault”.

From 1989 and on Russia was considered by the West as a defeated enemy which should accept total submission. The country itself soon became devastated and the population decimated after the capitalist remaking, and not much of a threat to anyone. Still it had to be contained, just as in the old Communist days. In violation of verbal pledges to Gorbachev NATO thus started to expand eastwards, by now having added twelve new states to its ranks. And this giant military machine has only one obvious enemy: Russia.

Mearsheimer reviews this history and its consequences, and concludes that the US and EU have one simple way to avoid every risk of an all-out war: declare (on paper this time) that Ukraine never will be a member of NATO. This trivial and rather natural solution has obviously been proposed also by people like Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former German Chancellors and others. But this is all too benevolent for Wolodarski et.al. who rather rub Putin’s face even harder into the mud.

And now for the most horrendous phase: Putin has achieved a cease fire which so far seems to work passably. He’s acting to bring some peace to the place – the son-of-a-bitch. He’s giving himself away, that imperialist dictator who’s supposed to restore the Soviet Union by violence. But just relax; Wolodarski will soon explain to us in what way Putin only tries to fool us into dangerous passivity.

Brainwashed lemmings towards the cliff?

Questions! Questions!

Are we really striving with open eyes and clear minds towards a major war in Europe? In that case, for what? Don’t we see those dead children in Gaza, with their small white faces and their mutilated bodies? Don’t we see the horror beaming from the eyes of the physically and mentally maimed small ones, many still babies? And despite that let a war in Europe come closer by each day, when we so easily could stop the march towards disaster? Are we utterly crazy?

And yes we, the so called western democracies which we think of as God’s masterpiece, indeed have the tools to change this development; first of all since we are the prime instigators of the whole mess which all started 25 years ago.

When the Soviet Union lost its power, to a large extent through popular struggle, we happily seized the opportunity by helping to break away fifteen new nations from the former super power. Then we approached those nations in attempts to bring them into our power field. (Among those Ukraine was the chief prize, according to a US official.)

For more than 40 years we had been taught that Soviet Communism, with its ambition to conquer the world, was the prime rot that had to be destroyed at any price. NATO was formed for this sole purpose, it was said. Well, the dreadful Soviet Communism disappeared overnight, and thereby the Warsaw Pact, but nothing logical followed. Instead NATO grew and expanded. We had been lied to, obviously.

It turned out that no one really had imagined the Soviet Union capable of conquering anything. The actual enemy was in fact all kinds of egalitarian politics, which threatened to distribute other countries’ assets to their own populations, instead of deliver them to their rightful owners, namely us.

Now we had a crippled Russia which first of all had to be purged from any trace of egalitarian delusion. A handful of US experts in that field (and a Swedish one) helped Yeltsin and Gaidar to give the country’s valuable assets away to a bunch of oligarchs, then force a steamroller over the Russian industry, totally crushing half of it, and in the process drive ten million people into death. It all seemed to run smoothly.

But then came Vladimir Putin and destroyed most of the joy. He reclaimed some of the nation’s wealth from the thieves, restored the public finances so that doctors and teachers who had been working for months and years without salary could be paid. In the process he also put an end to the genocide of the 1990s. Since then Putin naturally has been reelected with large majorities for 14 years in a row.

This was of course too much for us to chew. In our eyes Putin became the villain of the world, and Russia took over the Soviet role as enemy no. 1. That’s when we started to strike our claws into Ukraine in a rather aggressive way, totally neglecting the old ties between that country and Russia, and disregarding the Russian wishes not to have its prime enemy close to its borders.

During this conflict western moral has deteriorated severely. We have openly cooperated with pure Nazis and spread Ukrainian demagogy, disinformation and the silliest propaganda. We have swallowed the almost Goebbels-like claims that Ukrainian authority’s murdering of their own citizens, women and children, must be blamed on Putin. Not a single moral principle we apply on others (for instance Assad) is applied on the Ukrainian government, which apparently is engaged in ethnic cleansing, as hundreds of thousands of Donbas citizens are fleeing for their lives, many of them to Russia.

This absolutely uncritical and apologetic attitude towards the Ukrainian strongmen is our contribution to enhancing the risk of a war in Europe. We put all demands for restraints on Russia; they must not just obey our orders, they must be deprived every right to national security, and their natural interests must be neglected.

There are “doves” like Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski who recommend US and EU to guarantee Russia that Ukraine never will join NATO. That should be considered a minor concession from the West, but certainly a major contribution to detente. The fact that not even these two older statesmen make any impression on the Obama administration raises doubts about US intentions. Is a dangerous war in Europe a realistic option for this administration?

Sweden preparing for World War III

Not least through our country’s Foreign minister Carl Bildt we have long been active in provoking tensions in Ukraine, as well as in other parts of former Soviet Union. The obvious purpose has been to expand Western power at the expense of Russian influence, under the pretext of democracy promotion. In accordance with this pretext we supported and immediately accepted the overthrow of a democratically elected president in Ukraine.

Mr. Bildt’s interest in democracy for other countries cannot possibly be much more than hypocritical demagogy. He has had a long political career during which western powers, lead by USA, have performed or supported the overthrow of not so few democratic leaders and replaced them with sometimes murderous dictators, without Bildt having any complaints. His ambition is obviously to serve as a lieutenant, loyal to the superpower (whatever reward he hopes to acquire by that).

Democracy seems to be something that hypocrites demand in enemy countries and try to circumvent at home.

A natural step in the new Cold War has been to vilify Russia and demonize Vladimir Putin, and here Bildt is accompanied by Sweden’s mainstream press and television. This process has borrowed features from fairytales for children, with their naïve black and white worldview. It has now reached a fantasy level where media and the government are preparing for the next war. Gotland, a large island in the Baltic Sea, has to be rearmed, editors scream; Sweden’s defense budget will be increased substantially, says the Prime Minister in an op-ed in the main newspaper.

We are back again to the old days when “Soviet Communism threatened to conquer the whole world”, thus providing motives to uphold a substantial military budget in Sweden. Our air force was one of the strongest in the world, and our weapons industry impressive (and still quite remarkable for a small, peaceful country). No sane person could foresee a scenario where Soviet troops actually would invade Sweden, but demagogy outplays intellectual sanity in questions like these.

To extrapolate from events in Crimea to a Russian military threat towards Sweden today is naturally even more fanciful. The best thing our government could do to preserve peace would be to order Carl Bildt to return from his never-ending flying trip, and lock him up in his Stockholm office. The next step could be to regard Russia in a realistic manner; not as a defeated enemy who has to obey orders, but as the world’s largest country with legitimate interests to safeguard its borders.

The provocations, broken promises and deceitful behavior that western powers have subjected Russia to since 1989 would not have been accepted by any other country, least of all USA. And the important question is what to be gained from this game of Russian roulette we have forced onto the world. Are there profits to be made from World War III?