by Stephen Lendman
Ukraine is being attacked. Kiev resembles a war zone. Obama bears full responsibility for months of conflict. What's ongoing was planned long before violence erupted.
Washington wants all independent governments toppled. Ukraine is the most important former Soviet republic. At stake is its national sovereignty. Its future is up for grabs.
It's low-hanging fruit. It's geopolitically important. America wants it plundered for profit. So do EU partners. They want it at Russia's expense.
Business as usual defines Western policy. Obama warned Ukraine. He threatened "consequences if people step over the line."
"We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible," he said. "We expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters."
Obama supports fascist opposition leaders. He's funding street thugs to commit violence.
They're armed and dangerous. They shot and killed 10 Ukrainian police officers. They're fully responsible for deadly violence.
They broke a February 19 brokered truce. Street violence continued overnight and through Thursday. Dozens, perhaps hundreds more were hurt.
Reuters and AP reported 70 killed on Thursday. RT.com reported at least 77 overall.
Accurate counts are hard to come by. Conditions are so fluid they're outdated soon after reported.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry said protesters captured dozens of police officers. They're likely holding them hostage.
Things are totally out-of-control. Washington's dirty hands are manipulating them.
Rooftop-positioned sniper fire targeted police. Other shots were fired from conservatory building windows. It overlooks Independence Square.
Around two dozen police officers were wounded. An Interior Ministry statement said protesters are "openly using fire arms against" security forces.
Itar Tass said protesters seized a luxury Kiev hotel. They broke into Ukraine's parliament building.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sergei Burlakov said:
"There has been evidence of some poisonous agent having been used against police. Measures are being taken to find out what the substance was."
Imagine if this type violence erupted in Western cities. Imagine no-holds-barred crackdowns to follow.
Imagine security forces using live fire. Imagine military troops involved. Imagine far greater bloodshed than in Ukraine. Imagine protesters bearing the brunt of the carnage.
The State Department imposed visa sanctions against 20 senior Ukrainian officials. It warned about adding financial ones. EU governments have their own in mind.
A Russian Presidential Executive Office statement said:
"Vladimir Putin...underlined that it is important for Western countries to give up their accusatory attitude towards Ukraine's incumbent leadership and stressed the importance of strongly condemning the opposition forces liable for organizing unlawful extremist and terrorist activities."
Media scoundrels march in lockstep with imperial US policy. Bashing Ukraine continues. It's been ongoing for months.
It's entirely one-sided. It's vicious propaganda. President Viktor Yanukovych is wrongfully blamed for US-manipulated violence.
Street thugs are paid to riot. CIA elements are involved. So are State Department-funded groups.
Dirty tactics persist. What's ongoing is as old as empire. Media scoundrel misinformation accompanies it.
New York Times editors find new ways to disgrace themselves. They one-sidedly support US imperial ruthlessness.
They routinely turn truth on its head. Managed news misinformation and opinion substitute. Deplorable Ukraine misreporting highlights it.
On February 19, New York Times editors headlined "Ukraine's Deadly Turn," saying:
"What is obvious now is that Mr. Yanukovych and his Russian enablers cannot restore the old order through violence."
"Mr. Yanukovych and the Russians predictably blamed 'extremists' and accused the West of supporting 'illegal' actions by the opposition."
"But it has become increasingly clear with every passing week and every new effort to block reforms that the Yanukovych government is destroying the credibility it needs with the moderate opposition leaders, Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to achieve any negotiated settlement."
Times editors lied. They did so willfully. They acted maliciously. They support power-grabbing fascists.
They wrongfully blame Yanukovych for US-manipulated rioting. For turning Kiev into a war zone.
It bears repeating. Obama bears full responsibility for street violence. EU partners share it.
At stake is Ukraine's independence. It's future is up for grabs. Moderate opposition elements don't exist. Fascist ultranationalists are involved. Nazi symbols and rhetoric expose them.
Russia acts responsibly. It supports Ukraine's sovereignty. It's refrained from interfering in its internal affairs. Don't expect Times editors to explain.
Yanukovych "must abandon any illusion that he can fight his way out of the corner he has put himself into," they said.
"And the Russians must acknowledge that the problem is not the West or 'extremists,'..."
It's hard imagining more disgraceful rubbish. Times editors added insult to injury. They called for early elections. They want "a reduction of presidential powers."
They want their will imposed. They want Ukrainians having no say. On geopolitical issues, they're Washington propagandists. Credibility isn't their long suit.
Romano Prodi is a former Italian prime minister and European Commission president. He's an establishment figure.
He supports policies enriching Western elites. He's in lockstep with imperial US policy. Times editors gave him feature op-ed space.
He took full advantage headlining "How Ukraine Can Be Saved."
"(T)he West must make clear to Moscow that Ukraine…should not be the object of geopolitical games...Russian interference in Ukraine's internal affairs must not be tolerated."
As explained above, Moscow remained discrete throughout months of conflict. It deplores interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. Its policy is polar opposite Washington and EU partners.
Prodi nonsensically called most protesters "peaceful." He admitted "violent faction" elements involved.
At the same time, he claims restoring peace requires Yanukovych's government readiness "to stand down once order is restored..."
Doing so flies in the face of Ukrainian constitutional law. Don't expect Prodi to explain.
He wants Yanukovych to "extend an olive branch." He offered many to no avail. Washington subverts his efforts. So do EU partners.
"Europe should not accept interference by Russia in Ukraine's affairs, but it also cannot stand by as the crisis in Kiev rages," said Prodi.
"The European Union should re-engage Mr. Putin and make clear that all parties have everything to lose, and nothing to gain, from further violence."
Yanukovych has gone all-out to avoid it. He wants it ended.
Compared to thuggish Western security forces, Ukrainian ones have shown remarkable restraint. How much longer in the face of armed and dangerous fascist elements remains to be seen.
Washington Post editors are some of America's most hawkish. They're unapologetic neocons. They support war, not peace. They're in lockstep with imperial extremism.
On January 21, they headlined "The West must break Ukraine free from Mr. Putin's grasp."
They blame Yanukovych for US-manipulated street violence. They wrongfully accused him of "ramming a series of measures through parliament aimed at outlawing opposition demonstrations."
He's following Putin's "playbook," they said. He's "a product of (his) paranoid conviction that pro-democracy movements...are the result of Western government plots."
It's not the first time he let "Putin be his puppeteer." WaPo editors reinterpreted Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution. They rewrote what happened. They got things upside down.
Color ones are a US speciality. Washington's dirty hands manipulate things its way.
In 2004, Yanukovych was democratically elected. US orchestrated street protests, civil disobedience, sit-ins and general strikes followed.
New elections were called. Yanukovych was replaced. Ukrainians were deceived. They ended up losers. Promises made were broken. Exploitation followed.
Not according to WaPo editors. They said "Russia's secret services tried to rig (Yanukovych's election) the way they fix votes at home."
Russian elections shame America's sham process. It has no legitimacy whatever. WaPo editors endorse what demands condemnation.
They take every opportunity to bash Putin. They assail Yanukovych the same way. They accused him of using "government-sponsored provocateurs."
They denounced his "repression." They want Ukraine "integrat(ed) with the democratic West (instead of) becoming an autocratic Kremlin colony."
They want Putin held accountable for "attempting to impose his autocratic model on a country that has been struggling to become a genuine democracy..."
They want Ukrainian sovereignty destroyed. They want its resources plundered. They want its people exploited. They're in lockstep with imperial US policy.
Before current violence erupted, Chicago Tribune editors headlined "Ukraine's winter of discontent: The thrilling rejection of a repressive regime."
They blamed Yanukovych for US funded and supported fascist street thug violence.
"Many Ukrainians hope to follow the Western model, becoming prosperous and democratic. But a corrupt and repressive government has repeatedly dashed those hopes," they claimed.
Corporate interests and rich elites alone enjoy so-called Western prosperity. Neoliberal harshness harms most others.
Poverty, unemployment and deprivation affects growing millions. Democracy is a convenient illusion. Don't expect Tribune editors to explain.
They blamed Yanukovych for anti-government violence. They claimed his "agents" "disappeared" opponents.
"In the dead of winter," they said, "there is the promise of spring" in Ukraine.
There's all-out US-instigated holy war against Ukrainian sovereignty.
On February 19, Wall Street Journal editors headlined "Ukraine and America."
They want harsh sanctions imposed on Ukraine. They want Yanukovych shown "there are personal and political costs for lurching toward Vladimir Putin-style authoritarian rule."
They want Ukraine pulled "into the Western orbit as a matter of human dignity and strategic interest."
"A Europe-leaning Ukraine can join the company of free nations and fulfill the aspirations of its people."
"A Ukraine tilted toward the corrupt authoritarian regimes allied with Moscow will be a source of regional unrest at best, and part of a revived Russian empire if Mr. Putin has his way."
They want US force-fed policies on Ukraine. They want corporate America benefitting.
They want ordinary Ukrainians losing out entirely. They want Russia marginalized. They want Putin discredited.
Stephen F. Cohen is New York University/Princeton University Professor Emeritus. He's a Russian expert.
On February 11, he headlined "Distorting Russia: How the American media misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine."
It's reprehensible scoundrel media practice. It's been ongoing "for many years," said Cohen. "(M)edia malpractice is...pervasive."
Major broadsheets like the "venerable New York Times and Washington Post (fail to) adhere rigorously to traditional journalistic standards..."
They suppress "essential facts and context...Reporting on Russia today (is) less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when (US media) covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War."
It began after Soviet Russia dissolved. Putin is viciously demonized. Reports, commentaries and editorials have "little regard for facts." Cohen asked:
"Was any Soviet Communist leader after Stalin ever so personally villainized" as Putin? Provocative US policies are ignored. "Autocrat" Putin is bashed.
He "stabiliz(ed) a disintegrating nuclear-armed country...(He) grant(ed) amnesty in December to more than 1,000 jailed prisoners, including mothers of young children."
Media scoundrels "eagerly await (his) downfall." He's Russia's most popular politician. He won reelection convincingly. It was open, free and fair.
Toxic coverage vilifies him. It does so reprehensibly. It tarnishes legitimate Sochi coverage. His winter games have been a notable success.
He's mercilessly bashed on Ukraine. Crisis conditions won't be resolved easily. "A new Cold War divide between West and East may be now unfolding," says Cohen.
Permanent confrontation may follow, he believes. The "threat of a hot war far worse than the one in Georgia in 2008" is possible.
"(I)nflammatory" US media accounts ignore what's most important. "(F)actual distortions" substitute for accurate reporting.
"(T)he most crucial media omission is Moscow's reasonable conviction that the struggle for Ukraine is yet another chapter in the West's ongoing, US-led march toward post-Soviet Russia..."
It began with 1990s NATO eastward expansion. It continues with US-funded NGO anti-Russian efforts inside the country.
Obama practices confrontational politics. Putin is public enemy number one. Relentless bashing risks potential conflict.
Responsible leadership would go all-out to avoid it. Imperial madness suggests otherwise. Imagine the world's two nuclear super-powers facing off.
Imagine the worst of all possible outcomes. Imagine winner-take-all strategy leaving everyone losers. Imagine what's too potentially grim to risk.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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