by Matt James
“It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” That memorable phrase came from the mouth of Winston Churchill, during a speech he gave to the British Parliament in 1939, when trying to describe Russian action.
Today, the characterization of Russia holds no cloud of mystery and its motives are clear. Prince Charles and Hilary Clinton have compared Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, to Adolf Hitler. President Obama has declared Russia one of the three major threats that face the world today, along with the terrorist group ISIS and the Ebola disease. And one only has to look to NATO’s twitter page to find their animosity towards Russia. But is this hostility warranted? An obvious “yes” would be said by anyone who accepts Western media as honest, unbiased journalism when they report on Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its involvement in that crisis.
But if one were to look beyond the Western propaganda, and straight to the facts, one could reasonably conclude that Russia, in a very sticky situation, has acted prudently and sensibly. If this is the case, then why the hostility? Why the propaganda? If one believes the illuminati is real — that this cult has a long-term plan for the world, and has considerable influence over Western governments, media and military organizations for which to advance that agenda — then it’s likely that the true motive behind the condemnation of Russia is because of Russia’s independence from this group and their unwillingness to cooperate.
Like the majority of revolts and revolutions throughout history, the crisis in Ukraine came about due to poor economic conditions. All hell broke loose when the President at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, in a last minute decision, decided against signing a trade deal with the EU. This decision angered many of the citizens in the capital of Kiev and they took to the streets to protest. The protest quickly escalated, as protestors begin clashing with police. This uprising fed momentum to the opposition party, a right-wing nationalist party who’s minions, a neo-fascist militant group called ‘Right Sector’, were the main instigators in clashing with the police. (1)
As the uprising worsened, Yanukovych conceded to the demands of the opposition party and agreed to sign the trade agreement with the European Union. But this wasn’t enough to satisfy the Right Sector group, as they stormed the parliament building and overthrew the government, with Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. (2) There has always been tension between the Ukraine nationalists and ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. The country used to be part of Russia, under the old Soviet Union, so there are still many ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. Seeing the government toppled by extreme nationalists, the southernmost territory of the country, Crimea, began their paperwork to legally separate from Ukraine and join Russia. The large majority of people living in Crimea are ethnic Russians, who speak Russian and identify themselves as Russian. So when the government of Crimea held a referendum on whether to succeed to Russia or stay with Ukraine, the citizens of Crimea overwhelmingly voted to join Russia, with over 96% voting to do so. (3) This vote and result enraged much of the Western world, as their leaders united in opposition against Russia, accusing it of violating international law and threatening the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The issue whether Crimea should be allowed to secede from Ukraine comes down to property rights. Who owns property and land? Is it the government or the people? Those who believe in liberty, human rights and the right to property would argue that the citizens of Crimea have the right to self-determination, and that the referendum that the Crimean government held was absolutely legal under law. The fact that there were Russian troops in Crimea was not a breach of international law, considering that years before, Ukraine and Russia had signed a treaty allowing Russian troops to be stationed in Crimea in exchange for discounted gas. (4) Also, Yanukovych, the legitimate leader of Ukraine, asked Russia for military support in protecting the citizens after the coup. (5) And with violent, neo-fascists — fashioning Nazi-like symbols on their uniforms, and having ultranationalist, anti-Russian views — now in control of the capital, how could Russia refuse to protect their brothers and sisters in Crimea?
After witnessing the success of Crimea’s referendum, territories in east Ukraine, such as Donesk and Luhansk, started discussing plans to join Russia as well. (6) But this was too much for the Ukrainian government to stomach, and so with support from the West, they launched a war against the pro-Russian separatists. Since day one, America has come out in support of the coup that occurred in Ukraine and hailed it a success for freedom. Since the beginning of the civil war with the Russian rebels, the U.S has supplied Ukraine’s military and supported its newly found government in taking decisive action against the rebels. And when the new president, Poroshenko, immediately allowed foreigners to hold positions of office, an American, Georgian and Lithuanian received positions in the Ukraine government. (7) American Natalie Jaresko, former employee of the U.S State Department and head of the Horizon Capital Investment Fund, is now the new finance minister of Ukraine. (8)
The Attack On Russia
The hypocrisy America is showing by condemning the actions of Russia has to be eroding what little credibility America has left in the world. Here is a country that has over 1000 military bases, in 130 countries and is directly involved in the internal conflicts of 74 nations. (9) America’s imperialistic foreign policy is incredibly ruthless and destructive all around the world, but as soon as Russia gets involved with a conflict occurring in its neighbouring country, America objects, and denounces Russia for violating international law. Russia hasn’t violated international law, but in a world where America is the loudest voice, it acts as both accuser and judge.
Currently, the more prominent countries that have placed sanctions on Russia are: the U.S, Canada, the Europe Union, Japan, Australia and Switzerland. These sanctions on capital and trade have hurt the Russian economy. By putting embargoes on Russia, it has blocked Russians from exporting their goods to some of their closest trading partners in Europe and the sanctions on their banks have prevented them from accessing the credit markets of the West. Due to the sanctions, the Russian rouble has steadily declined in value against the dollar, raising the cost of imports, and thus raising consumer prices.
But what turned the situation into a full blown crises has been the recent, dramatic drop in the price of oil. Russia’s major export is oil and gas, but with a barrel of oil dropping below $60, this has cut into Russia’s revenue and because of that, has hurt Russia’s economic viability. Due to the drop in oil prices, speculation in the currency markets has the Russian rouble tanking, losing 20% against the dollar in one day — its biggest single day drop since Russia’s currency crisis of 1998 — and losing 60% on the year. (10) This devaluation has led the Central Bank of Russia to raise its interest rates to 17%, hoping to prevent more money from leaving Russia. The substantial drop in the price of the most important economic commodity doesn’t make much sense in a world where the majority of governments are printing money. Some have suggested that the U.S and Saudi Arabia are working together to drive down the price of oil to hurt their respective adversaries, Russia and Iran. (11) Saudi Arabia has come out and said that they are prepared for $20, $30 or $40 prices. (12) And thanks to investigative journalist, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, we know that any market can be subject to manipulation, by the colluding of the major banks. (13) It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that this recent drop is not the result of natural market forces but of market manipulation, with the purpose of hurting Russia more severely than the sanctions.
Recently, Russia’s foreign minister has come out and said that the West’s goal, with regards to Russia, is regime change. (14) The recent sanctions bill signed by President Obama has in it the authorization to spend $20 million in each of the next three years to promote democracy, independent news media, uncensored internet access and anti-corruption efforts in Russia. (15) This provision has all the makings of a strategy to change Russia from within, which has been a strategy America has employed in other countries. (16) With the current economic crisis in Russia, the time is ripe for America to meddle in Russia’s domestic affairs and stir up protests with its people to try and oust the current regime. But most threatening to Russia is NATO and their military buildup on the boarders of Russia. With anti-ballistic missile systems, troops on the ground and warships in the water, in the eastern European countries that surround Russia, NATO is just waiting for an excuse to attack Russia. (17) Each NATO country, such as Norway, Poland and Latvia, is in essence, NATO itself.
Russia’s Geopolitical Positions
Russia, on different occasions, has been directly opposed to many of the West’s military action around the world. Back in March of 2003, Russia declared it would use its veto power, given to all member nations of the UN security council, to block a U.S sponsored resolution that gave Saddam Hussein a March 17th deadline to disarm before they took action. (18) Then a couple weeks later, after the fighting began, President Putin warned the West that they were making a grave mistake by “shaking the foundations of global stability and international law.” (19) But in Libya, Russia took a different approach and refrained from voting on the resolution to create a no-fly zone in Libya. By not vetoing the UN Security Council’s resolution, it was allowed to pass. A public dispute over this decision broke out in Russia between, then President Dmitri Medvedev and then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, when Putin called the resolution “deficient and flawed” and compared it to a medieval crusade. (20) But since the President of Russia is the Commander-In-Chief, Medvedev, at the time, was able to override Putin. But Putin’s anger came to a boiling point after Gaddafi was killed. In a official visit to Denmark, when asked about the situation in Libya he said:
“The coalition said destroying Gaddafi was not their goal. Then why bomb his palaces? Now some officials have claim that eliminating him, was in fact, their goal. Who gave them that right? Did he have a fair trial? Returning to the no-fly zone, the bombings are destroying the country’s entire infrastructure. When the so called ‘civilized world’ uses all its military power against a small country, destroying what’s been created by generations, I don’t know if that’s good.” (21)
Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, and a year later, when the U.S and Britain were calling for airstrikes against Syria, he made sure Russia didn’t make the same mistake twice, and the country strongly came out against the airstrikes, and this time, together with China, vetoed the resolution. Putin even wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, taking his case directly to the American people as for why the airstrikes were a bad idea. (22)
Russia Today is the state sponsored news network that has gained a loyal following based on the networks ability to broadcast the real news to English, Spanish and Arabic audiences around the globe. The stories that are covered are the critical events happening in our world, but also other important subjects that aren’t covered by the mainstream media. Covering stories relating to scandal, corruption and conspiracy, revealing true motives of the people or institutions involved, has led the network to gain its credibility. Subjects on financial corruption, power abuses, corporate misconduct, environmental concerns, and many others that are seen as too sensitive to the special interests that own traditional networks, to be broadcast on Western media.
The famous NSA contractor turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, would face the full wrath of the U.S government, if given the chance, for his role in revealing to the world the U.S government’s capacity for spying and exactly who they are spying on. What’s preventing this from happening is that Snowden is currently being protected by Russia, where he has been given a 3-year residency after his initial temporary asylum had expired after his first year staying in Russia. The Russians are refusing to give him up to the U.S government after being asked to do so multiple times. Snowden never planned on staying in Russia. His original plan was to stay in Hong Kong until they gave him up, and then he decided he would go to Latin America. But after the U.S government revoked his passport, while he was in Russia, and seeing how the plane of the Bolivian President was forced to land due to the U.S government’s suspicion that Snowden was on it, he decided staying in Russia was his best option. (23)
The Winter Olympic games that were held in Sochi this year were very important to Russia. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and since then Russia has had to rebuild its country from the ground up. In the early years, it was very bleak for Russians, as living standards dropped for many and inflation rose substantially, and corruption and lawlessness spread throughout the country. But in 2000, when Putin became President, he was able to bring order and stability to Russia, and their economy grew 9 straight years, which raised living standards for Russians. (24) Today, Russia has regained its role on the world stage, and these Olympics were a chance to show the world a new Russia, in hopes of promoting a more positive image, and encourage the business class to invest there. But leading up the games, there was much paranoia and propaganda with regards to terrorism. Many Western countries told their athletes not to bring their families to Russia. As a result, the world was scared off and the turnout of spectators and foreign visitors to Russia was greatly diminished.
Vladimir Putin is currently enjoying an approval rating that is unparalleled compared to leaders in the West. He is beloved in Russia but also has support from all over the world. The reason is simple: He’s straight forward and speaks honestly, with no reservation for calling it like it is. Below are just a few of the many refreshing quotes Putin has said:
“In Syria, as in the past, the United States and its allies started directly financing and arming rebels and allowing them to fill their ranks with mercenaries from various countries. Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIS manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force? As for financing sources, today, the money is coming not just from drugs, production of which has increased not just by a few percentage points but many-fold, since the international coalition forces have been present in Afghanistan. You are aware of this. The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries.” (25)
“Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all? Let me say that this is absolutely not the case.” (25)
“They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never.”(26)
“Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.” (26)
A World Of Unknowns
In the eyes of the awakened and aware observer of the world, the U.S government is at the head of global tyranny. Yet its difficult to find criticism of America’s actions from other major powers of the world, especially in the West. The reason being, these puppet governments are controlled by the same influence that uses America as its leading force. But Russia, a massive country that can’t be easily conquered, has been a voice of criticism and because of that, has had to face the consequences of being that opposing force. Now whether the Georgian War of 2008, the downing of Malaysian flight MH17, or that mysterious flash of light that lit up the Russian sky, are the covert, indirect actions taken by this group against Russia, we don’t know. Or whether both opposing sides, the U.S and Russia, are just being used for a greater agenda, we don’t know. All we can do is look at the evidence we are privy to and base our own conclusions accordingly.
1 – http://www.channel4.com/news/kiev-svoboda-far-right-protests-right-sector-riot-police
2 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article…
3 – http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/crimeas…
4 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharkiv_Pact#Effects
5 – http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/03/04/Ousted-Ukrainian-president-asks-Putin…
6 – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/12/ukraine-crisis-donetsk-region-asks-join-russia
7 – http://rt.com/news/210883-ukraine-foreigners-government-poroshenko/
8 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Jaresko
9 – http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/u-s-currently-fighting-74-different-wars-that….
10 – https://uk.news.yahoo.com/ruble-loses-20-crashes-100-132519440.html#Ed4veBM
11 – http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Did-The-Saudis-And-The-US-Collude-In-Dropping…
13 – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial…
14 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/22/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSKCN0J609G20141122
15 – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/world/europe/obama-signing-russia-ukraine-sanctions…
16 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions
17 – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26866989
18 – http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/10/sprj.irq.russia.vote/index.html
19 – http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/28/sprj.irq.putin/index.html
20 – http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/03/21/russia.leaders.libya/index.html
21 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw5Ij_RFJ1Q
22 – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia…
23 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
24 – http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20120507/111359.shtml
25 – http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/paul-craig-roberts/why-is-putin-hated/
26 – http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6889