US Assistant Secretary of State says F-ck the European Union


This is a video of United States Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaking to Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine.

By Patrick O’Connor:

US regime-change operation in Ukraine exposed in leaked diplomatic phone call

7 February 2014

A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, has exposed the anti-democratic and colonialist character of the Obama administration’s intervention in the former Soviet republic.

The discussion between the two officials includes a detailed review of which right-wing opposition figures Washington is working to install in office, and how it is using the United Nations to rubber-stamp the operation. While Germany and other European powers have worked closely with the Obama administration in promoting the violent protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, the leaked phone call reveals tensions between the imperialist powers. At one point Nuland tells Pyatt, “F–k the EU.”

The discussion, posted anonymously on YouTube, underscores the thoroughly cynical character of Washington’s public diplomacy. The Obama administration’s rhetoric about “democracy” and the Ukrainian people’s right to determine their own future is a charade, concocted for public consumption. Behind the scenes, government officials speak frankly with one another about the real agenda—advancing Washington’s geo-strategic and economic interests in Eastern Europe by installing pro-US and anti-Russian puppet figures in the Ukrainian capital.

The phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt apparently took place late last month, after President Viktor Yanukovych offered the posts of prime minister and deputy prime minister to opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, respectively.

Referring to Klitschko, head of the UDAR (Strike) party, which has close financial ties with Germany’s ruling conservative party, Nuland tells the ambassador: “I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Pyatt agrees, saying, “let him stay out and do his political homework.”

Nuland continues: “Yats [Yatsenyuk] is the guy that who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience.” Pyatt later warns Nuland that “Klitschko has been the top dog” within the opposition, and that she will need to “move fast on all this stuff” and speak with the UDAR leader as part of their “personality management” of the opposition leadership.

The utter criminality of Washington’s drive to install a pliant regime in Kiev sharply emerges in Nuland and Pyatt’s discussion of Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the neo-fascist All-Ukrainian Union (Svoboda) party. Nuland describes Tyahnybok as one of the “big three” within the opposition leadership. The State Department operative goes on to tell Pyatt that “what [Yatsenyuk] needs [after he is installed in office] is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside—he needs to be talking to them four times a week.”

These remarks confirm that there is no confusion whatsoever within the Obama administration that it is working in partnership with fascist movements in Ukraine.

Tyahnybok is the leader of the Svoboda party, which was initially called the Social-National Party of Ukraine and featured a neo-Nazi logo. In 2004, Tyahnybok praised right-wing Ukrainian partisans in World War II, who, he declared, “did not fear, but took up their automatic rifles, going into the woods to fight Muscovites, Germans, Jewry and other filth.”

He added that Ukraine still had to be liberated from a “Moscow-Jewish mafia.” In 2005, Tyahnybok signed an open letter to Ukrainian leaders demanding a halt to the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry,” which, he declared, was attempting to commit “genocide” against the Ukrainian people.

This is one of the “big three” figures with whom the Obama administration is working to install a client regime in Ukraine. Yesterday, Nuland met with several opposition figures, among them Oleh Tyahnybok. No details of the discussion have been made public, but Ambassador Pyatt released via Twitter a photo of a smiling Nuland posing next to the pro-Nazi leader and his colleagues.

Yesterday’s meeting between Nuland and Tyahnybok was not the first. The two also held a closed-doors discussion when she was previously in Ukraine, last December. After that meeting, Nuland staged a photo opportunity in the Kiev central square that has served as the headquarters for the anti-government protests organised by the right-wing opposition, handing out bread to the demonstrators in a show of US support.

In her telephone conversation with Pyatt, Nuland praises UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for deploying a special envoy, Robert Serry, to Ukraine. This, she explains, will “be great, I think, to help glue this thing [i.e., a new government].” These remarks underscore the role played by the UN as an instrument of imperialism, working with the US and its allies to cover up or endorse their predatory operations around the world.

Immediately after praising the UN, Nuland declares, “F–k the EU,” in apparent frustration that the European powers were not doing more to back the regime-change operation. According to the Kyiv Post, another leaked phone conversation, in German, between EU official Helga Schmid and EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombinski includes a discussion between the two figures over how the US regards the EU as being “soft” on Ukraine.

In the Nuland-Pyatt discussion, the US ambassador expresses his agreement on the need for the UN to be involved, saying, “we’ve got to do something to make it stick together, because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it.” He adds that “we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing.”

Washington is engaged in a ruthless struggle to undermine any obstacle posed by Moscow to its drive to dominate the geo-strategically crucial Eurasia region, the vast land mass stretching from Eastern Europe, extending over the oil-rich Middle East and Central Asia, and reaching to China’s western borders. US imperialism is promoting fascist movements in Ukraine and fuelling the flames of a nascent civil war as a means of advancing its interests and ratcheting up the pressure on the Russian government.

Nuland’s nomination as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in May last year clearly formed part of the Obama administration’s aggressive strategy. She previously served as a deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and is married to the prominent “neoconservative” commentator and historian Robert Kagan.

Yesterday, Sergei Glazyev, a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed that the US was spending $20 million a week sponsoring Ukrainian opposition groups, including supplying them with arms.

Responding to questions about the leaked phone conversation, state department spokesperson Jen Psaki admitted that it was genuine and said that Nuland had apologised to EU figures, before absurdly declaring the incident marked “a new low in Russian tradecraft.”

Psaki said that while the Obama administration had no evidence that the Russian government was responsible for intercepting and leaking the phone conversation, “this is something they have been actively promoting, posting on, tweeting about, and certainly we feel that represents a new low.”

The Obama administration was revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to have erected a vast surveillance network to eavesdrop on the telephone and Internet communications of the world’s population, including heads of state and government. It is no position to lecture anybody about “new lows.” Its hypocritical protests nevertheless point to concerns that the leaked conversation could prove damaging to its ongoing campaign against Moscow and the Yanukovych government.

Angela Merkel: Victoria Nuland’s remarks on EU are unacceptable: here.

Washington’s response has confirmed the authenticity of a YouTube clip of a leaked telephone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt that emerged Thursday: here.

UK Conservatives face crisis over referendum on European Union: here.

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Bahrain human rights violations, speech in European parliament


This video, of 6 February 2014, shows a speech in the European parliament about human rights violations in Bahrain.

The speech is by Ms Marietje Schaake, of the D66 liberal party in the Netherlands.

Strasbourg, France – February 6, 2014 – Today, the European Parliament passed an urgent resolution expressing “grave concern” over ongoing human rights violations and the status of the rule of law in Bahrain. The resolution, voted through the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg, called on the Government of Bahrain to immediately release all political prisoners, including Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Ibrahim Sharif. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) commends the 48 members of the European Parliament for voicing their deep disapproval with the Bahrain government for its continued violations of human rights: here.

New law: Insult Bahrain’s king, get thrown in jail: here.

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Edward Snowden deserves Nobel Peace Prize, Norwegian MP’s say


This 16 July 2013 video is called Snowden Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

From Associated Press:

Snowden Nominated For Nobel Prize By Norwegian Politicians

01/29/14 06:34 AM ET EST

STAVANGER, Norway — Two Norwegian lawmakers say they have jointly nominated former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Socialist lawmakers Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen said Wednesday the public debate and policy changes “in the wake of Snowden‘s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”

Being nominated just means Snowden will be one of scores of names that the Nobel committee will consider for the prestigious award.

The five-member panel won’t confirm who’s been nominated but those who submit nominations sometimes make them public.

Nominators, including members of national parliaments and governments, university professors and previous laureates, must enter their submissions by Feb. 1.

The prize committee members can add their own candidates at their first meeting after that deadline.

If Snowden will indeed get this peace prize, then he will be a far more worthy recipient than some other recent recipientslike the European Union etc.

Alfred Nobel created this prize for people who contribute to “the abolition or reduction of standing armies”. While the European Union has created a new standing army of its own, participating in the neo-colonial war in Mali.

Unfortunately, I doubt whether Snowden will get his well-deserved prize. Alfred Nobel in his will left decisions on the peace prize to the parliament of Norway. Norway then was still a neutral country. However, meanwhile, Norway is a member of the aggressive military alliance NATO. NATO countries participate in the United States “intelligence” establishment’s witch hunt against Snowden, which includes threats to murder him.

A decision by the Norwegian parliament to award Snowden the prize would mean a sharp break with NATO policy. Do they have the courage for that?

The National Security Agency monitored the communications of other governments ahead of and during the 2009 United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the latest document from whistleblower Edward Snowden: here.

The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden used inexpensive and widely available software to plunder the agency’s networks, it has been reported, raising further questions about why he was not detected: here.

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Refugees die, while Greek minister spouts racism


This video, in Greek, is about shipwrecked refugees arriving in Piraeus harbour.

From I Can’t Relax in Greece blog:

Outcry over the deaths in the Aegean sea

Posted on 24/01/2014 by icantrelaxingreece

Amnesty International calls on the Greek government to investigate all allegations of mistreatment and collective repulsions at the Greek-Turkish borders [and] in the Aegean [sea] and to prosecute the officials involved in such practices. At the same time, Varvitsiotis [Shipping Minister] washes his hands of the incident while hurling racist comments.

Amnesty International requests a thorough, transparent, and independent investigation into the death of immigrants in the sea close to Farmakonisi island, as well as the prosecution of those who are responsible.

In the meantime, Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis appeared to respond in an arrogant way to the international and local reactions triggered by the drowning of immigrants on Monday in the sea close to Farmakonisi:

“Such things should not become the subject of petty political political exploitation. I do not believe that there is anyone that really wants us to open our borders and let all immigrants enjoy asylum in our country”, he said in one of his racist comments, following the A. Georgiadis’s [Minister of Health] far-right delirium.

Muiznieks [Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights] and several others want to create a political issue in Greece. Neither PASOK nor SYRIZA have so far asked to be briefed on the incident”.

THE VIDEO SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

Migrants said, when they arrived in Piraeus, that the coast guard officers did not throw any lifejackets to those who had fallen into the sea and prevented a father from trying to save his wife and child by pointing a gun at him. No state or other institutional official was present when the immigrants were taken to Piraeus.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Greek government to put an end to the illegal practice of mass expulsions and said that this incident is the result of a “failed pushback attempt” which took place only one day after the allegations from UN High Commission for Refugees.

“According to survivors’ testimonies to UNHCR, the coast guard’s vessel was pulling their boat while moving towards the Turkish coast at high speed amid rough seas when the tragic incident took place. The testimonies also mention that the immigrants were crying for help, as there was a large number of children on the boat”, says the statement of UNHCR.

Pro Asyl organisation also intervened, just a short period after denouncing the Greek government, the border guard, and the coast guard as responsible for the torture and death of refugees.

In the meantime, the coast guard denies the immigrants’ allegations that appeared in the UNHCR’s announcement, according to which the immigrants’ boat was capsized.

The government’s denial of all responsibility makes the outcry even stronger.

“The recent deaths in the Aegean constitute another reminder of the dangerous journeys that immigrants and refugees have to make in order to reach Europe. Since August 2012 at least 136 refugees, most of them Syrians and Afghanis, have lost their lives in at least twelve incidents while trying to reach Greece by boat from Turkey. The EU and the member states have to ensure there is effective seach and rescue in the sea and focus their efforts on the saving of lives rather than on the protection of borders”, says Amnesty International’s announcement.

DEADLY UNWILLINGNESS

The EU states’ unwillingness to put an end to the tragedy of drowned immigrants in the waters of Mediterranean (from Lampedusa and Sicily to the Aegean and Evros river) seems to be endless. EU summits from Rome to Brussels to Athens only suggest more ‘Frontex style’ patrolling.

Antiracist and humanitarian organisations claim that the crime in the Mediterranean is being perpetuated.

The governments of Letta, Samaras, and Erdogan, and the EU in its entirety are trying to deal with such tragedies by perpetuating the absurdity of the closed borders and by calling immigrants ‘illegal’, while tragedies like the ones of Lampedusa and Farmakonisi are multiplied.

These conditions nourish the creation of groups of traffickers that take advantage of the ‘illegal’ status of immigrants. Immigrants, being ‘illegal’, try to evade Frontex’s patrolling by resorting to traffickers. This makes things even worse.

SYRIZA’s Rights Committee issued an announcement about the tragedy.

“They drown the refugees in Farmakonisi, just like they do in Lampedusa, while the EU ministers are continuing their racist criminal policy”, KEERFA says, while announcing a series of international antiracist initiatives and events and a European day of action on the 22nd of March.

SYRIZA’s announcement requests a thorough investigation to determine whether the coast guard has any responsibility for the overturning of the boat carrying the immigrants. According to the opposition party, the survivors’ testimonies raise questions about the actions of the coast guard in this incident that cost the lives of 12 refugees, including 9 children.

Unfortunately, SYRIZA says, Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis does not seem to take the events seriously, something evident in his recent statements about the tragedy. His statements demonstrated profound political insensitivity and disrespect for human life. It is time for the government to listen to the Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muizniek and to stop the “informal” pushbacks that put lives under threat and violate international law, SYRIZA says.

Translated from ‘Eleftherotypia’ newspaper.

The latest deaths of migrants seeking to enter “Fortress Europe” by boat occurred this week in the Aegean Sea: here.

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Ukraine, police violence and anti-Semitic oppositionists


This video is called Ukraine far-right Svoboda party anti-Semitism.

By Stefan Steinberg:

Three dead in clash between Ukrainian regime and right-wing protesters

23 January 2014

At least three protesters died yesterday when police moved in with tear gas and clubs to clear hundreds of demonstrators lodged behind barricades close to Kiev’s Independence Square.

One of the victims was a 30-year-old man who is alleged to have been shot four times by riot police. Medical staff also reported two other fatalities.

Following reports of the deaths, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov denounced the demonstrators as terrorists and provocateurs whose “criminal” actions would be punished.

One group particularly active in the street fighting around Independence Square is the ultra-right nationalist Right Sector, a coalition of right-wing organizations and supporters of local soccer clubs.

In a statement on Monday, the group claimed credit for the violent confrontations with police on Sunday and pledged to continue its activities until President Yanukovych resigned.

The police offensive against the demonstrators followed the mass demonstrations last weekend protesting against new laws imposing harsh restrictions on freedom of assembly, with jail terms of up to 15 years for “participation in mass riots.”

On Wednesday morning, the police repeatedly told protesters through loudspeakers that their actions were “a grave violation of the law” and asked them to disperse. Mobile phone users in the protest zone received a threatening SMS saying: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in an unsanctioned rally.”

The deaths are the first fatalities since protests began against the Ukrainian government just over two months ago. They came just one day after a warning by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the intervention by European governments had aggravated tensions in Ukraine, and that the situation was “spinning out of control.”

Lavrov said, “We have information that much of this is being stimulated from abroad,” adding that “members of several European governments rushed to the Maidan without any invitation and took part in anti-government demonstrations.” Such behaviour, Lavrov said, was “simply indecent.”

Lavrov was referring to the interventions in December by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and then-German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle who openly expressed their solidarity with demonstrators. EU incursions on behalf of the opposition were supported by Washington. US Senator John McCain addressed a mass rally in Independence Square and dined with leaders of the opposition parties, including Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the ultra-right and anti-Semitic Svoboda party.

Washington and Berlin have mobilized the most right-wing, reactionary forces in their campaign to overthrow Yanukovych and replace him with a regime who would break the country’s longstanding ties with Russia and implement austerity through the EU.

At the start of December, Svoboda supporters tore down a statue of Vladimir Lenin in the city centre to the chants of “Hang the Commie!”

Svoboda organizes regular commemorations to the notorious Ukrainian collaborator with the Nazis, Stepan Bandera. The party is a member of the so-called Alliance of European National Movements, which includes the British National Party, National Demokraterna of Sweden, the Front National in France, Fiamma Tricolore in Italy, the Belgian National Front, and Jobbik in Hungary.

Drawing its forces from the same backward social layers as Right Sector, Svoboda has played a leading role in the Kiev protests since they began in November. Party leader Tyahnybok regularly begins his demagogic speeches to the crowds with his rallying cry, “Glory to Ukraine!”

The same nationalist chant has been taken up at the mass rallies by the leaders of the two other main opposition parties, the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance led by boxer Vitali Klitschko and the nationalist Fatherland Party of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is allied to jailed oligarch and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoschenko.

In an interview with the Guardian on Wednesday, Klitschko vehemently defended his collaboration with the neo-fascist Tyahnybok, declaring: “In order to land a punch, you need to bring your fingers together into a fist. We need to join all of our forces together. That is the only way that we can win.”

Klitschko’s UDA is sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of the conservative Christian Democratic Union in Germany and supported by the conservative faction in the European parliament.

In addition to the support of the EU bureaucracy, the White House and the German government, the Ukrainian opposition has also received fulsome support from intellectuals from all over the globe. Their praise for the Ukrainian ultra-right forces speaks volumes on the corrupt and reactionary character of the social tendencies that dominate intellectual and university life today.

At the start of January, academics and publicists including Andrew Arato, Zygmunt Bauman, Seyla Benhabib, Richard J Bernstein, Claus Offe and Slavoj Žižek issued an appeal declaring: “The Ukrainian Maidan represents Europe at its best—what many thinkers in the past and present assume to be fundamental European values.”

They called “on our governments and international organisations to support Ukrainians in their efforts to put an end to a corrupt and brutal regime.”

The “Open letter on the future of Ukraine” issued by a group of Western academics and foreign policy operatives is a vile defense of the ongoing far-right protests in Ukraine supported by Washington and the European Union (EU). It peddles the old lie, repeated over nearly a quarter century of imperialist wars and interventions in Eastern Europe since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, that US and EU policy is driven only by a disinterested love of democracy and human rights: here.

John McCain Went To Ukraine And Stood On Stage With A Man Accused Of Being An Anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi: here.

Right-wing, pro-Western opposition forces in Ukraine pushed the country one step closer to all-out civil war yesterday, rejecting President Viktor Yanukovych’s proposed concessions and demanding that he step down. The opposition aims to install a far-right administration pledged to implement the austerity policies of the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund: here.

Violent clashes between police and protesters yesterday in Kiev mark an escalation of the campaign by the pro-Western opposition to oust Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The opposition, backed by the United States and German governments, aims to install a far-right regime committed to integrating Ukraine within the European Union and implementing its demands for austerity measures: here.

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European parliament invites whistleblower Edward Snowden


This video says about itself:

EU Panel Requests Testimony of NSA Whistleblower Snowden

19 Jan 2014

John Weeks: European Parliament’s invitation for Snowden to testify highlights the impact he’s made unveiling the national surveillance state.

Transcript of this video: here.

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