Friday, May 2, 2014

Ukraine v Krajina: Black is the New Orange

Kiev, Feb. 2014

Eastern Ukraine, Mar-Apr. 2014

With recent military incursions by the anti-democratic Kiev putsch into eastern towns like Donetsk and Slovyansk now reaching and setting fire to the major Black Sea capital of Odessa, the events in (The) Ukraine, which, like the Yugoslav ‘Krajina’, was named as a Military Border region separating ancient warring states, have begun eerily to reaffirm the etymologies of these two regions, while managing to refocus the tiniest flickers of public attention onto NATO's previous, unprovoked aggressions, its expansionists' war crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.  

There are two cases currently pending before two very different courts:  At the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague (i.e., the 'Civil' equivalent of the International Criminal Tribunals [ICC, ICTY & ICTR, as well as other UN ad hocs] also in The Hague), where Croatia and Serbia are pressing genocide charges against one another; and in the US [Federal] District Court for Northern Illinois, where the "genocide victims" of Croatia's 1995 ‘Operation Storm’, acknowledged by many to have been the largest "ethnic cleansing" campaign of the modern Balkan conflicts, have filed for compensatory damages against the various ‘Fortune 500 militias’ or Private Military Contractors (PMCs), like MPRI, Dyncorp, Sandstone, Blackwater, that prepped and propelled this bloody "Tempest" through the Yugoslav (Serb) Krajina.

Who ‘Genocided’ whom, indeed?  A question we can expect to be posed by both sides in the current Ukrainian conflict.  But, as was demonstrated by the 1994 'alleged' OJ murders (the Brentwood Genocide?), genocide has shown itself to be unprovable in the criminal courts[1], so, again as with the OJ case, the plaintiffs have taken their beefs down the halls of justice to the civil courts, where the burden of proof is shifted onto the defense and the rules of evidence are customarily relaxed—and the damages are repaired with large monetary awards.  

The Croats' complaint before the ICJ is that the Yugoslav Army (JNA), which Croatian secessionist President Franjo Tudjman et alia attacked in an attempt to clear this last vestige of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation from their newly independent (and thoroughly deregulated) state, had committed genocide against the Croatian inhabitants of Vukovar when it shelled this ancient river city on the confluence of the Vuka and Danube; Serbs counter that Croatia's PMC-organized and led juggernaut through their own Krajina was an act of ‘ethnic cleansing’ unto genocide against the them.

Milosevic down in Den Haag, Mar. 2006

But the general public should be forgiven for having little or no familiarity with these events.  Much time, as well as vast sums and abundant cynical imagination, have gone into obscuring the Reality of what has come to be considered an early, post-mortem convulsion of the long-since quieted Cold War.  Common knowledge is that Reagan and Gorbachev, and then a limping, blind and staggering Boris Yeltsin, put an end to the USSR; that Communism, as a social, political and economic philosophy, was buried in the rubble of a collapsed Berlin Wall[2]; and that even History, itself, had come to an end.  Of course, the champagne corks popped—or, maybe, it was hot Sake they served in Fukuyama’s honor—to celebrate the Good Guys’ winning another one: the Final Score was Free World 2 - Soviet Slaves nil.

 Lenin down in Kiev, Feb. 2014
So, when asked the names of the belligerents in the break-up of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation, most folks normally resort to the media-induced post-hypnotic suggestion that Serbia, led by the ‘Stalinist Strongman’ Slobodan Milosevic, invaded, and then, through ruthless armed violence, 'ethnically cleansed' all non-Serbs from the other Republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and, to a lesser degree, Macedonia, and then its own southern province of Kosovo), in a fanatically Evil attempt to create a fantastical 'Greater Serbia.'  

The very idea of a nation called 'Yugoslavia', the home of Southern Slavs, was deleted from the Western data base long before the national entity was tagged with the expedient prefixes 'ex-' or 'former-’.  Many knew that the Croats were Catholics (fewer, that they were WWII Nazi-collabos); that the Bosniacs were Muslims (only we wonks knew they had had their own Waffen SS division, Handschar, and were tight with OBL and al Qaeda); and that the Serbs were (Eastern) Orthodox Christians (while just the anti-fascists among us recognized them, along with the French, as the fiercest of partisan fighters). 

But no one knew—or really cared—what happened to that category of citizen formerly known as the 'Yugoslav'.  Those residents of the Croatian or Bosnian Republics who, for whatever reasons, custom, habit, convenience or nostalgia, clung to the now-superceded institutions of the old Socialist Federation, were reflexively counted in with the 'Serbs'—the JNA became the unpitying Serb Army, and Yugoslavia, itself, appeared seamlessly to morph into that phantasmagorical (read Evil) 'Greater Serbia.'

This, with some minor rewrites, is the same scenario that has been playing out in (The) Ukraine since the early 1990s. At the beginning of that less-than gay decade, nearly all Ukrainian industry and agriculture were owned by the (then, still) Soviet State. Yet the 1991 referendum on independence from the USSR passed with an overwhelming (one might even say ‘Stalinien’, except it’s going away from Moscow[3]) majority of 93%—it was only 54% in Crimea (at the time and hence, a bustling Soviet, then CIS, military installation on the Black Sea), but an impressive 80% in Eastern, Russo-phone Ukraine, the region today developing into a major hot-zone in a cinch civil war and being considered by the Kremlin as a ‘New Little Russia’.  

Deadbeat Cowboy, Nevada, US, 2014       

A month after that vote for Ukrainian independence, the Soviet Union broke up.  Where before it had been an SSR of the Ukrainians, after 1991, for the first time in the 20th century, Ukraine became an independent nation of Ukrainians.  But, as the subsequent decade would so clearly and grotesquely demonstrate, with the burgeoning criminality of wars for control over newly privatized national assets, which, quite predictably, led to all manner of illegal trafficking, including a significant ‘Free Market Exchange’ in various Human organs: These Socialist Unions, the Soviet and the Yugoslav, were not broken by the democratically expressed will—or in the interests of the common weal—of their citizens. They were, rather, transmogrified into ‘geopolitical wishbones’ to be pulled apart, from the West by the unyielding avarice of Accumulated Private Capital (EU/NATO/UN), and from the East by the long-held hopes for the re-securitization or re-federation of a Democratic Social and Economic Order (Serbia/Russia/CIS).  

Dead Right Sector Fascist goon, Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 2014

But from the beginning of an independent Ukraine, the Eastern leg of its ‘wishbone’ was consistently the larger. An instinct for self-preservation would bring any reasonable Ukrainian to favor the commercial and financial advantages of ‘favored nation’ trade relations with their Russian neighbor over a usurious and exploitive bondage to a Western Europe (i.e., the IMF, OECD, OSCE, EU Central Bank, etc.), that is, itself, going all ragged around the edges. 

This new order must have seemed more like an annexation or an occupation by Europe than a merger or an acquisition—as if their country was, once again, becoming part of the ‘lebensraum’ dreamed of by Hitler, with its dire dependence on the revenues generated by financial speculation, brokerage-commissions and licensing-fees on Russian energy deals—resources they used to get on privileged terms directly from the source. 

Yet the Multinational Corporate West, with its historical ties to the neo-feudal hierarchies of unrestrained Capital (i.e., Fascism), remained robust enough to challenge each ‘Russo-symp’ election victory in Ukraine.  In 2004 as in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych was elected president only to have the votes challenged by pro-Western, Soros-backed ‘Euro-philes’. 

First he ceded power to the chemically-addled and mendacious Viktor (blame-it-on-the-Russian-dioxin) Yushchenko in an anti-democratic judicial abortion of the electoral process that came to be known as the Orange Revolution; then, after his second election and two years of corruption charges from US/EU-contracted (CIA-, NED-, USAID-backed) oligarchs, he was driven from office and run out of his country by a well-armed, racist (anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic) mob under the Black (al Qaeda-color-coordinated) banner of the neo-Nazi Right Sector.  Seems anti-democratic revolutions are not nearly so well served by the Ackerman/Zunes/Sharp-strain of ‘non-violent’ agit-prop as they are by the genuine, old-school, bring-your-gun-from-home-and-just-start-shooting strategy of a multi-national PMC-run regime change—like the 1991 battle for Vukovar or 1995’s Operation Storm or the Belgrade elections of Oct. 2000. 

Each time, the country was split between a US/NATO-friendly, pro-EU western region, and an eastern ‘New Russia’.  Once again, the conflict broke down into the revived WWII Fascist Free States (e.g., Croatian Ustase, Ukrainian ‘Banderite’ nationalists, various Islamic separatist movements in Kosovo, Bosnia, Chechnya, etc.), the ‘New Axis Powers’, all playing, in varying degrees, on the D-L, and all being backed to the tig-ol-bitties by the US, waging terrorist-wars against Russia and its post-Soviet allies.  Communism may have been pronounced dead by the Harvard Business School twenty years before, but its gigantic red ghost was raising unholy hell among the would-be victims of this pale, by-now near-totally wasted cadaver of a neo-Liberal, Globalized Capitalism.

So, to those among the comfortable Public scribbling & twittering class who, out of indolence or just a want of critical imagination, pretend to read Geopolitics and History as if they are romance novels or Hollywood screenplays, in which Great Personalities are pitted against one another, like Churchill v Stalin, or Obama v Putin (or Danny Trejo v Mel Gibson in “Machete Kills" and "Machete Kills Again . . . In Space”), in sentimentally charged, usually psycho-sexually action-driven narratives of anti-realistic unto meaningless surface complexity—to these information wonks, cyber-rebels and bought-off-hackers, a very important task has fallen: the foisting of this unimaginative unReality onto a terrified, prayerfully obedient General Public. 

The news-readers and 'expert'-contributors and hidebound professorial-daddy-types who inhabit the mass media have been charged with creating a re-contorted lexicon, a new vehicular language (not a vernacular or jargon or patois or argot, because these new terms are quite common, mundane, even banal, and meant for universal understanding) of coercive, obscurant expressions, which insists on an absolute, unwavering comitment to their falsified histories, and any doubts about or questioning of them brings abject expulsion from the conversation. 

Prominent among these intellectual mind-twisters are 'The wetfe Genocide', or the 'Holocaust of wetfe', and ‘Denialists’ and ‘Revisionists’, or ‘The Soviet/Russian/Serbian Invasion of wetfe’, or 'Capitalism is Freedom' and 'Collectivism is Slavery', or 'Our Allies are Democrats and resist Aggression' while 'Our Enemies are Terrorists (irrational and impervious to negotiation) and commit Aggression—usually against their own People', so ‘Hitler=Stalin=Evil’ and 'Our Enemies Provoke, but Our Allies are Provoked'.  Ed Herman and David Peterson break down this rhetorical language much more succinctly than I ever could in their "The Politics of Genocide"[4].  

But suffice to say that only in a totally mystified information culture could someone like former-Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski have an on-air father/daughter face-à-fesse about how daddy single-handedly brought down the ‘Evil Soviet Empire’ by drawing the Communist Imperialists into a war with his own CIA assests, OBL and the mujahadin, and then have daughter Mika sheepishly nod and turn to the sodden MSNBC ‘panel of experts’ (admitted war criminals with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are truly stomach-wrenching) to discuss another ‘Soviet-style Invasion’, this time of Eastern Ukraine.[5]

This linguistic manipulation of Reality, out-Orwelling Orwell, has allowed blissful black-outs to Western Private War-lovers like the Vietnam-era genocidaire John McCain and current-CIA chief John Brennan, so they can go to Kiev, promise support for the putsch regime, with a special wink-wink to the neo-Nazis Right Sector in Maidan, and when the military violence they have tacitly encouraged begins to further divide the country and lay waste to its greater Eastern half, they can merely blame Putin, or Moscow, or the Russians—the congenital aggressors. 

Flashback to the Balkans: Richard Holbrooke ran the same hustle against President Milosevic and the Serbs over Kosovo in Oct. 1998, when he assured Belgrade that if their territorial defense forces stood down, the US would guarantee similar restraint from the ruthless narco&organ-trafficking KLA.  The results, as we all should know by now, were a recapturing by the Albanian ‘terrorists’[6] of territory they had ceded to the Yugoslav military.  This then led to the staging of Jan. 1999's Raçak ‘massacre’ by Wm. Walker, the US’s expert in running Central American death-squads, which, by itself, invalidated the Holbrooke/Milosevic agreement of the previous year and renewed the very real threat of NATO bombing.   In a feigned attempt by the Atlantist Allies to avoid turning Serbia into a flaming tribute to 50 years of NATO’s pro crypto fascist war-mongering, a cynically rigged Rambouillet Peace Conference was held at Versailles in Feb. 1999 (where a virginal US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is said to have experienced her own, personal KLA invasion, under the tender offices of the young, super-cute Albano-gangsta, Hashim Thaçi—and loved every minute so much as to make her value it above the lives of millions of Iraqi [and Yugoslav?] children.[7])

But today, with an all-out military assault by the flimsy Kiev government underway against the anti-fascist resistance in the eastern Russo-prone part of the country, it seems Brzezinski’s Grand Game has gone on one move too long.  In a clash between Reality and unReality, between idealism and materialism, between Fact and Fantasy disguised as Opinion: the rules of the physical universe will always hold, and the meta-physicists, the spiritualists, the con artists and close-hand magicians will die and return to the nothingness they never really left.  

The moral strain of carrying this load of bullshit dumped on them by their superiors in the US Defense and State Departments is now obvious in the appearance and comportment of both John Kerry and President Obama. 

As obvious is what their next move must be: Before the death toll in Ukraine mounts to a level that requires Madison Ave. mind-bending to, once more, absolve the US of responsibility for yet another Genocide by projecting culpability onto the usual suspects—their victims; the US must deal rationally, openly and justly with their ancient ally, and acknowledge that all good hope for the future lies in cooperation with Russia—and China.

--CirqueMinime/Paris, May 1, 2014

[1] In June 2006, The Appeals Chamber, located in The Hague, for the Rwandan Tribunal in Aruza, Tanzania, after the Prosecution in the Military I trial of the ‘brains of the Rwandan (Tutsi) Genocide” was unable to prove that any ‘Genocide’ had actually taken place, instructed the Trial Chamber in the case to ‘Take Judicial Notice’ of the Genocide.  That is, to accept the Genocide as beyond proof, a ‘Natural Fact of Jesus’—like the address of the Court or the hour of the sunrise on any given morning.
[2] A barrier isolating the Western sector of Berlin from the rest of that Capital that was situated in East German, and not to be confused, as it so often is even by the most learned scholars, with Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’, that mostly ideological barrier in Europe between the Western or ‘Free’ World and the Eastern or Soviet bloc.
[3] And Stalin was a Georgian.  It was Khrushchev, the Soviet leader of Ukrainian origins, whose ‘Secret Speech’ in 1956 wove a tapestry of lies that would forever demonize his Georgian predecessor and criminalize his revolutionary leadership, while trivializing the enormous, heroic sacrifices of the Soviet Peoples in their victory over Fascism in the Great Patriotic War.
[4] Herman and Peterson, “The Politics of Genocide”, (NYU Press—NY, 2010).  But in this vein see also:  Finkelstein, N., “The Holocaust Industry”, (Verso—London, NY, 2000); and ed. Cockburn, St. Clair, “The Politics of Anti-Semitism”, (CounterPunch, Petrolia, 2003). –Brevity is also the soul of good scholarship.
[5] The term ‘Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan’ is popular with leftists like Noam Chomsky and other proponents of the anti-Stalin paradigm.
[6] As they were known back then by the US State Dept. and the DoD.
[7] The Rambouillet Conference of Feb. 1999 were, according to an official of the Quai d’Orsay (the French Foreign Ministry), ‘punctuated by personal encounters between Madeleine Albright and the (young and) handsome [Hashim] Thaçi, who had full access at any time, to the Secretary of State’s suite. “Their tete-a-tetes were all the buzz”, smiled the diplomat.”  Cf. Péan, Pierre, “Kosovo: Une guerre ‘juste’ pour un état mafieux” [A ‘Just’ War for a Mafia State’], (Fayard, Paris—2013) —still only in French. 

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