Peter Myers Digest: Economist Magazine (representing bankers @ City of London) warns against the Far Right

(1) Economist Magazine (representing bankers @ City of London) warns against the Far Right
(2) Economist Magazine warns against statist, “anti-woke” conservatism that puts national sovereignty before the individual
(3) Globalist ICJ Court dispenses Fake Justice
(4) Soros: the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions
(5) Ukraine War began in Washington, with plan to take Sevastopol naval base from Russia

(1) Economist Magazine (representing bankers @ City of London) warns against the Far Right

Briefing | Swell of pride

The hard right is getting closer to power all over Europe
It does not need to join governments to affect policymaking

Sep 14th 2023

In sint-genesius-rode, a well-to-do commuter town in the hills south of Brussels, a crowd of 50 or so gathered on September 2nd in a parish hall to drink champagne and promote the dismemberment of Belgium. The meeting was organised by Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), a right-wing party that rails against such threats to the Flemish way of life as Islam, immigration and—most pernicious of all—the French language. The town is in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium), but French-speakers have been moving in for decades and are now the majority. The only way to stop the rot, explains Klaas Slootmans, a member of the Flemish regional parliament from Vlaams Belang, is for Flanders to declare independence.

It may sound parochial, chauvinist and disruptive if not delusional, but it goes down well. People have a right “to be the boss in their own country”, Mr Slootmans proclaims; the crowd applauds. Vlaams Belang is Belgium’s most popular party, with an average of 22% support in recent polling. Barring a sudden reversal, it should triumph in simultaneous elections next year for the national, European and regional parliaments. Other Belgian parties have hitherto declared it too extreme to do business with, and refused to include it in coalitions. But this so-called cordon sanitaire may have to be abandoned if the party wins a fifth or more of parliamentary seats. Anyway, the ostracism may in fact be helping Vlaams Belang. Its support has tripled over the past five years.

The right moment

It is a common pattern. Across much of Europe, populist right-wing parties like Vlaams Belang, once relegated to the fringe, are going from strength to strength. In Hungary, Italy and Poland they hold power. In Finland, Sweden and Switzerland they have a share of it. In Germany polls put the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party at 22%, up from 10% in the election in 2021. In France the National Rally (RN), the biggest hard-right party, has 24% support. Add in 5% for Reconquest, another anti-immigrant party, and the hard right becomes the biggest voting block in the country. In the Netherlands, too, a smattering of right-wing populists claim a quarter or more of the vote. Even newish democracies that for decades lacked big nationalist parties—Portugal, Romania and Spain—now have them.

The advance of the hard right is neither uniform nor one-way. Support for populist nationalists has recently slumped in Denmark and Spain, for instance. Nor are all these parties the same: some are eager Atlanticists, others pro-Russian; some are libertarian, others want a more generous welfare state, albeit only for people of native stock. What is more, hard-right groups tend to mellow the closer they get to power, or to splinter, or both. The government of Italy, for one, although led by the Brothers of Italy (FdI), a party with links to fascism, has proved much more moderate than many had feared.
image: The Economist

Nonetheless, the trend is alarming, for three reasons. First, it is remarkably broad. Four of the five most populous countries in the European Union have hard-right parties either in government or polling above 20% (see map). Second, the current circumstances are especially propitious for populist parties, with immigration rising after a hiatus during the pandemic, inflation high and the growing cost of climate policy creating a potent new focus for popular ire. Third, and most important, the hard right does not need to win power to have a baleful impact on politics. Simply by attracting a big share of voters, it is already skewing the debate, and so making it harder for European governments to adopt sensible policies on pressing problems, such as the war in Ukraine, immigration and climate change.
Freedom fighters

When the Freedom Party, Austria’s main hard-right outfit, joined a coalition government in 2000, other EU governments were so horrified that they reduced contact with Austria’s to the bare minimum in protest. To no avail: the hard right has since broken through barrier after barrier. It first led a government in 2010, when Fidesz, a once-centrist outfit that had taken a populist turn, swept to power in Hungary. Those who said the same thing could never happen in mature democracies in western Europe were proved wrong last year when FdI took power in Italy.
image: The Economist

More milestones loom. Hard-right parties are expected to do well in next year’s European elections. Giorgia Meloni, the leader of FdI and prime minister of Italy, is trying to persuade the centre-right alliance in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), to join forces with the hard-right European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), which she heads. That would move the legislature of all of the EU in a populist direction. In France, meanwhile, the hard right’s performance is improving at each presidential election (see chart). It is possible that Marine Le Pen, the runner-up at the past two contests, may win the next one, in 2027.

A series of external factors are helping to propel support for the hard right. Illegal immigration, which spurred support for populist parties when it surged in 2015, is growing again after a lull during the pandemic. There have already been more than 165,000 unauthorised arrivals in Europe this year, as many as in all of last year, although still well below the level of 2015. Populists also tend to do well in times of economic upheaval, and so are benefiting from the high inflation that has plagued Europe for the past two years, and especially from soaring energy prices.

Expensive petrol, heating and electricity have helped foment a backlash against policies to fight climate change, which the hard right has seized on. This began in France with the gilets jaunes movement in late 2018, initially a protest against a carbon-tax hike on motor fuel. The AfD’s rise this year was touched off by a proposed government ban on oil and gas boilers in homes. In the Netherlands the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), a new populist party, began as a farmers’ protest against nitrogen-emission limits. It won an astounding 20% of the vote in regional elections in March.

There has also been a broader slide in trust in government in many European countries, after a brief resurgence during the pandemic, to the benefit of the hard right. American-style culture wars are becoming fiercer, too, which, again, helps the populists. Maximilian Krah, the AfD’s lead candidate in the European elections, went viral over the summer with dating advice posted on TikTok: “Real men are right-wing. Don’t watch porn.” In other videos Mr Krah argues that “multicultural means multi-criminal”, bemoans rainbow flags and warns that BlackRock, an investment firm, wants to replace Germans with “minorities and immigrants”.

The European politician most adept at exploiting such ideas to win and hold power is Viktor Orban, Fidesz’s leader and the prime minister of Hungary since 2010. He readily bashes migrants, gay people and the EU as at odds with homespun Hungarian values. He has used the parliamentary majorities he has won with such talk to pack the courts with loyalists and gerrymander the electoral system. Cronies have bought up critical media outlets. In addition to undermining democracy at home, Mr Orban’s rule has scrambled policymaking at NATO and in the EU, owing to his friendliness with both China and Russia.

But harnessing right-wing populism to take control of a state is not easy. When Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in 2015, it followed Mr Orban’s script. It turned the state media into a propaganda bureau and tried to pack the courts. But PiS’s efforts have not got as far as Fidesz’s. Many judges have fought back, and the EU has withheld billions of euros in aid to force PiS to reverse some of its court-packing. The media have not been cowed. The opposition remain competitive, even though PiS is favoured in next month’s election.

Other right-wing populists using Mr Orban’s template have also had mixed results. Janez Jansa, a former prime minister of Slovenia nicknamed “Marshal Tweeto” for a social-media style reminiscent of Donald Trump, lost power in 2022. Estonia’s far-right EKRE party tried to go after the media while in government in 2019, but that coalition collapsed and the party did poorly in an election this year.

Even where it has been electorally successful, the hard right has struggled to put in place radical policies such as ending political asylum or scrapping measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Take Sweden, where the Sweden Democrats, long shunned by other parties because of their roots in the neo-Nazi movement, took 21% of the vote in 2022. They signed a confidence-and-supply deal to back a centre-right minority government, giving them direct influence over policy on immigration and crime. But in a speech in August Jimmie Akesson, the party’s leader, had to make excuses for the government’s slow progress implementing the deal.

Ms Meloni is the first leader in western Europe with the parliamentary clout to enact a hard-right agenda. Yet so far, she has run a fairly conventional government. Her only populist measures have been to introduce a misconceived tax on banks, limit some airline fares and prevent same-sex parents from registering their partner’s child as their own. In part, she is constrained by European fiscal rules. But the FdI is also simply less extreme than it once was. “This is a pragmatic centre-right government with, now and again, some identitarian [culture-war] policies,” argues Giovanni Orsina of the LUISS school in Rome.

On the question of Europe, in particular, many hard-right parties have softened. A few of the edgiest populists want to dismantle the union they sneeringly refer to as the “EUSSR”. But FdI abandoned the idea of leaving the euro and restructuring the EU before coming to power. Ms Meloni instead wants the EU to do more to help Italy, by keeping out the migrants that flood Italy’s shores. This summer she went to Tunisia with Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, to negotiate a migration deal. She also wants the bloc to relax its fiscal rules so that her government can spend more. She even cultivates Europhiles by praising the union as the guardian of European peace and civilisation.

The RN, in similar fashion, no longer calls for France to leave the EU and the euro. Its rhetoric remains anti-European, but with few specifics. This retreat from more radical policies was presumably intended precisely to broaden the RN’s appeal and so help it win power. And even if Ms Le Pen were to become president, she might still struggle to implement her policies, despite the immense formal powers of the office. After all, reforms to state pensions championed by Emmanuel Macron, the incumbent, met ferocious opposition even though he clearly advertised them during his re-election campaign last year.

Far-right parties, which are often young, full of zealous ideologues and dependent on charismatic leaders, are prone to schisms. The Finns Party’s first stint in government, in 2015, split it in two. Its second, which began in May, has already been marred by scandals and resignations. In Poland, PiS’s generous benefits policies have alienated fiscal conservatives, some of whom have defected to a libertarian party called Confederation. Ms Le Pen, having softened her radical image, now faces competition on the right from Reconquest, whose lead candidate in the European election is her niece, Marion Maréchal.

The most vivid illustration of such chaos is in the Netherlands, which since 2002 has seen a series of right-wing populist parties rocket to prominence only to implode. In provincial elections in 2019 Forum for Democracy, a party led by Thierry Baudet, a dandyish Eurosceptic, finished first with 17%. Within months it had split into three. Mr Baudet now hawks conspiracy theories about covid-19 and immigration; his rump of the party is polling at 3%. Earlier this year the BBB had a brief moment as the standard-bearer of the right, but it has already slumped to 11% in the polls. It has been losing votes to yet another new party on the right with populist overtones, New Social Contract, which was launched by an MP famous for investigating abuses by the tax authority.

What all these parties have in common is a vague sense that they stand with ordinary people against the elite. Their positions on hot-button issues can be hazy, as with the RN’s new stance on Europe. At a local level their candidates are often pragmatic. In June the rural town of Raguhn-Jessnitz in Saxony-Anhalt became the first to elect an AfD mayor. Hannes Loth is an energetic 42-year-old former vegetable farmer (“cabbage, sweetcorn, onions—all kinds of onions”). During the pandemic, when locals had trouble getting travel permits because of the lack of a covid-testing centre, Mr Loth opened one himself.

Mr Loth’s main concerns are run-down streets and fire stations and the town’s budget deficit, which was €1.5m ($1.6m) last year. That is partly because high energy prices sent heating bills for the Rathaus (town hall) through the roof. Mr Loth, toeing the afd’s line, says the solution is to restart the nuclear plants the government has closed and negotiate peace in Ukraine so gas pipelines to Russia can reopen.

The disconnect between genuine problems and far-fetched solutions encapsulates something important about hard-right populist parties. Mr Loth is acutely sensitive to his constituents’ suffering from high energy costs. But the AfD’s response is in part a fantasy: whatever it might wish, cheap Russian gas will not be an option for the foreseeable future.

Similarly, the worries of the voters at the meeting in Sint-Genesius-Rode are natural. They have seen their town change its language around them; they have trouble finding good Dutch-language schools for their kids. But Vlaams Belang’s solutions are illusory. Flemish independence is unlikely. Even if it happened, there is no way to force Sint-Genesius-Rode to speak mostly Dutch again. It has become French-speaking not because of a bureaucratic conspiracy, but because immigrants are more interested in learning French (a widely spoken language) than Dutch (a relatively obscure one).

The changes Europe’s populist parties rail against tend to be inexorable or at least not easily reversed: demography, sexual liberation, gender equality, the shift away from fossil fuels. As with Vlaams Belang, the policies they propose to set the world to rights tend to be incoherent or unachievable. For populists, unrealistic programmes are no bad thing: candidates cannot thunder indignantly at election rallies about problems that have been solved.

Moreover, simply by railing and attracting support, far-right parties help to shift the debate. All across the continent, centre-right parties have toughened their immigration policies and heightened their culture-war rhetoric to stop voters defecting to the populists. The most glaring example of this was in Britain, where Brexit was set in train by the Conservative Party’s decision to support a referendum on Brexit in an effort to diminish the appeal of the insurgents of the UK Independence Party.

This is probably the biggest risk of the rising vote share of Europe’s far-right parties. Certainly, they tend to be associated with bigotry and misogyny, and to undermine the rule of law. Occasionally they may win enough power to damage democracy, as in Hungary and Poland. But more often, big populist-right blocs simply impede countries from getting to grips with their most pressing problems by offering illusory solutions.

That is the last thing the EU needs. The next European Parliament must make grave decisions regarding institutional reform in the EU, energy security, climate, support for Ukraine and more. If a quarter of its members refuse to wrestle seriously with such problems, they are unlikely to be solved. The hard right does not need to seize control of the levers of power to gum them up. ?

Correction (September 18th, 2023): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Germany’s election took place last year. It was in 2021. We also wrote that the town of Raguhn-Jessnitz is in Saxony. In fact it is in Saxony-Anhalt. Sorry.

This article appeared in the Briefing section of the print edition under the headline “Swell of pride”

(2) Economist Magazine warns against statist, “anti-woke” conservatism that puts national sovereignty before the individual

Leaders | The right
The growing peril of national conservatism
It’s dangerous and it’s spreading. Liberals need to find a way to stop it

Feb 15th 2024

In the 1980s Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher built a new conservatism around markets and freedom. Today Donald Trump, Viktor Orban and a motley crew of Western politicians have demolished that orthodoxy, constructing in its place a statist, “anti-woke” conservatism that puts national sovereignty before the individual. These national conservatives are increasingly part of a global movement with its own networks of thinkers and leaders bound by a common ideology. They sense that they own conservatism now—and they may be right.

Despite its name, national conservatism could not be more different from the ideas of Reagan and Thatcher. Rather than being sceptical of big government, national conservatives think ordinary people are beset by impersonal global forces and that the state is their saviour. Unlike Reagan and Thatcher, they hate pooling sovereignty in multilateral organisations, they suspect free markets of being rigged by the elites and they are hostile to migration. They despise pluralism, especially the multicultural sort. National conservatives are obsessed with dismantling institutions they think are tainted by wokeness and globalism.

Instead of a sunny belief in progress, national conservatives are seized by declinism. William Buckley, a thinker of the old school, once quipped that “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling stop.” By comparison, national conservatives are revolutionaries. They do not see the West as the shining city on the hill, but as Rome before the fall—decadent, depraved and about to collapse amid a barbarian invasion. Not content with resisting progress, they also want to destroy classical liberalism.

Some people expect all this to blow over. National conservatives are too incoherent to pose a threat, they say. Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, supports Ukraine; Mr Orban has a soft spot for Russia. The Polish Law and Justice party (PiS) is anti-gay; in France Marine Le Pen is permissive. Besides, the obsession with national sovereignty would make people worse off, as trade collapses, economic growth stalls and civil rights are curtailed. Voters would surely choose to restore the world liberalism made.

That view is unforgivably complacent. National conservatism is the politics of grievance: if policies lead to bad outcomes, its leaders will shift the blame onto globalists and immigrants and claim this only proves how much is wrong with the world. For all their contradictions, national conservatives have been able to unite around their hostility towards common enemies, including migrants (especially Muslims), globalists and all their supposed abettors. Nine months before America’s election, Mr Trump is already undermining NATO.

National conservatives also deserve to be taken seriously because of their electoral prospects. Mr Trump is leading the polls in America. The far right is expected to do well in European parliamentary elections in June. In Germany in December the hard-right Alternative for Germany hit a record high of 23% in polls. Anticipating a lost election for Rishi Sunak, stridently pro-Brexit and anti-migration Tories are plotting to take over the party. In 2027 Ms Le Pen could well become France’s president.

And nationalist conservatives matter because when they succeed in winning office everything changes. By setting out to capture state institutions, including courts, universities and the independent press, they cement their grip on power. That is what Mr Orban’s Fidesz party has done in Hungary. In America Mr Trump has been explicit about his autocratic designs. The people working for him have drawn up policy documents that set out a programme to capture the federal bureaucracy. Once institutions have been weakened, it can be hard to restore them. In Poland PiS had the same agenda, before it was ousted in elections last year. The centre-right coalition that defeated it is now struggling to assert control.

How, then, should old-style conservatives and classical liberals deal with national conservatism? One answer is to take people’s legitimate grievances seriously. The citizens of many Western countries see illegal migration as a source of disorder and a drain on the public purse. They worry that their children will grow up to be poorer than they are. They are anxious about losing their jobs to new technology. They believe that institutions such as universities and the press have been captured by hostile, illiberal, left-leaning elites. They see the globalists who have thrived in recent decades as members of a self-serving, arrogant caste who like to believe that they rose to the top in a meritocracy when, in reality, their success was inherited.

These complaints have their merits, and sneering at them only confirms how out of touch elites have become. Instead, liberals and old-style conservatives need policies to deal with them. Legal migration is easier if the illegal sort is curbed. Restrictive planning rules price young people out of the housing market. Closed shops need busting apart. To have the truly open society they claim to want, liberals must press for elite intellectual institutions—the top businesses, newspapers and universities—to embody principles of liberalism instead of succumbing to censorship and groupthink. For all that the illiberal left and the illiberal right are mortal enemies, their high-octane rows over wokeness are mutually sustaining.

To diminish the national conservative fear that people’s way of life is under threat, liberals also need to stake their claim to some of their opponents’ ideas. Instead of virtue signalling, they should acknowledge that the left can be illiberal, too. If liberals are too squeamish to defend principles such as free speech and individual rights against the excesses of the left, they will fatally undermine their ability to defend them against the right. Instead of ceding the power of national myths and symbols to political opportunists, liberals need to get over their embarrassment about patriotism, the natural love of one’s country.

Liberalism’s great strength is that it is adaptable. The abolitionist and feminist movements broke apart the idea that some people counted more than others. Socialist arguments about fairness and human dignity helped create the welfare state. Libertarian arguments about liberty and efficiency led to freer markets and a limit on state power. Liberalism can adapt to national conservatism, too. Right now, it is falling behind.

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “The peril of national conservatism”

(3) Globalist ICJ Court dispenses Fake Justice

“Fake Justice” at The Hague: The ICJ “Appoints” Netanyahu to “Prevent” and “Punish” Those Responsible for “Genocidal Acts”

“Fake Justice” at The Hague: The ICJ “Appoints” Netanyahu to “Prevent” and “Punish” Those Responsible for “Genocidal Acts”

The Criminalization of International Law. Part I

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, February 04, 2024

First published on January 29, 2024, revised February 1 and 4, 2024

Update. A New Wave of Criminal Initiatives

The ICJ Judgment of January 26, 2024 assigns the Netanyahu government representing the State of Israel –accused by the Republic of South Africa of genocide against the People of Palestine– with a mandate to “take all measures within its power” to “prevent and punish” those responsible for having committed “Genocidal Acts”. (under Article IV of the Genocide Convention)

Sounds contradictory? What the ICJ judgment intimates –from a twisted legal standpoint– is that Netanyahu’s Cabinet “appointed” to implement the “prevent and punish” mandate cannot be accused of having committed “Genocidal Acts”.

In substance, this contradictory mandate –which was intended to protect the people of Gaza–, provides the Netanyahu government with a pretext to “prevent and punish” Palestinians for allegedly having committed genocidal acts against Israelis. i.e. Netanyahu can not “Prevent and Punish himself”. (See our detailed analysis below in the section on “Fake Justice”).

Netanyahu is Rejoicing

The ICJ not only refused to propose a “Cease Fire”, its January 26, 2024 Judgment failed to question the role of the Likud coalition government, which was largely responsible for the planning prior to October 7 of a comprehensive genocide agenda, with the support of Washington.

We had predicted that this vote would contribute to a new wave of criminal initiatives on the part of the Netanyahu government. On January 26, Netanyahu confirmed that the genocide was ongoing and would continue despite the ICJ Judgment.

“We will not compromise on anything less than total victory. That means eliminating Hamas, …”

Israel’s Plan: Mass Starvation

While rhetorical condemnations against Israel prevail, what the peace movement fails to acknowledge is that no legal obstruction or hindrance was formulated by the World Court with a view to curbing the tide of atrocities against Palestinians including an Israeli project to engineer starvation throughout the Gaza Strip.

“Gaza is experiencing mass starvation like no other in recent history. Before the outbreak of fighting in October, food security in Gaza was precarious, but very few children – <>less than 1% – suffered severe acute malnutrition, the most dangerous kind. Today, almost all Gazans, of any age, anywhere in the territory, are at risk.

There is no instance since the second world war in which an entire population has been reduced to extreme hunger and destitution with such speed. And there’s no case in which the international obligation to stop it has been so clear.”

These facts underpinned South Africa’s recent case against Israel at the international court of justice. The international genocide convention, article 2c, prohibits “deliberately inflicting [on a group] conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”. (<>Guardian)

Washington Supports the Genocide. The Issue of “Conflict of Interest” and “Recusal”

Amply documented, the Genocide is a joint Israel-U.S. project. The President of the ICJ, Joan Donoghue —a former Legal Advisor to Hillary Clinton– is in conflict of interest, which would required her <>Recusal. (See: <>Recusals of Arbitrators and Judges in International Courts and Tribunals, Chiara Giorgetti)

Escalation of the Genocide

What is at stake is the criminalization of the international judicial process. The ICJ has granted Israel with the full endorsement of the U.S. a de facto “green light” to continue and “escalate the genocide”.

Criminal acts are now being committed in the occupied West Bank, coupled with an increase in the deployment of IDF forces.

(4) Soros: the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions

A global society does not mean a global state. To abolish the existence of states is neither feasible nor desirable; but insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.

<>George Soros

The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998)
(5) Ukraine War began in Washington, with plan to take Sevastopol naval base from Russia

NOVEMBER 03 ,2019

How the War in Ukraine Started

Clear and convincing evidence will be presented here that, under U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Government had a detailed plan, which was already active in June 2013, to take over Russia’s main naval base, which is in Sevastopol in Crimea, and to turn it into a U.S. naval base.

There can now be no question that the war in Ukraine started, and resulted from, the U.S. Government’s plan to take over all of Ukraine, and especially to take over that Russian naval base, in Crimea, which then was in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine didn’t start at the time when a lot of people think that it did, with the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych. It was already underway considerably before that time, because it started in Washington, as the following masterful 11-minute documentary makes clear — it started as a subterranean war by Washington to take over Ukraine, before it became an overt war (a “civil war”) within Ukraine:

The <> CIA-edited and <> written Wikipedia claims that the war commenced in <> “a series of military actions that started in February 2014”; and, that, from the outset, it has been a <> “Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present)” — not any sort of American intervention in Ukraine. However, to the extent that Russia has been involved in the Ukrainian war, that involvement came later, and was a reaction against what the U.S. Government and its agents had done to Ukraine (which nation is, of course, on Russia’s doorstep, and so Russia inevitably did respond). Therefore, the propagandistic function of Wikipedia must be acknowledged, even though Wikipedia is adequate for providing an introductory overview of some non-geostrategic subjects.

The U.S. regime, under Barack Obama, had been planning, <> ever since June 2011, a takeover of Ukraine, in order to become enabled ultimately to place its nuclear missiles within less than five minutes flying-time to a <> first-strike blitz destruction of the Kremlin (thus preventing any effective Russian counter-attack). However, things didn’t work out quite according to the plan for the takeover of Ukraine, and here is how the war in Ukraine actually began:

We’ll open by describing the planning for the conquest of Russia’s key naval base, in Sevastopol in Crimea. Crimea was inside Ukraine during 1954-2014, but had otherwise been inside Russia, going all the way back to 1783. (During 1954, the Soviet dictator, Khrushchev, arbitrarily transferred Crimea, from Russia to Ukraine, even though the vast majority of Crimeans considered themselves to be Russians, and their native language was Russian — but, after all, the Soviet Union was a dictatorship. Crimeans had no say in the matter.)

The U.S. regime prepared for its planned takeover of Crimea by commissioning Gallup to poll Crimeans in 2013 to find out whether the residents there considered themselves to be Ukrainians (which would make the U.S. regime’s job in Crimea easier), or instead still Russians (which would foretell resistance there); and the findings were that Crimeans overwhelmingly still considered themselves to be Russians, definitely not Ukrainians. Nonetheless, the plan for the takeover went forward — the U.S. team, it is clear, decided that the residents of Crimea could be <> dealt with, in such ways as is shown here:

Some were clubbed to death, others became permanently disabled from their injuries, but this was a warning to Crimeans, to buckle under, and give up: be ruled from Kiev, by Washington’s regime. It didn’t work. A referendum was quickly held in Crimea about whether they wanted to be ruled by the newly installed Ukrainian government, and the results were in line with Gallup’s findings: Crimeans wanted to be ruled from Moscow, not from Kiev.

The U.S. then hired Gallup to survey Crimeans soon after the referendum. (Perhaps the U.S. regime was hoping to find that a scientific sampling of Crimeans would show a far smaller percentage favoring the breakaway of Crimea from Ukraine than the referendum had reported, which could greatly intensify international skepticism about the legitimacy of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. But, if that was the purpose, Gallup’s findings again turned out to be a disappointment.)

Here is what Gallup found in both its 2013 and 2014 polls of Crimeans:

When Gallup did their<,%20May%2016-30,%202013.pdf> “Public Opinion Survey Residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea May 16-30, 2013” (which was called that because even when Crimea was part of Ukraine, it had a special status, as being an “Autonomous Republic” — not a province), only 15% (slide 8) of Crimeans viewed themselves as “Ukrainian,” but 40% said “Russian,” and 24% said “Crimean.” 53% (slide 14) wanted Crimeans to be part of the “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan,” but only 17% wanted Crimeans to be part of “The European Union.” 68% (slide 15) said their feelings toward “Russia” were “warm,” but only 6% said their feelings toward “USA” were “warm.

When Gallup in <> April 2014 (right after the referendum) polled Crimeans again (slide 25), 76.2% had a “negative” view of the United States, and 2.8% had a “positive” view of it; 71.3% had a positive view of Russia, and 8.8% had a negative view of it. Asked whether (slide 28) “The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status likely reflect the views of most people there/here,” 82.8% said yes; 6.7% said no. 89.3% in the poll expressed an opinion on this matter, and 93% of those who expressed an opinion said that the referendum “likely did reflect the views” of Crimeans. That was almost exactly the same percentage as those who in the referendum had voted to rejoin Russia. It couldn’t have been stronger verification of the referendum-results, than that. The Gallup poll findings (like its predecessor) were hidden from the public — not broadcast to the public by the regime’s propaganda-media. After all: the U.S. Government is a regime — it’s <> not a democracy. All of the formalities, now, are just for show. Both of its political parties are imperialists (“neoconservative”). Only their style differs.

So: the U.S. regime knew that it wasn’t, at all, wanted nor welcomed by Crimeans, but that Russia very much was. The U.S. regime thus moved forward on the basis that the government of Ukraine owned that land; the residents who lived there did not, and should have no say about what government owned it and would rule them. The idea was that, if the people there didn’t like it, they should emigrate to Russia (and, according to a Russian source, <> “4.4 million went to Russia” — removed themselves from Ukraine — after the coup).

The U.S. regime, clearly, wanted the land, not the people who were living on it. The expectation, as soon as Ukraine was under U.S. control from the <> coup, had been that America would get the entirety of Ukraine, including Crimea; but, then, Russia’s Vladimir Putin stepped in and protected Crimeans who were clamoring to hold a referendum in order to express their collective will on this matter; and this referendum was held, on 16 March 2014, and it produced over 90% voting for Crimea to be a part of Russia, such as Crimea had been before Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine.

So: the U.S. regime failed to get the naval base that it had expected to get in Sevastopol in Crimea. That was a crucial failure for Obama.

Those events — the <> coup and, three weeks later, the Crimean referendum — occurred in 2014, but the planning for the coup had already been going on for years, and it wasn’t being called off once Gallup reported in 2013 that most Crimeans loathed the U.S. The active operation to take over Ukraine had started actually on <> 1 March 2013 inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which was almost 9 months before Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, on 20 November 2013, rejected the EU’s demand that Ukraine must bear the full <> $160 billion cost of abandoning its existing trading relationships with Russia and its allies, in order to join the EU. Wikipedia says that the overthrow of Yanukovych <> started on 21 November 2013 when he said no to the EU, but actually it started on 1 March 2013; and the planning for it had started by no later than June 2011. And it may be said to have begun even prior to that, when, near the very start of Obama’s Presidency, Obama called the then-Ukrainian-Presidential-candidate Yanukovych to Washington in order to sound him out on — if Yanukovych would become the winner — getting Ukraine into NATO, America’s anti-Russian military alliance. Getting Ukraine into the EU was really just to be a stepping stone to getting it into NATO so that U.S. nuclear missiles could be placed there against Moscow. This is what everything was really about. On 7 January 2010, the Kiev Post bannered <> “Yanukovych: Ukraine will remain a neutral state” and this is what actually sealed his fate. Yanukovych, with that now in his platform, won the Presidential election on 7 February 2010. So: he was in Obama’s gunsight even at the very moment when he won the Presidency.

There was no question as to whether Ukrainians wanted to be in NATO: they did not. <> During 2003-2009, only around 20% of Ukrainians wanted NATO membership, while around 55% opposed it. <> In 2010, Gallup found that whereas 17% of Ukrainians considered NATO to mean “protection of your country,” 40% said it’s “a threat to your country.” Ukrainians predominantly saw NATO as an enemy, not a friend. But after Obama’s February 2014 Ukrainian coup, <> “Ukraine’s NATO membership would get 53.4% of the votes, one third of Ukrainians (33.6%) would oppose it.” The coup turned what remained of Ukraine sharply against Russia. NATO is the key; the EU is more like an excuse for Ukraine to be admitted into NATO.

In June 2013 (well before the ‘democratic revolution’ in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a “Project Description” for “Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine,” under the euphemistic title <> “EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program”. EUCOM is the U.S. European Command — it is purely military, not “humanitarian,” at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other U.S.-made products, that the U.S. regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were U.S. taxpayers supposed to fund this ‘humanitarian’ operation, by the U.S. military?

A remarkably full description, of what that extraordinary RFP was about, was provided on 24 April 2014 by a “Lada Ray,” under the headline <> “Breaking! US Planned to Turn #Crimea into Military Base Against Russia”, and here is its opening:

Breaking! US Planned to Turn #Crimea into Military Base Against Russia

24 April 2014, Lada Ray: A couple of weeks ago Crimea and Sevastopol almost unanimously voted to re-join Russia. The Crimeans said: we had been unappreciated guests, now we are returning home after a long voyage. More about that in my articles:

<> Why is Crimea Overwhelmingly Pro RE-Unification With Russia?
<> Prediction: Crimea Independence Vote

The information coming to the surface now shows that if Crimea stayed as part of Ukraine, it would have become a huge NATO/US military base. I seriously doubt that the people of the Crimea would have stood for that, but if such a thing did happen, it would have meant WWIII as Russia would never allow it. From this perspective it’s especially clear why NATO, USA and EU were so shocked that Russia decisively accepted Crimea back. They already considered it theirs.

The city of Sevastopol is the prized possession. This is one of the best harbors in the world. But the entire Crimea is of huge strategic importance – first and foremost, if you want to attack Russia. In addition, Crimea is important for the control over other countries, including Iran and Turkey. As they say, he who controls Crimea, controls the Black Sea.

At least one hospital in Crimea’s capital Simferopol and at least one school in Sevastopol were targeted by the US/NATO just recently. They were planning on turning the hospital into a base for their troops after a massive renovation. One of the high schools (a gymnasium) in Sevastopol the Kiev authorities were about to sell to the US to be repurposed as a school for spies, targeting Russia. It was planned that the kids going to that school would be learning languages and spying techniques since an early age.

It appears Americans wanted to turn the Crimea into a massive military/navy/intelligence complex. The famous, one-of-a-kind Soviet underground submarine base in Balaklava, which is now the Museum of the Cold War, was visited in the past several years by at least 25 delegations from the Pentagon, US Navy, NATO, and Western political circles. Kiev gave them access to super-secret Russian/Soviet sectors of the base, which were supposed to be off limits. They studied with great interest the secret documentation and technology.

In Sevastopol, called “the city of the Russian glory” and the “hero city,” the NATO and US navy ships and military have been present for years. The population greeted them with constant protests, which prevented some of the planned joint military exercises between NATO and Kiev. Sometimes, the NATO ships had to leave because of the population’s resistance (protest footage on video below at 1:54). US/NATO ships in the Sevastopol harbor tried many times to “park” right in front of the Russian ships stationed there just out of spite. As we know, for 23 years, since the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Russia has been leasing its own base on its historic land for $100mln a year from Kiev.

Sevastopol had been the important base of the Russian Fleet since 1776. Sevastopol is a large and beautiful city populated with ethnic Russians, many of whom are retired navy officers and their families. These people dreamed for 23 years of going home – and by home they always meant Russia. Add to that that Kiev constantly attacked Russian language, little by little taking away the right of the Russian-speakers to speak their native language.

In Crimea, the US financed very generously various media, NGOs, and politicians, who would essentially become their agents. Of course, much of that was styled as support for democracy.

People of the Crimea felt deeply insulted by such attitude by the bought-and-paid-for Kiev and such disrespect of their heritage and wishes by the US/NATO.

You didn’t see that information in the New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Telegraph, Guardian, or any other U.S.-regime propaganda-organ; and, so, the facts that are told there might be surprising (or even shocking) to readers under the U.S. regime; but they are true, and the propaganda isn’t.

Then, Ukraine’s far eastern Donbass region, which had voted over 90% for the <> democratically elected President of Ukraine whom Obama had overthrown, also broke away. Here is how that happened:

Ukraine started its war against resisters by drafting everyone they could grab, and sending them in tanks into the south and east, in order to prevent any more secessions than Crimea had already done. The draftees were terrified, and didn’t want to kill. On 16 April 2014, the Kiev Post bannered <> “A day of humiliation, as Ukrainian military offensive stalls, six armored vehicles seized”. It opened: “On April 15, Ukraine’s military began an anti-terrorist operation against Kremlin-backed insurgents who have taken over numerous government buildings and police headquarters in several cities of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s most populous region where 10 percent of the nation’s 45 million people live.” The residents in Donbass were now officially (by the Obama-installed government) called “terrorists,” and Ukraine called its war to exterminate them the “Anti-Terrorist Operation” or ATO. Its objective was to eliminate as many of Yanukovych’s voters as possible (and Donbass having voted over 90% for Yanukovych meant that all of it was now a free-fire zone for Ukraine’s soldiers and bombers), so that the new regime would be able to win future elections (by eliminating the government’s opponents).

On 2 May 2014, thugs who were organized by the newly installed American regime in Kiev <> burned to death an uncounted number, perhaps over a hundred, individuals inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building, who had been distributing flyers against the coup-regime. Some of the massacre’s key <> organizers had friends inside the Obama White House. That event set off a panic throughout the eastern and southern half of Ukraine, where Yanukovych had overwhelmingly won the Presidency. The secession movement in the areas where Yanukovych had won (southern and eastern Ukraine), formed, and <> during 4-9 May 2014 took over some government buildings. Donbass, where <> Yanukovych had won by over 90%, seceded. The <> bombings and <> cannonades against Donbass — and sometimes even <> firebombings against them— took over.

That’s how the war started.

The U.S. regime and its supporters imposed severe sanctions against Russia for responding.

The accounts that have been given about the Ukrainian war by U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media have been boldly blatant lies.

*(Top image: Odessa Massacre. Credit: Alexander Polishchuk/ Sputnik)