Ukraine | Palestine/Egypt | Britain | Korea | Haiti

M. sent these links:
F. William Engdahl: The Rape of Ukraine: Phase Two Begins with NATO mercenaries (Sunday Times; also at 21st Century Wire)

An legitimately-elected (said by all international monitors) Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, has been driven from office, forced to flee as a war criminal after more than three months of violent protest and terrorist killings by so-called opposition.
His “crime” according to protest leaders was that he rejected an EU offer of a vaguely-defined associate EU membership that offered little to Ukraine in favor of a concrete deal with Russia that gave immediate €15 billion debt relief and a huge reduction in Russian gas import prices. Washington at that point went into high gear and the result today is catastrophe…
Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO “GLADIO” organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media.

Mike Whitney: Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet (Sunday Times; also at CounterPunch)

The United States helped defeat Nazism in World War 2. Obama helped bring it back.

More on Ukraine:
Renee Parsons: Chronology of the Ukrainian Coup (CounterPunch)
Timothy Stanley: Hillary, Putin’s no Hitler (CNN)

It’s called Godwin’s law. The longer a debate rages, the greater the likelihood that someone will compare someone else to Hitler.
And Hillary Clinton has done just that: On Tuesday the former secretary of state reportedly told a private fund-raising party that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions are similar to Hitler’s in the run up to World War II…
After all, in the eyes of many ethnic Russians, it is the Ukrainian nationalists — not Putin — who are the Nazis. The Russians have asserted, quite accurately, that the revolution that overthrew a pro-Russian, democratically elected leader has resulted in the elevation of Russophobe fascists into key government positions. For example, the new secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council is Andriy Parubiy — co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU).
Another creator of the SNPU is Oleh Tyahnybok, a high-profile leader of the Kiev protests who has blamed Ukraine’s problems on a Jewish conspiracy run out of Moscow. Ukraine’s new deputy secretary of national security is Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector group, which regards Tyahnybok as a soft liberal and which flies the old flag of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators at its rallies.
In other words, in this situation, who exactly are the Nazis?

Colum Lynch: Beijing and Moscow Part Ways Over Ukraine (Foreign Policy)

Days after Ukraine’s deposed President Viktor Yanukovych fled his Kiev palace, an unassuming, mid-level Chinese diplomat appeared before the United Nations Security Council to highlight Beijing’s support for the new pro-Western government, marking a rare diplomatic split from Moscow.
“We respect the choice made by the Ukrainian people on the basis of national conditions,” Shen Bo, a counselor at China’s U.N. mission said in a Feb. 24 statement that went largely unnoticed by the international press.

Shaun Walker, Harriet Salem, Paul Gallagher: Ukraine PM warns of war as Russian military seizes control in Crimea (Guardian)
Shaun Walker, Ian Traynor: Russian military moves in Crimea are declaration of war, says Ukrainian PM (Guardian)
The Ukraine crisis: John Kerry and Nato must calm down and back off (Guardian)

Both John Kerry’s threats to expel Russia from the G8 and the Ukrainian government’s plea for Nato aid mark a dangerous escalation of a crisis that can easily be contained if cool heads prevail. Hysteria seems to be the mood in Washington and Kiev, with the new Ukrainian prime minister claiming, “We are on the brink of disaster” as he calls up army reserves in response to Russian military movements in Crimea.

Pepe Escobar: Carnival in Crimea (Asia Times)

The new prime minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is – what else – a “technocratic reformer”, code for Western puppet. Ukraine is a (torn) basket case. The currency has fallen 20% since the start of 2014. Millions of unemployed Europeans know the European Union does not have the dough to bail out the country (perhaps Ukrainians could ask former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for some tips).
In Pipelineistan terms, Ukraine is an appendix to Russia; it’s Russian gas that transits through Ukraine to European markets. And Ukrainian industry depends on the Russian market. …
Without Russia, Ukraine will totally depend on the West to pay all its bills, not to mention avoid being bankrupt. That amounts to a whopping $30 billion until the end of 2014. Unlike Egypt, they cannot dial the House of Saud’s number and ask for some juicy petrodollars.

Chris Floyd: Ukraine, Omidyar and the Neo-Liberal Agenda (CounterPunch)
As Vladimir Gligorov said: “Why should I be a minority in your country when you can be a minority in mine?”
Ian Traynor, Paul Lewi, Kim Willsher, Patrick Wintour: Ukraine crisis: Crimea announces referendum on joining Russia (Guardian)
Против войны! За самоопределение! (Боротьба)
Все – на митинг за самоопределение и самоуправление 8 марта! (Боротьба)
Nicolas Maury: Rostislav Vasilko, dirigeant communiste à Lviv (Ukraine) torturé par les néonazis de EuroMaïdan (Istres Grand Lyon)
Florian Rötzer: Moskau droht mit militärischer Intervention (Telepolis)
Florian Rötzer: Diplomatie ohne Erfolg (Telepolis)
Thomas Eipeldauer: »Ein Bürgerkrieg ist möglich« (junge Welt)
Susann Witt-Stahl: Argument Kalaschnikow (Hintergrund)
Konstantin Wecker: Ich kann diese Verlogenheit nicht mehr ertragen. (wecker.de)
Nick Alexandrov: Ukrainian Democracy: A Barrier to Washington’s Goals (CounterPunch)

Who is Washington’s chief enemy in Ukraine? Is it Russia, bent on killing Ukraine’s budding democracy? Is it the tyrant Yanukovych? The U.S. policy record points to a different conclusion, one a Johns Hopkins Center for Transatlantic Relations study—included in the official transcription of the Senate’s 2012 “Ukraine at a Crossroads” hearing—discusses in the context of Ukraine’s potential NATO membership. “The main obstacle” to Ukraine’s joining the organization “is not Russian opposition,” its authors emphasized, “but low public support for membership in Ukraine itself.” Again: on this and other issues, the Ukrainian people are “the main obstacle” to U.S. foreign policy aims. We should bear this fact in mind as the crisis deepens in Eastern Europe.

Peter Lee: Problems in Ukraine? Blame Russia! (CounterPunch)
Statement of Communist, Left-Wing and Patriotic Left Forces of Russia on the Situation in the Ukraine (Красное ТВ)
Петр Симоненко: Обращение Первого секретаря ЦК КПУ Петра Симоненко к товарищам по партии (Комуністична партія України)
Edward Lucas: Don‘t be fooled by her angelic looks, she’s as ruthless as she’s corrupt: A withering portrait of Ukraine’s ‘saviour’ (Daily Mail)

‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank (Amnesty International)

Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today.
Amnesty International documented the killing of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in 2013. At least four were children. According to the UN, more West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2013 than in 2011 and 2012 combined. In the last three years at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, have been seriously injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank. More than 8,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 1,500 children, have been wounded with rubber-coated metal bullets and the reckless use of tear gas since January 2011.

And here is the rather bizarre response from the occupation force:
Amnesty International Report Ignores Palestinian Violence (Israel Defense Forces)

In its upcoming report, Amnesty International wholly ignores the substantial increase in Palestinian violence initiated over the past year, and shows a complete lack of understanding as to operational challenges the IDF faces.
2013 saw a sharp increase in rock hurling incidents, gravely jeopardizing the lives of civilians and military personnel. 132 Israelis were injured during that year alone, almost double the number in 2012.

Yasmine Saleh: Court bans activities of Islamist Hamas in Egypt (Reuters)

An Egyptian court on Tuesday banned all Hamas activities in Egypt in another sign that the military-backed government aims to squeeze the Palestinian Islamist group that rules the neighboring Gaza Strip.

Patrick Kingsley: Al-Jazeera trial: prosecution presents contents of journalists’ hotel rooms (Guardian)

Trial in Egypt descends into farce on day two as everything from journalists’ hotel rooms is presented as evidence by prosecution.

Spencer Ackerman, James Ball: Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ (Guardian)

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.
In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Amy Goodman, James Ball: Peeping Webcam? With NSA Help, British Spy Agency Intercepted Millions of Yahoo Chat Images (Democracy Now)
Glenn Greenwald, Murtaza Hussain: The Moazzam Begg Arrest: Part of the Effort to Criminalize Muslim Political Dissent (Intercept)

Moazzam Begg, a native-born British citizen of Pakistani descent, spent three years incarcerated in the most notorious detention camps created in the post-9/11 “War on Terror”: all without ever being charged with any crime.
Arrested in Pakistan in 2002, he was transferred to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where he suffered torture and witnessed U.S. interrogators beat an innocent taxi driver to death, and then onwards to Guantanamo Bay where he would be detained for the next three years in conditions he’d describe as “torturous”.
Throughout this time Begg, now 45, was repeatedly deprived of legal counsel and was prohibited from even viewing the alleged evidence against him. After public outcry in his home country resulted in his repatriation to England in 2005, Begg went on to become a human rights activist — writing books, and advocating for other post-9/11 detainees through his organization Cageprisoners, whose self-described mission is: “working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror”; “campaigning against the War on Terror”; and “working with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe.”

Ryan Devereaux: UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law (Intercept)

A British lower court has ruled that London police acted lawfully in employing an anti-terror statute to detain and interrogate David Miranda for nearly nine hours at Heathrow Airport last summer, even while recognizing that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom.”

Glenn Greenwald: On the UK’s Equating of Journalism With Terrorism (Intercept)

The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world calls “award-winning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors.

Ahn Mi Young: North Korea Doing Fine Without the South (Inter Press Service)

If the North Korea of the 1990s was seen as a starving nation that produced an exodus of hungry people, then the picture should be even gloomier now – six years after it stopped receiving South Korea’s generous aid. But it’s not. The nation of 24 million people, widely said to be the most secretive in the world and a nuclear threat, appears to have weathered the years well.
Today, more people are reported to be better off. Many are engaged in trade. Its communist regime, inherited by the 30-something supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un after his father’s death in 2011, is actively wooing foreign investors and tourists, and introducing reforms. Pyongyang has even softened its attitude towards Seoul to resume talks.
North Korea has been gradually weaned off South Korean food and goods.

Yves Engler: Remembering the Overthrow of Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide, part I | part II | part III | part IV (CounterPunch)

Mark Berman: This chart shows how Chinese became the new French (Washington Post)

Chinese has overtaken French as the most common language in the United States other than English or Spanish, while Tagalog and Vietnamese have leapfrogged Italian and German.
These are some of the biggest takeaways from this Census Bureau chart examining how language usage in the country shifted between 1980 and 2010.

Syria | Bahrain | Gaza | Haiti | Greece | Libya | Fukushima

Afshin Mehrpouya: Six Ways the Media Has Misreported Syria (CounterPunch)

1. What do the majority of Syrians want?
2. Is the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the militarized insurgency representative of the Syrian opposition?
3. How many casualties and killed by whom?
4. Are the information sources unbiased and credible?
5. What are the interests of countries pushing for regime change and foreign intervention?
6. What are the “democratic credentials of the countries who want to take democracy to Syria?

John sent these links:
Andrew Hammond: Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain (Reuters)
Reem Khalifa: Bahrain protesters boost pressure with huge rally (Google)

Amy Goodman, : Ceasefire Reached After Israeli Air Strikes Killed 26 Palestinians in Gaza (Democracy Now)
Ali Abunimah: “Mowing the lawn”: On Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza and the lies behind it (Electronic Intifada)
Gideon Levy: The storm over Bamba and apathy concerning Gaza / בין סערת הבמבה לעזה (Haaretz)
Aluf Benn: Netanyahu is preparing Israeli public opinion for a war on Iran / בנימין נתניהו הוציא צו 8 לעצמו ולציבור (Haaretz)
As’ad AbuKhalil: Tolerable Savagery: Israeli Killing of Palestinians (Al-Akhbar)
Max Blumenthal: Israel’s bogus case for bombing Gaza obscures political motives (Al-Akhbar)
AFP: China urges Israel to halt Gaza assault (Al-Akhbar)

Jon Henley: Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback (Guardian)

Mark Weisbrot: America’s subversion of Haiti’s democracy continues (Guardian)

Vijay Prashad: NATO’S Craven Coverup of Its Libyan Bombing (CounterPunch)

Evan Osnos: The Fallout – Seven months later: Japan’s nuclear predicament (New Yorker)

Thailand | Libya | Gaza

The Financial Times makes it clear once more that democracy is fine as long as people vote for the right candidates: “The poor, and their allies in Ms Yingluck’s party, must accept that they have to protect private property rights and the rule of law and also that they must not let Mr Thaksin back into Thailand, no matter how much they love him.”
Joshua Kurlantzick: Thaksin’s dreams can end Thai democracy (Financial Times)

Tania Branigan: Thai government concedes poll defeat (Guardian)

Franklin Lamb: NATO’s War Against Libya’s Civilians (CounterPunch)
David Tresilian: French Arms for Libyan Rebels (al-Ahram)
Michael Martina: China deepens engagement with Libyan rebels (Reuters)
Vijay Prashad: BRICS vs. G7: Libya as Proxy (CounterPunch)
Bongani Masuku: COSATU Calls on Workers to Join Protest March against Bombing of Libya (MRzine)

Yoshie Furuhashi: Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “SOS Syrie” Conference: Zionists, Muslim Brothers, and Other Leaders of “Change in Syria” (MRzine)

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities and Captain Jailed:
Passengers Determined to Free Captain and Set Sail Again
(MRzine)
Jack Shenker, Conal Urquhart: Activists’ plan to break Gaza blockade with aid flotilla is sunk (Guardian)
Amira Hass: In dealing with flotilla, Israel is anything but smart / המשט והסטריאוטיפ היהודי (Ha’aretz)

Blocking the flotilla did not discourage the organizers, who are graduates of the anti-apartheid and anti-white supremacy struggles. Rather, it provided ample proof of how white Israel is. As a result, blocking the flotilla only increased their motivation to keep placing the Palestinians’ demand for freedom at the forefront of the international agenda.

חסימת המשט לא ריפתה את ידי המארגנים, חניכי המאבק באפרטהייד ובעליונות הלבנה. היא ציידה אותם בשלל הוכחות ללובן של ישראל. היא הגבירה את המוטיווציה שלהם להמשיך ולהעמיד את דרישת הפלסטינים לחופש בראש סדר היום העולמי.

Frank Lindh: America’s ‘detainee 001’ – the persecution of John Walker Lindh (Guardian)

John is entirely innocent of any involvement in the terror attacks, or any allegiance to terrorism. That is not disputed by the American government. Indeed, all accusations of terrorism against John were dropped by the government in a plea bargain, which in turn was approved by the US district court in which the case was brought.

Despite its proud history as a stable constitutional democracy, the US has, for 10 years, been affected by post-traumatic shock, following the horrific events of 11 September 2001. I can find no other explanation for the barbaric mistreatment and continued detention of a gentle young man like John Lindh.

Barak Ravid: UN: Israel used unnecessary force against protesters on Nakba Day (Ha’aretz)

Victor Grossman: German Leopards for Saudi Arabia (MRzine)

Marjorie Cohn: Avoiding Impunity: The Need to Broaden Torture Prosecutions (Jurist)

Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Yoo have all said they participated in the decision to waterboard and would do it again. Thus, they have admitted the commission of war crimes. Major General Anthony Taguba, who directed the investigation of mistreatment at Abu Ghraib, wrote, “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

Taguba’s question has been answered. None of those lawyers or officials will be brought to justice. Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta said, “We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency’s history.” Ominously, David Petraeus, incoming CIA Director, told Congress there might be circumstances in which a return to “enhanced interrogation” is warranted. That means torture may well continue during Obama’s tenure. This is unacceptable.

Dan Coughlin, Kim Ives: Cable Depicts Fraudulent Haiti Election (Nation)

Syria | Gaza | Libya | Sudan | Egypt | Haiti

The following article is an interesting analysis of Dar‘ā (‏درعا) in the southwest of Syria and the sectarian character of the al-Asad regime. It also notes the lack of militarization both in Damascus and Aleppo. Most interesting is the author’s attack on the traditional left which he accuses of siding with Assad and thus helping the Islamists to appear radical. I wonder if he is right about the pace and the stage of the events – the movement seems weak and the repression seems strong.
Hassan Khaled Chatila: The revolt in Syria: Its roots and prospects (Kasama / World to win)

John sent this link:
Ernesto Londono, Joel Greenberg: Egypt to reopen Gaza border crossing, raising Israeli concerns (Washington Post)

Wilhelm Langthaler: Egypt’s drift away from Western tutelage (Anti-Imperialist Camp)
Werner Pirker: »Das ist ausgeartet zum Karneval politischer Hochstapler« (junge Welt)

Samir Amin: 2011 : le printemps arabe ? (Nouveaux cahiers du socialisme). Excerpts in translation: Libya Is Neither Tunisia Nor Egypt / On the Revolt in Syria (MRzine)

Oren Kessler: Israel hopes to attain a new African ally in S. Sudan (Jerusalem Post)
Gil Ronen: South Sudan Wants Ties with Israel (Arutz Sheva)

Jamie Doward, Philippa Stewart: UK training Saudi forces used to crush Arab spring (Guardian)

Britain is training Saudi Arabia’s national guard – the elite security force deployed during the recent protests in Bahrain – in public order enforcement measures and the use of sniper rifles. The revelation has outraged human rights groups, which point out that the Foreign Office recognises that the kingdom’s human rights record is “a major concern”. … Britain sends up to 20 training teams to the kingdom a year.

Roger Annis, Kevin Edmonds: Haiti’s foreign-orchestrated election hands power to neo-Duvalierist Michel Martelly (rabble.ca)

Wikileaks | Football | Haiti | Australia | Korea

Paul Street: Revealing Moments: Obama, WikiLeaks, the “Good War” Myth, and Silly Liberal Faith in the Emperor (MRzine)

War crime whistleblower in Obama’s sights, war criminals not.

Alexander Cockburn: Do Disclosures of Atrocities Change Anything? (CounterPunch)

The important constituency here is liberals, who duly rise to the challenge of unpleasant disclosures of imperial crimes. In the wake of scandals such as those revealed at Abu Ghraib, or in the Wikileaks files, they are particularly eager to proclaim that they “can take it” – i.e., endure convincing accounts of monstrous tortures, targeted assassinations by US forces, obliteration of wedding parties or entire villages, and emerge with ringing affirmations of the fundamental overall morality of the imperial enterprise. This was very common in the Vietnam war and repeated in subsequent imperial ventures such the sanctions and ensuing attack on Iraq, and now the war in Afghanistan. Of course in the case of Israel it’s an entire way of life for a handsome slice of America’s liberals.
What does end wars? One side is annihilated, the money runs out, the troops mutiny, the government falls, or fears it will. With the U.S. war in Afghanistan none of these conditions has yet been met.

May sent this article on football:
May de Silva: The Better Half of the World Game (The Island)

Kris sent these two links on Haiti and Australia:
Charlie Hinton, Kiilu Nyasha: Wyclef Jean For President Of Haiti? Look Beyond The Hype (Before It’s News)

To cut to the chase, no election in Haiti, and no candidate in those elections, will be considered legitimate by the majority of Haiti’s population, unless it includes the full and fair participation of the Fanmi Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Fanmi Lavalas is unquestionably the most popular party in the country, yet the “international community,” led by the United States, France, and Canada, has done everything possible to undermine Aristide and Lavalas, overthrowing him twice by military coups in 1991 and 2004, and banishing Aristide, who now lives in South Africa with his family, from the Americas.

John Pilger: Julia Gillard, the new warlord of Oz (New Statesman)

The rise to power of Australia’s first female prime minister led to hopes for political change. But early signs indicate that Gillard will do little more than protect vested big-business interests.

Puerto Rican nationalist Lolita Lebron dies at 89 (AP/Guardian)
Lolita Lebrón (Wikipedia)

Hilary Keenan: Shock wave and bubble: the untruth about the Cheonan (21st Century Socialism)
Gregory Elich: Doubts Persist: The Sinking of the Cheonan and Its Political Uses (CounterPunch)
Lee Yeong-in: Government protests Russia’s Conflicting Cheonan findings (Hankoryeh)

[South Korean] 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Shin Kak-soo summoned Russian Ambassador to South Korea Konstantin Vnukov to the Foreign Ministry on July 4 to express “astonishment” at Russia’s investigation findings because the findings were a complete contradiction to the South Korean government’s announcement.