Category Archives: Russia

Standing By As East Ukrainians Die

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Russia, UN

Western countries approved sending aid to Syria without obtaining the approval of the Syrian government. Why can’t the hypocrites of the UN and the international community allow Russia’s delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine?

Lugansk and neighboring areas have been repeatedly shelled lately, which resulted in casualties among civilians. Because of damaged infrastructure in Lugansk, there is no water and electricity supply, and phone and internet lines are also down.

We can argue as to who exactly has paid for this aid to east Ukraine, and whether Russia has acquired it at the point of a gun from its taxpayers; a no-no in libertarian law. It is, however, a mistake for libertarians to conflate the act of helping dying people with the act of policing a region. Non-interventionism need not mean standing by as people die. You don’t have to go to war to help people.

RT: According to the Red Cross, there is an “urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies” in Lugansk, east Ukraine.

You won’t hear this account in the American media, but Nebojsa Malic has provided the “Russian Statement on the Aid Convoy”:

The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable.

A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities. We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly. These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area.

Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment’s delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC. We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces. These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities. …

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When An Exceptionally ‘Good Country’ Downs A Plane

America, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Iran, Reason, Russia

To extrapolate from Dinesh D’Souza’s illogic (explained nicely by Jack Kerwick), when an exceptionally ‘Good Country,’ as the US surely is, downs a plane, that country deserves mitigation, for it is good. In other words, the properties of the crime, which are the same whoever commits it, somehow change, depending on the identity of the perpetrator.

Thus, because he belongs to a good collective, D’Souza, presumably, would diminish the culpability of the “U.S. Navy captain” who shot “Iran Air Flight 655″ out of the sky, on July 3, 1988.

“A quarter-century later,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate, “the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces.”

Kaplan compares the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to “The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.”

… In several ways, the two calamities are similar. The Malaysian Boeing 777 wandered into a messy civil war in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border; the Iranian Airbus A300 wandered into a naval skirmish—one of many clashes in the ongoing “Tanker War” (another forgotten conflict)—in the Strait of Hormuz. The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children. After last week’s incident, Russian officials told various lies to cover up their culpability and blamed the Ukrainian government; after the 1988 incident, American officials told various lies and blamed the Iranian pilot. Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed “deep regret,” not an apology. …

Read “America’s Flight 17.”


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Putin’s PR Quagmire

Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia, Terrorism

Opines Tom Piatak of Chronicles magazine:

Most Ukrainians do not want to be part of Russia’s “near abroad.” In this they resemble most Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. Those who experienced Russian rule, either under the tsars or the commissars, generally do not harbor any nostalgia for it. Instead, they fear its return. A post-Communist Russia does not pose any threat to us, and the United States should stay out of Russia’s dispute with Ukraine for that reason. But Russia does pose a potential threat to its neighbors, and giving support to rebels who shoot down airliners will do nothing to reassure those worried by a revival of Russian power. Putin’s task should be to allay the fears of Russia’s neighbors, not to stoke them.

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Silly Shrew

Feminism, Gender, Russia

How does a shameless shrew demonstrate how she feels (for she can’t think)? By baring her breasts while stabbing a statue of President Vladimir Putin in a Paris wax museum.

… A topless member of the radical protest group Femen used a metal chisel to stab and bash in the face of Putin’s statue in a famed Paris wax museum on Thursday.
The activist, who had ‘Kill Putin’ written on her bare chest, reportedly screamed “Putin is a dictator” while destroying the figure at the Grevin Wax Museum, French daily Le Parisien reported.
Police arrested the activist shortly after the attack, which happened near statues of US President Barack Obama and recently abdicated Spanish King Juan Carlos, both of which escaped without a scratch. …

Some comic relief from a fem who takes herself ever so seriously.


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Provenance Of Anti-Semitic Leaflets Still Unknown

Anti-Semitism, Europe, Russia

Despite what neoconservatives stateside are asserting, according to IsraeNet, “It is unclear who is responsible for [a] leaflet,” distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine, “calling for all Jews over 16 years old to register as Jews.” Naturally, neocons are blaming the Russians. Via IsraeNet:

The leaflet demanded the city’s Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportion [sic] and see their assets confiscated. …
… The leaflet detailed what type of documents the Jewish citizens would need to supply: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”
If the message was not made clear enough, the leaflet further stipulated the consequences that would come to those who failed to abide by the new demands: “Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.”
To add insult to injury, the leaflet demanded the Jews pay a registration fee of $50.

Reports the New York Times:

The leaflets were supposedly signed by Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the newly declared and unrecognized state that claims to represent ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. But that group and other pro-Russian groups quickly denied they had anything to do with them.
“This has nothing to do with us; it is a provocation,” said Alexander Maltsev, a spokesman for the People’s Republic, in a telephone interview. He said he did not know who was responsible, or their motives.
The city, the center of a coal-mining region in Ukraine, has since Saturday fallen largely under the control of pro-Russian militants who have justified their uprising as a response to what they call the fascism and anti-Semitism of the new central government in Kiev. So it was a surprise that the fliers, addressed to the “Jews of Donetsk,” claimed to have come from the headquarters of the Donetsk Republic.

Developing.


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‘Putin’s Libertarians’

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Ron Paul, Russia, The State

The proper libertarian foreign policy, in my opinion, is without the slobbering sentimentality adopted by many libertarians toward the putative push for freedom across the Middle East and beyond. Whomever—and wherever—they are, I wish freedom fighters well, but they’re on their own. Americans have their own tyrants to tackle. We no longer want to defend to the death borders not our own. I’ve promised, moreover, that when liberty deprived peoples the world over support patriots stateside (such as the Hage and Bundy families), I’d return the courtesy. It’s safe to say, however, that the world’s statists do not care about American liberties.

Not all libertarians share my detachment. Via my friend Yuri Maltsev comes another perspective on Ukraine (to which I’ve not devoted a second thought since penning “Presstitute-Cultivated Ignorance On Ukraine”). Yuri himself has written the following:

I am glad that there is a growing opposition to Putin’s regime in Russia itself. The list of eminent Russian intellectuals against aggression in Ukraine is much longer than those confused libertarians who support “Russian national interests” (Mises and Hayek would detest such an expression). …
There is nothing libertarian in the neo-Stalinist Putin’s regime. Stalinism is an exact opposite of freedom. It is the same as to embrace Hitler just because he disliked FDR. Enemy of my enemy is not necessarily a friend . . . I think that socialists Timoshenko and Yushchenko [the Orange revolution politicians elected after mass protests in 2004] squandered Ukrainian prospects for freedom and prosperity and should be blamed for that, but the alternative (Putin-Yanukovich) proved to be way more disgusting.

Youri’s recommended analysis is “Putin’s Libertarians” by Roman Skaskiw. Excerpts:

… I have been horrified by the libertarian coverage of events in Ukraine. Much of it has been such an uncritical parroting of Kremlin propaganda, so devoid of journalistic integrity, and such a betrayal of libertarian principles, that I can’t decide whether the authors, many of whom I’ve long admired, suffer a bias toward contrarian narratives or are on the Kremlin payroll. …

Paul Craig Roberts attempted to de-legitimize Ukraine’s protests by praising the now-deposed Yanukovych regime and turning a blind eye to its barbarity. His praise includes the term “human-rights trained Ukrainian police”, this after the police had begun kidnapping injured protesters from hospitals. One such protester, Yuriy Verbytsky, a seismologist from the Geophysical Institute in Lviv and mountain climber was injured in the protests, hospitalized, kidnapped from the hospital, severely beaten, and left in the woods where he froze to death. “Human-rights-trained” police do not strip and humiliate captured protesters in -10 C degree weather.

The corruption and savagery of Ukraine’s police is neither secret nor new. Last summer, police stepped aside during a violent raid against the business interests of opposition politician. The business manager was later assassinated. This sort of corporate raiding has been fairly common, though most victims quietly give up their businesses without a fight. There was also this story of policemen connected to the Party of Regions raping a young woman and going free until a rioters sacked the police station, it was a tragic repeat of a brutal rape-murder that happened the year before, also by politically connected persons who were also released by Ukraine’s “human rights trained” police.

It’s one thing to oppose intervention. I’ve done so myself. It’s another to mischaracterize the barbarity of the Yanukovych regime in an attempt to discredit the uprising against it.

Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace has made the libertarian circuit — lewrockwell.com, the Tom Woods Show, the Scott Horton Show, and of course, RT. He makes a number of ridiculous claims, including the argument that the Russian military already had free reign in Crimea: “How can you annex and invade a territory in which you are already legally present?”

I really don’t know what to make of this. Can anyone help me? I find it equally unlikely that he is this disconnected from reality or that he is deliberately spreading disinformation. Are there other explanations? …

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