Yanukovich and Kabbah 320

My old boss Mark Lyall Grant, UK Ambassador to the United Nations, is a deeply unpleasant man.  But he was quite right to dismiss Russia’s legal pretext for invading Ukraine on the basis of an invitation letter from ex-President Yanukovich.

The problem is Mark Lyall Grant is the last person in world to have moral authority to do this, as he was directly involved in drafting an invitation letter from ex-President Kabbah of Sierra Leone inviting Britain to invade Sierra Leone, which Britain then did.  Mark Lyall Grant said at the UN yesterday about Yanukovich that:  “We are talking about a former leader who abandoned his office, his capital and his country, whose corrupt governance brought his country to the brink of economic ruin”.  Exactly the same things could have been said about Kabbah, whose government had been massively corrupt – and was again when restored, and who issued his invitation to invade from a five star hotel in London after living in exile in Guinea.

The unspeakable horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war have led to a lazy mainstream media accepting Sierra Leone as the “good” invasion.  But the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone were not a spontaneous outbreak of human evil, they were caused by the massive corruption of ruling coastal elites in both Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, compared to the appalling poverty and lack of basic services and education for those in the hinterland.  It is one of the ironies of history that the elites were the descendants of slaves returned with the very best of intentions by the US and UK, educated and given much charitable provision, who controlled the state and then set to exploiting the hinterland tribes ruthlessly from the “hut wars” of the 1880’s on.  The eruption of massive scale diamond mining from the 1960’s on escalated levels of corruption, warlordism and violence and almost continual military rule.  Laudable attempts to foster democracy did nothing to lessen corruption.  The dreadful atrocities of the RUF and Kamajors were a result of the tribal eruption that ensued.

What the British invasion did was simply to put the old corrupt elite safely back in place, and make the minerals secure for western interests.  Even more valuable than the diamonds is Sierra Leone’s rutile mine, the world’s single most profitable mine.  Following the British invasion guess who suddenly became a director of that mine? Valerie Amos, who was one of the ministers who authorized the invasion, and is now at the UN in charge of pushing for war in Syria.

I always opposed the doctrine of “liberal intervention” and still do.  But those who invented “the right to protect” were stupid enough to believe that they would forever be the only military power strong enough to seize assets in other countries.  For the historian, the “right to protect” and “liberal intervention” are precisely the same as excuses given for imperial grabs throughout the millennia.

Invading another territory is wrong when the British do it, and it is wrong when the Russians do it.  It is quite simply untrue that ethnic Russians were under threat in the Ukraine.  International law always recognizes and deals with the government actually in power in the country.  If ousted leaders are accepted as having in the right to call in freeing invasion to restore them, the world would be in a state of perpetual war.

Plainly Russian actions are illegal.  They do have an agreed right to station forces in Crimea.  It is impossible to tell at the moment if the agreed numbers have been exceeded, but the Russian production of Yanukovich’s letter would certainly appear to indicate that.  But Russian actions in blocking roads and blockading Ukrainian military bases on Ukrainian soil are plainly illegal.

Russia is behaving as what it is, an imperialist thug.  The British and the United States indeed lack any moral authority to make such a statement.  But I do not suffer from that handicap, and nor do you.



PS The story of my Sierra Leone involvement is in my book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.  This is available for free download in a number of places around the web, including here.



320 thoughts on “Yanukovich and Kabbah

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  • Courtenay Barnett


    “But the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone were not a spontaneous outbreak of human evil, they were caused by the massive corruption of ruling coastal elites in both Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, compared to the appalling poverty and lack of basic services and education for those in the hinterland. It is one of the ironies of history that the elites were the descendants of slaves returned with the very best of intentions by the US and UK, educated and given much charitable provision, who controlled the state and then set to exploiting the hinterland tribes ruthlessly from the “hut wars” of the 1880′s on.”

    I agree with you on this comment. Oppressed descendants become oppressors.


  • Blegburnduddoo

    Thank you Peter 45 at 10.21am 5 March. It is a pity Craig didn’t read it before posting his disappointing pieces.
    I agree with Andrew at 3.56p.m. Paul Craig Roberts is one of the very few people worth reading on this or any other subject.

  • Clark

    Regarding snipers shooting both sides, Mary originally linked to an aangirfan post on 2 Mar, 8:36 pm:


    I followed it up, and posted these:

    Could I someone to do some research from here please:


    The aangirfan article is partly based on the testimony of “Ukrainian lawmaker” Oleg Tsarev, “a Dnipropetrovsk businessman and People’s Deputy of Ukraine for the Party of Regions” (Wikipedia). But on the History page, things like this keep being added and removed:

    “Hand of the Kremlin” in the Supreme Council of Ukraine. A Traitor To Ukraine.

    The aangirfan article that Mary linked to has the headline


    but the links in the article don’t actually support that. Here’s a Google Translation for the first. Sorry about the link; it’s full of special character codes:

    Former head of intelligence: a third force, which provokes both sides
    Publication time: 21 February 2014 09:49
    last update: February 21, 2014, 11:01

    Acts on Maidan third force, which provokes both parties, their representatives and shoot at protesters. This opinion was expressed by former Head of Intelligence Skipalsky Alexander in an interview to “Kommersant-Ukraine” .

    “MIA actually pretends not to notice how under his nose are criminal groups agreed with certain authorities. Therefore, most law enforcement officers who work on the Maidan, disoriented and not fully understand what is happening. And” maydanovtsy “too, apparently, do not understand that a third force operating here, which provokes both sides.’s this third force, and there are terrorists in the full sense of the word. Because they work in order to intimidate the population,” – he said.

    He said that under the “third force” refers to the mercenaries.

    “It bandits who shoot for the money people. SBU and MIA should detain them, but they, unfortunately, do not … I think it’s mercenaries,” – said the former head of General Intelligence.

    “It bandits who shoot for the money people” should probably read “It’s bandits who shoot people for money”, at a guess. I didn’t post the second link from aangirfan, but that didn’t accuse NATO personnel either.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Population of Russia

    “Actually it’s not so much the Russian life expectancy that’s the problem. It’s the birth rate.”

    No, it is both: Russian birth rate is well under replacement rate (=2) and, as Kempe demonstrated, Russian males are dying ever younger.

    Furthermore, other countries with a birth rate under replacement make up for it through immmigration. As Resident Dissident pointed out yesterday,(22h30), this compensatory factor does not apply in Russia.

    “The US perinatal death rate is actually 40% higher than Russia”

    This comparison, even if true (and Kempe has provided figures showing the contrary) is irrelevant.

    US population has grown steadily, that of Russia is dropping. Why are some commenters unable to accept this simple fact? It’s all very Soviet (5 year plans, etc…)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “Victoria Nuland’s $5 billion investment delivers costs to the EU of at least $15 billion in loans and grants.”

    Ah ha! Another dastardly American conspiracy exposed by intrepid commentators!

    Actually, this particular band of conspiracists could have added the followinhg (just for context, you know): the EU’s current five year Financial Framework contains appropriations for commitment of slightly under €1000 million; it contains various lines providing for precisely this ki,nd of expenditure; thuis expenditure is a mix of grants (non-repayable) and loans (repayable with interest) in which loans largely outweigh outright grants.

    Some brushing up of knowledge required here, methinks.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “the public boast of spending $5 billion on destabilising Ukraine”

    I’ve already given the verbatim of what AS Nuland said twice. Happy to give it a third time, but, at the risk of social services intervening, it might be more productive if someone tapped it into your thick skull in Morse code with a little nail hammer.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    On reflection : rather than looking at the Russian birth and male life expectancy rates, perhaps we should be looking at the ‘tosh rate’ on this thread. That is certainly increasing 🙂

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    “ …band of conspiracists…mumble…grurmng…some brushing up of knowledge required here, methinks.”

    For once you wrote something that makes sense!

    Now go and brush up.

    “In an eight minute, 46 second speech at the National Press Club sponsored by the US-Ukraine Foundation, Chevron, and Ukraine-in-Washington Lobby Group, Nuland boasted that Washington has spent $5 billion to foment agitation to bring Ukraine into the EU. Once captured by the EU, Ukraine will be “helped” by the West acting through the IMF.”
    From: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/is-ukraine-drifting-toward-civil-war/

    I know Dr Bullstrode said I wasn’t to do anything to get you agitated, but what the hell!

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    BTW Dad, have you noticed the stench of anti-semitism emenating from our little friends in Kiev? I know it might be a bit too subtle for you to notice but I’d love for you to check it out and let us know what you think. Maybe they don’t really mean it…just a cry for help, or something.

    I’m sure they’d love for you to occupy their online forums too.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    The boycott of Israeli academic institutions gathers momentum.


    They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.
    Red Cloud

  • Black jelly

    Clark – Rest assured when goyim are sniped like cattle the perpetrators can only be the chosen. There were 850k of em devils following Rabbi Ovadia cortege, they know a goyim (even one like CM) is a worthless piece of shite !

  • Ba'al Zevul (The Bear Shall Not Have Constantinople)

    That’ll be Victoria “Fuck The EU” (it’s what she said, don’t blame me) Nuland? Wife of Robert Kagan? Who he?


    That’s Robert (PNAC) Kagan. Foisted on the Brookings Institution to swing it further towards….you’re ahead of me aren’t you?

    ‘Speculating on why Brookings might wish to bring on Kagan, who has a track record of supporting Mideast policies in line with right-wing hawks in Israel and the United States, Steve Clemons wrote that the “move is important for Brookings as the institution has been working hard to get Haim Saban to give another large infusion of resources to his namesake unit, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, at Brookings. Securing Kagan is one way that Brookings may have sweetened the pot for Saban who is according to one Brookings source ‘painfully flamboyant’ about using his money to try and influence the DC establishment through think tanks and other vehicles to secure Israel-first, Israel-defending policies out of Washington.”‘

    Nuland herself is Cheney’s former deputy security advisor.

  • Ba'al Zevul (The Bear Shall Not Have Constantinople)

    A little history.


    ‘President Bush is absolutely correct (!!! – BZ): elections in Ukraine should be free of foreign influence. It is our job here and now to discover just how far we have violated this very important principle, and to cease any funding of political candidates or campaigns henceforth.’

    Freedom House gets a mention here, too. Ostensibly a good egg, its former board members include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Samuel Huntington, Mara Liasson, Otto Reich, Donald Rumsfeld, Whitney North Seymour, Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Forbes, and Bayard Rustin. Some familiar names there.

    Possibly the same names Craig was thinking of when he wrote ‘that the executive director of Freedom House told him in 2003 that the group decided to back off from its efforts to spotlight human rights abuses in Uzbekistan, because some Republican board members (in Murray’s words) “expressed concern that Freedom House was failing to keep in sight the need to promote freedom in the widest sense, by giving full support to U.S. and coalition forces’

    (Wikipedia, Freedom House, indirectly citing ‘Dirty Diplomacy’ by Craig)

  • Ba'al Zevul (The Bear Shall Not Have Constantinople)

    Further to all that – Craig, if you’re still reading this, what’s your take on the appointment by the US of obvious far-right ideologues to sensitive diplomatic positions?

    In conjunction with the funding of parties selected by the said ideologues, doesn’t that really give Putin as much aid and comfort as he needs?

  • Karel

    What is the point of repeating the msm spin about Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. It makes as much sense as repeatedly talking of a US invasion of Cuba from the Quamtanamo base. Cannot you see the absurdity of your assertion or do you just want to please your Halibbabucus-type admirers?

    Spraying lead equally and liberally to both sides is an old habit for rascals who want to blame governments for killing their “own people”. Even those with a mild dementia may recall that this technique was used successfully at the onset of the war in Syria and repeatedly in Venezuela.

  • OldMark

    Wife of Robert Kagan? Who he?

    The author in 2003 of the most over praised endorsement of neo con foreign policy in general, and the Iraq ‘liberation’ in particular (‘Paradise and Power’), that’s who.

    Those who give this screed lavish praise at the time include-
    Jonathan Freedland
    Brendan Simms
    Johann Hari (what happened to that little squirt ?)
    Henry Kissinger
    John McCain
    Tim Garton Ash

    All the usual suspects

  • Macky

    As I’m in Orwell mode, I wonder if the inability of some to accept probably nefarious Western involvement in the Ukraine, is expained here;

    “All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”


  • Ba'al Zevul (The Bear Shall Not Have Constantinople)

    Here’s Nuland having a cheesy grin with Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda.


    Here’s Svoboda’s original logo (to 2009)


    No surprise, then that ‘in 2004, Tyahnybok was expelled from the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia,”[48] and celebrated the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists for having fought “Moscovites, Germans, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.” ‘ (ibid)

    Nuland (her parents were called Nudelmann, ) is Jewish.

    Strange bedfellows indeed.

  • OldMark

    In the list I gave above of Robert Kagan’s cheerleedears a decade back, I hesitated before mentioning Garton Ash; in the early 80s, when based in Warsaw for the Speccie, he was courageous reporter on the rise and fall of Solidarnosc.

    Sadly, he’s turned out plenty of bilge more recently.

  • Ba'al Zevul (The Bear Shall Not Have Constantinople)

    Very, very surprisingly, even the BNP identifies the wooing of the Ukrainian loony Right by the US as being undesirable. I balk at linking to the site but Jack Dempsey’s 25 Feb piece there can be googled – he comes to some very defensible conclusions. The BNP seems to have gone off globalist elites…

  • fool

    Putin is quite canny; seems to be going his way. Interesting that a referendum can be got up from scratch in 10 days.

  • John Goss

    Brian Fujisan at 1:02 a.m.

    Already gone to bed. Sorry. Thanks for the link. The important message is that MSM and their masters are trying to kill this all-important story like certain known detractors on this blog. Nothing still mentioned on any TV channel I’ve watched but they will have to address it eventually. This is the message of the BBC article. Like you say marginalised and biased in its presentation. Quoting the Estonian Foreign minister, Paet, who has obviously been “trod on.”

    “I call for journalists to treat this recording very carefully. I was talking about the theories there were about what happened in Ukraine,” he said.

    He actually did not mention it as one of many theories. It was the only one he mentioned as far as I can recall.

  • John Goss

    Sergei Pashinsky of the ‘Batkivshchyna’ is my main suspect and should be investigated. He was in the Timoshenko government and a suspected Nazi. Considering the sniper is likely from the opposition Pashinsky was caught by his own people with a rifle and silencer in the boot of his car. Apologies for it being in Russian.


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Wow, the useful fools, led by BarbaraBubZel are in full flow this morning. Very agitated. Argument going against them, perhaps? No war about to start? (sob, sob!)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Monsieur Goss

    “He actually did not mention it as one of many theories.”

    Do you think he should have said “there are many theories about and/but I shall recount one of them”?

    Alternatively, do you think that there might have been many theories about but that this one was the only one he heard and/or thought worth mentioning? I mean, if you were Trowbridge, you’d probably theorize that the snipers were Mossad, led in person by Bibi, but I’m not sure that Minister Paet, intelligent and sane as he is, would consider that worth mentioning to Mrs Ashton.


    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier!” (J. Stalin, ca. 1932)

  • Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    Here’s why we are less than enthusiastic about sanctioning pro-Yanukovych oligarchs:


    Nice pic of Pinchuk. Lovely friends he’s got –


    Buggerlugs, “Argument going against them, perhaps? No war about to start? (sob, sob!)”

    Please cite the post/s implying a desire for war. Please summarise the notional ‘argument’ against which you place ‘them’. Please acknowledge that ‘their’ views are as valid as yours, and sometimes based on wider reading.

    “Led by” ? Shall we compare post counts?

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