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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  • John Goss

    Clark at 10.14 p.m.

    Agree there are much larger nuclear bombs (which is so frightening when you think of the death and maiming in Nagasaki and Hiroshima) but I meant that there were smaller nuclear weapons that have been used illegally in terms of international law, like depleted uranium weapons in more recent wars. Even these were deployed by NATO. By comparison Russia, and China, have remained passive observers of NATO theft through force. My guess (fear) would be that if any country is likely to resort to a nuclear war it will be the USA. It’s economy is on the blink (operating God knows how) and it is in a position where only by world domination and the continued exploitation of stolen natural resources can it survive. Unfortunately, like Germany after the arms escalation via its (Krupps) munitions’ factories it is left with little else but a stockpile of weaponry. That is frightening.

  • Brendan

    “It is quite simply untrue that ethnic Russians were under threat in the Ukraine.”

    I dunno, when you’ve got Ukranian neo-nazi’s in cabinet, making vile talk about jews and Russians, there has to be at least some concern. I’ve no doubt this concern is used as a pretext by Putin, as cover for other motives, but this doesn’t axiomatically mean the concern doesn’t exist. Even if it’s just in the minds of the Russian’s in Crimea.

    I see a lot of posturing going on. I recall our ‘concern’ over the civilians of Libya, who were about to be annihilated, apparently. And indeed, many of them were, after we were finished destroying and looting. I take the point that what’s illegal for us is illegal for Russia, of course. But my disgust is still mainly reserved for the Western Neocon’s who have been destroying countries for 10 years. After all, this is where I vote and pay taxes. I guess Russia has to deal with Putin, when push comes to shove, not The West, unless anyone fancies a big old-fashioned actual war.

  • Ben

    The Monroe Doctrine should be a two-way street.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine

    “In 1836, the United States government objected to Britain’s alliance with the newly created Republic of Texas on the principle of the Monroe Doctrine. On December 2, 1845, U.S. President James Polk announced to Congress that the principle of the Monroe Doctrine should be strictly enforced and that the United States should aggressively expand into the West, often termed as Manifest Destiny.

    In 1842, U.S. President John Tyler applied the Monroe Doctrine to Hawaii, told Britain not to interfere there, and began the process of annexing Hawaii to the United States.
    In 1852, some politicians used the principle of the Monroe Doctrine to argue for forcefully removing the Spanish from Cuba. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded to the United States for the sum of $20 million, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, and Cuba (until granted formal independence from the US in 1902).”

  • John Goss

    “Well I hadn’t planned on going to get some booze tonight. I think I will now just in case!”

    Just finishing off a can of Bank’s (Bonks’s they’m call it in Quarry Bonk) then I’ll be dry for forty days and nights to atone for my sins, so I forgive all those who have sinned against me, and hope Habby will forgive me his sins, hey, this Bonks’s ay half bad!

  • mark golding

    “I think they sit there across the pond in the U.S., sometimes it seems … they feel like they’re in a lab and they’re running all sorts of experiments on the rats without understanding consequences of what they’re doing,” Putin told a group of reporters. “Why would they do that? Nobody can explain it.”

    President Putin March 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiKF8JN1qmk

    “Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games and would invite the combination of nations around the world and indeed the United States will stand with the international community in affirming there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

    President Obama March 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHkVM9ZbfeA

    [BEGINS AT 2:13]

    That is why I embrace[trust] President Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

  • John Goss

    Mark,

    When I lived in the Isle of Man I met a retired merchant-navy sea captain and we got talking. He had travelled the world. The thing that stuck most in my mind was how he believed Russians to be closest to English people: polite, listening, queueing, tolerant and amenable. I do not know if he used any of those words but that was the impression he left me with.

    The impression I get of Americans based on Obama’s, and other presidents’ speeches, is one of arrogance. I realise this is not a fair comparison. And there are many thousands and thousands of US citizens who are lovely people and just as opposed to Obama’s arrogance as myself.

    However, I don’t doubt that the composed reserve in the hour-long questioning of Putin was from an invited audience, with questions already prepared beforehand. It is the way all politicians behave. They are not going to be caught out with a tough question for which an answer had not been prepared. They can often struggle even with prepared questions.

    I never watched it after I saw how long it would last.

    What I think is more powerful is the way the neo-Nazi takeover has divided Jewish opinion as witnessed by Mike’s link.

    http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Ukrainian-Jews-split-on-dangers-of-protest-movement-333907

  • AlcAnon/Squonk

    For anyone who fancies getting a bit more paranoid, here are the “unusual” recipients as reported by those monitoring USAF HFGCS over last 24 hours.

    “FOR VISUAL SIGHT”
    “FOR TYLER”
    “FOR DEVIL FOX”
    “FOR AMERICAN HOME”

    TYLER and/or DEVIL FOX have been suggested as E-6 TACAMO Aircraft (Looking Glass) on websdr chat. I haven’t a clue myself.

  • Clark

    John Goss, 11:18 pm; depleted uranium isn’t a nuclear weapon. You’d do better calling it a chemical weapon in terms of its side effects, because it’s its chemical toxicity that is so harmful.

    Depleted uranium is the waste product from enriching uranium. Natural uranium is barely radioactive; you can handle it with no ill effects. It’s a mixture of two isotopes; 99.3% U238 and 0.7% U235. The U235 is the fissile nuclear fuel and is used for nuclear weapon cores, but even that isn’t particularly radioactive.

    Natural uranium is enriched to increase the proportion of U235 to about 3% for use in nuclear reactors. This involves getting rid of some U238, and this is where depleted uranium comes from, so depleted uranium is even less radioactive than natural uranium.

    There’s a point here about half-lives; the longer the half-life, the lower the radioactivity. Half-life just tells you how likely it is that an atom will decay, and it’s only when an atom decays that it gives off radioactivity. The half-life of U235 is 703.8 million years, i.e. if you have one atom of U235, after 703.8 million years there’s a 50/50 chance that it will have decayed. For U238, it’s 4.5 billion years. So in a lump of uranium not many atoms decay per second, so uranium is not very radioactive.

    Uranium’s chemical toxicity is much worse than its radioactivity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium#Effects_and_precautions

  • Clark

    AlcAnon/Squonk, 12:59 am; has there been any more Russian activity, like the Woodpecker signal? The US would have to be crazy to nuke Russia over this. I reckon they’re just trying to scare the Russian government into submission by sending out scary orders and deploying forces. I prefer the Russian approach – just launch one ICBM; very no-nonsense. We’re more likely to know if the US is doing anything really threatening by monitoring the Russian response. That earlier Woodpecker was probably a systems test; it hadn’t been powered up for decades.

  • BrianFujisan

    All True Clark….

    But the A bombs were not used in anger either….Fabricated Anger Perhaps

    Alcanon… I hate how they KEEP using First Nations Names for their fucking war Projects…. i made a stunning Sculpture of [ Chief Looking Glass ]… on Earthlings foto

  • AlcAnon/Squonk

    Clark,

    Haven’t heard anything sounding like the Woodpecker today. But definitely yesterday I thought Woodpecker as soon as I heard it. Just waiting for Radio Moscow World Service to re-appear now and I’m back in the 70s.

  • Jives

    Fascinating yet worrying that so many here have bought the absurd Manichean narrative-conveniently media driven-that it’s NATO/US/UK versus Russia…

    Its all bollocks yet so many of you seem to have bought it.

    All sides mentioned above are working to the same end.

    Follow the real money.

    Think about it.

  • BrianFujisan

    Squonk…

    Can you please delete my last comment…i can re- post Art from alt source

  • BrianFujisan

    Ahh Thank you Squonk…. i hope you looked at it first Lol…

    But it led to my Personal shit..i did not realize that… i thought it was just the image….
    Thank you…owe ya one.

  • BrianFujisan

    AA… i’ll do it over at yours … i’m sure you will love it… Where to put your eyes….Stand by..

  • Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    F-15’s and V22’s up last night. Don’t think you’ll be hearing Woodpecker – it was an early HF over-horizon radar and has been replaced by Dnestr (VHF) and Voronezh (UHF) radars since 1989. And if we had any sense at all we’d stay out of this particular spat. The Ukrainians have far more awareness of the Russian mindset on the Crimea than we have, and in particular, Kerry and Hague have. They speak the language fluently, too.

  • Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    “That is why I embrace[trust] President Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.”

    Mark, honestly.

    There used to be an old bat on the Pravda.ru forum – which tended to be even less concerned with facts than Pravda The Newspaper, and largely unconnected with it – who would post paeans of praise to “Vladimir Putin – God’s Anointed Autocratic Tsar”

    Exactly, but not in a good way.

    He’s a politician, Mark.

  • John Goss

    Thanks Clark for the clarification. I can’t possibly argue against your knowledge, nor would I want to. Let’s just say then that the US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons.

    I know where to come if I need any knowledge on nuclear issues. 🙂

    I bet that smiley face does not work.

  • John Goss

    I was wrong about the smiley face! 🙂

    “The crisis is not about Ukraine at all, but rather about putting the squeeze on Russia. It also serves as yet another distraction to switch people’s focus from one fabricated crisis to another, to prevent any sustained examination of the looming systemic failure of global capitalism. Nothing beats a fake revolution to preempt a real one.” Analysis by Gilbert Mercier.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/03/04/ukraine-the-new-cold-war-heats-up/

  • Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    TACAMO home site – the Images tab has many pictures of white E6 comms planes (old 707’s, modified) for comparison with your sightings. But this link is to the gungho/management bollocks with which the very technical militaries seems to be prone – Frederick Pohl predicted something of the sort

    http://www.tacamo.navy.mil/vq3/vq3_home.html

    Team Iron Man – wireless ops in a very comfortable a/c, lol.

  • Summerhead

    Craig, I think you have misunderstood the position of those on the left who “support” Russia in the current crisis. Like you I have no time for Putin but as someone who used to work in the foreign office I’d have thought you’d have a greater sense of realpolitik. The sins of Russia’s imperial past are not about to be erased. The Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea whether you like it or not and if you lead the Russian government you’d want to secure it too. The reality in Crimea is that most people there feel they should be part of Russia rather than Ukraine and this feeling would have been bolstered by the Ukranian mob declaring that Ukrainian is the only legitimate language.
    By continuing to oppose Russia, the likely outcome would be armed conflict in a country where a lot of people own guns and fascist sentiments are common. Do you really want to see people dying and suffering in order to protect a principle while the much bigger and more powerful empire benefits? Let’s remember how this crisis started.

  • wikispooks

    What I find so depressing about Craig’s series of posts on events in the Ukraine is his resolute refusal to deal with – or apparently even SEE – the big picture. Russia too has a point of view. Craig characterises it as ‘Imperialist’ and Putin as a ‘Thug’, in a yah-boo manner reminiscent the John McCains and Victoria Nulands of this world – nice company eh?. It simply destroys his credibility in my eyes. Russia as imperialist empire-builder was undoubtedly true of the old Tsarist regime – even its successor and foreign-grafted Bolshevik model – but to frame present day Russia as ‘Imperialist’ when it is clearly fighting for its very survival as a State independent of the uni-polar globalist agenda powers, is not merely a stretch, it is either niave or willfully dishonest – take your pick (with ‘dishonesty’ likely a subliminal, cognitive-dissonance defence – ie the lines we cannot cross etc). Whichever, it is effectively in service to the globalist agenda.

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