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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  • AlcAnon/Squonk

    Had a look at the “best-rated” comments on the Daily Mail. And yes, at that well known outpost of loony left wingers, the readers are falling over themselves to support Russia and Putin.

    USAF HFGCS seems to have gone relatively quiet. Yesterday it felt like an almost non-stop barrage of, never before heard, scary sounding call signs, EAMs, Skykings galore. Today traffic sounds like a typical day. In fact possibly quieter than normal. So far anyway…

    Helpfully yesterday, just to make sure everyone got the message, USAF also had multiple TACAMO planes flying about with their civilian transponders turned on (until they flew out to sea) so you could track them on flight-tracker sites.

  • Ben

    Someone; Ike’s warning came quite quickly after liberal democrat Truman initiated the National Security Act of 1947.

  • ESLO

    “We witnessed Putin’s games corrupted,”

    1. They were not Putin’s games.
    2. They were pretty much corrupted before any athletes arrived there – are you really so naïve as to where a big slug of the cost went.

    “Mark I certainly prefer Putin to Obama, Cameron, et al.”

    Well at least Cameron takes a rather softer line on presstitutes for Putin arselickers than those Putin does on those Russian presstitutes who take a contrary view to his own. Navalny still remains under house arrest and denied access to the internet.

  • BrianFujisan

    G.R… have been onto the sniper tape too… i posted about the snipers a couple of days ago…. that it was certainly professional killings…. now it seems we have Further proof…Great Links Alcanon, and others.

    Global Research also have this interesting Piece up –

    How and Why the U.S. Government Aided a Coup Led by Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

    Why U.S. imperialism continues to target Russia

    Imperialist Strategy toward the former Soviet Republics

    The right-wing coup government in Ukraine is trying to integrate the country into an E.U./IMF-sponsored austerity regime that will lead to the deep impoverishment of the Ukrainian working classes. The tremendous resources of Ukraine are seen as a huge prize for the enrichment of the biggest banks and corporations in Western Europe and the United States. These resources include major deposits of coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel and uranium. It holds the largest sulfur and second-largest mercury reserves in the world, and vast, rich agricultural lands and forests. In addition, Ukraine has large-scale heavy industry, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union most of the former socialist bloc countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been integrated into a NATO and E.U. sphere of influence. Of the 28 member nations of the E.U., 22 so far have been incorporated into NATO.

    Western imperialism has targeted all the countries in Eastern Europe and the other non-Russian former Soviet republics, including Ukraine, for incorporation into a U.S. and NATO-led sphere of influence. Their strategy is to exploit the land, labor and resources of the targeted countries, while containing and weakening Russia economically and militarily.


  • Ben

    Many, many tentacles on this Octopus.


    “Turkey is the country with most at stake. In essence, it is surrounded by countries it which Russia has intervened, with Syria to its south and Crimea just across the Black Sea to its north. Turkey has a special interest in Crimea. Today, on the order of 12% of the 2 million residents of the peninsular are Tatars, i.e. Turkic-speaking Muslims, though before Russia’s annexation of the territory from the Ottoman Empire in 1784, it was all Tatar. Russians immigrated in (they are now almost 60% of the population, with a quarter being ethnically Ukrainian). Stalin ethnically cleansed the Crimean Tatars during WW II, but after the fall of the Soviet Union some 300,000 have gradually returned. Turkey is as interested in the fate of the Crimean Tatars “

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    ““We witnessed Putin’s games corrupted,”

    1. They were not Putin’s games.”

    I wonder if the chump who wrote “Putin’s games” would also call the London Olympics “Cameron’s games”?

    If not, why not?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “He’s lucky he didn’t get strung up on a light pole!”


    That’s the third time in almost as many minutes that Trowbridge has waxed lyrical about hanging someone.

    It has been alleged that the former Lord Chief Justice Rayner Goddard (perhaps better known to you as Lord Goddard) used to cum in his pants when sentiencing someone to be hanged. I do hope that Trowbridge does not suffer a similar mishap when posting.

  • BrianFujisan

    Another Fine piece from G.R…. all is seriously Fkd Up BIG Time

    And the current leader of the Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok, is quite a piece of work. The following is what Stephen Lendman had to say about him…

    “Washington openly backs fascist Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok…In 2004, Tyahnybok was expelled from former President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction. He was condemned for urging Ukrainians to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.”

    In 2005, he denounced “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry.” He outrageously claimed they plan “genocide” against Ukrainians.”…

    Tyahnybok extremism didn’t deter Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. On February 6, she met openly with him and other anti-government leaders.

    In early January, 15,000 ultranationalists held a torchlight march through Kiev. They did so to honor Nazi-era collaborator/mass murderer Stepan Bandera. Some wore uniforms a Wehrmacht Ukrainian division used in WW II. Others chanted “Ukraine above all” and “Bandera, come and bring order.”

    Isn’t that lovely?

    And another top Svoboda Party official loves to quote Joseph Goebbels and other top Nazis from the World War II era…

    Another top Svoboda member, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, a deputy in parliament, often quotes Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, as well as other Third Reich luminaries like Ernst Rohm and Gregor Strasser.

    You would think that the U.S. government would want nothing to do with such people.

    But instead, the U.S. government has actively aided their rise to power, and now members of the Svoboda Party have been appointed to very important positions throughout the new government in Ukraine…

    As the fires die down from the turmoil in Kiev, a political party that has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism and xenophobia is set to reap the benefits of the new government arrangement.

    The Svoboda Party will take control of not one, but three ministries in the interim government.

    These posts include the deputy prime minister and the heads of the agriculture and environmental ministries. In addition to these positions, a Svoboda lawmaker was appointed the new prosecutor general in the interim government.

    Are you disgusted yet?

    You should be.

    If I was a Jewish person living in Ukraine, I would be trying to get out as fast as I could.

    Fortunately, there are some people that are seeking to help them. In fact, they will soon receive a million dollars from one organization to help with security…

    Ukrainian Jews are slated to receive $1 million to increase security against possible upticks in anti-Semitic behavior in the wake of the country’s massive political upheaval.

    The money is coming from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Week reported, and is going toward protection for places where Jews gather, as well as for the elderly and poverty-stricken.

    “From the many conversations I’ve conducted this week with Jewish leaders in the Ukraine, we understood that the situation on the ground is critical,” organization founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said. “Rabbis and communal leaders feel under threat.”

    Hopefully as word gets out about the extreme anti-Semitism of some of these Ukrainian politicians, our politicians in Washington D.C. will start to change their tune.

    But we have seen this kind of thing before. The Obama administration helped al-Qaeda take power in Libya, it is helping al-Qaeda try to overthrow the Syrian government, and now it is helping neo-Nazis rise to power in Ukraine.

    It is almost as if a case of collective insanity has gripped the people running things in Washington.

    I truly fear for what is ahead. –

    Michael T. Snyder @

    Why is the Mainstream Media Ignoring the Rabid Anti-Semitism of the New Ukraine Government?


  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I mistakenly posted three posts on the previous page, thinking that they had not appeared, only to find them on this page.

    I can think of nothing better to post repeatedly though, as it shows just how corrupt, and owned by Western covert operators the UN has become in matters of international security.

    Don’t favor killing anyone, but can understand how reckless covert operators end up getting killed.

  • fred

    “You would think that the U.S. government would want nothing to do with such people.”

    No I wouldn’t.

    I would expect an extreme right racist government to support extreme right racists.

    They always have in the past.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Is Russia’s population growing or decreasing?


    “@ Habbababaqkiq

    Your link does not, however, show that Russia’s population is increasing although that is the impression you seek to give.

    No it does not, but if it had it would have been correct!

    Forbes Mag: Don’t Look Now But ‘Dying’ Russia’s Population Is Still Growing”

    Well, thank you for manning up and admitting that your “link” did not show what you’d claimed it showed. And thank you for that hilarious “..but if it had it would have been correct.” – impeccable logic!

    Now, unfortunately, your second link – an article by one Mark Adomanis (who he?) in Forbes Magazine is no better.

    After pointing to a slight increase in the population over the last couple of years, this slightly confused young man asks: “Does that mean Russia’s population is fated to grow forever?”. He then answers his own question with the following: “No. You can (accurately) say that Russia’s population WAS shrinking and you can (accurately) say that Russia’s population is extremely likely to shrink in the coming years.”.

    I’ll leave it to the casual reader to make sense of that.

    Perhaps I should also quote from a link in young Adomanis’s own article in Forbes:

    “President Vladimir Putin has declared that it is his goal to stabilise the population at present levels {ie, about 143 million}, then gradually increase it once more. However, Demoscope Weekly, the respected and independent Russian demographic research organisation, predicts that even by the most optimistic – and, thus, least likely – prediction, Russia cannot have more than 136 million people by 2025 and 128 million by 2050.”.

    CanSpeccy, would you like to have a third go (third time lucky and all that)? 🙂


    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier – but not longer” (J. Stalin, ca.1932)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Has anyone else noticed the slight resemblance between interim PM Arseny Yatsenyiuk and the young Heinrich Himmler?

    I think this constitutes definite proof that the interim Ukrainian govt is neo-Nazi in intent and practice.

  • doug scorgie

    4 Mar, 2014 – 1:11 pm

    “The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defence of western countries. The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China.”

    Ангрысоба please give a link or references to back-up that the above is a quote from Orwell.

    By the way the vast majority on this blog are not pacifists.

  • Kurtan

    Last time I was in Moscow the Russians after Vodka were sex mad. I think the population is growing,but they are forgetting to count.
    Skol ta mej fan !

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “Last time I was in Moscow the Russians after Vodka were sex mad”

    Maybe so, Kurtan 🙂 But does sex mad translate into fertility?

  • Kempe

    The Russian culture of heavy drinking has cut life expectancy for males to 64, one of the lowest figures in the developed world. A quarter of Russian men die before they reach 55 (compared to 6% in the UK). This is one factor in the stagnating Russian population numbers that Putin is going to find it hard to combat.

  • Resident Dissident

    Does anyone have the migration in and out figures for Russia – somehow I have a feeling that people are not rushing to the Putinistas land of milk and honey and all things that are good and that for some reason they prefer the evil empire. Why is this? Is Russia full of sheeple as well? Of course, I’m sure some of commenters would be welcomed with open arms if they are not there already.

  • Richard

    @Mark Golding, 8.55pm.

    Thanks for your kind comments, Mark.

    In retrospect I was probably pretty selfish, implying that I just wanted to get out of this loony bin before things get even worse.

    But it can get rather depressing at times, watching people fight over the planet like fleas fighting over who owns the dog.

    The bottom line is, though, that “Liberal Interventionism” – that hideous, dishonest euphemism – set a precedent and it could haunt the world for a long time to come unless international agreement draughts another Treaty of Westphalia-type document and sticks to it. Best wishes.

  • guano

    Gosh = I know that and you know that. Not: I didn’t know that, what are we going to do?

    As in, “Gosh that was quick, and this little mite is crying his head off, can you pass me a clip for the umbilical please, you underestimated your aunty Ashton didn’t you?

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Russia is full of people with a deep street knowledge of politics. They know its corrupt and will always be corrupt. We in the West pretend our politicians care about the people.
    The ones who leave are the rich.They’ve bought in big time here in Austria.Many of the new hotels are Russian.We don’t have that many murders,but there’s usually a Russian connection.
    One of my friends is an Uzbek from a prominent communist family, but Russian at heart. They are great story tellers. Listening to them makes one almost yearn for the old Soviet Union,but to listen ,you have to drink, and its vodka, and its hard.The Russians are not sheeple,far from it.Money has blinded many of them,that’s all.
    Putin is respected !Russia was being sold when he took power.He stopped the rot.
    And yes Habba, there is a bit of hero worship there.He is one of the few to stand up to the US plan for the planet.

  • technicolour

    “Putin is respected !Russia was being sold when he took power.He stopped the rot.”

    The poor kept going to the wall while the gangsters took over and the FSB smiled, don’t you mean? Capitalism which had offered hope had, like any other ‘system’ delivered nothing, so the black windowed limos took over. Yabloko were crushed. Putin is just another person, another pawn in this machine, poor bloke.

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