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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  • fred

    So Russia has a low life expectancy, it’s run by gangsters and the politicians are all corrupt.

    Sounds a lot like Glasgow to me.

  • technicolour

    When did Glasgow have a power base which could assassinate journalists and destroy another country?

  • technicolour

    how funny, but yes, I have. How many journalists has the power base in Glasgow assassinated? I won’t insult your intelligence by linking to the results of a google search on ‘journalists killed in Russia’ – there are too many links, anyway.

  • Kempe

    “Sounds a lot like Glasgow to me.”

    ..and at a guess I don’t think you’d want them invading your country.

  • technicolour

    Odd comment Kempe – who would you want to ‘invade your country’? Buddhists?

  • John Goss

    Christof Lehman’s analysis is usually good. This article finishes with the following warning.

    “Conversation and Tape could be an “authentic” Plant: Some analysts, including nsnbc’s Christof Lehmann, however, warn that although the tape, admittedly, is genuine, it could be willfully planted by those EU leaders who may have been involved in organizing the violent coup, thus blaming “radical members of the opposition” while covering up their own involvement. nsnbc will follow up on the developments.”


    This is the first article I’ve read about the leak but still nothing on MSM.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Nuland’s mission accomplished!

    US $5 billion investment delivers costs to the EU of at least $15 billion in loans and grants.

    Well fucked you might say, but sure, weren’t they asking for it?

    “Fuck the Eu!” Mission accomplished!

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

    Well fucked you might say, but sure, weren’t they asking for it?

  • John Goss

    I’ve looked at the comments since I left earlier tonight and there appears to have been a concerted effort to steer the blog away from the big story that Alcanon first linked. That is what MSM are also doing. It is what they do. Don’t report it and it will go away. It will not go away.

    Wonder if even one MSM outlet will report it?

  • technicolour

    John Goss: thanks for that ‘we don’t know if anything’s true but we’re going to post it anyway’ thing.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Trowbridge made me do that made me do that made me do that.

    Goodnight All.

  • technicolour

    Ah Sofia, i used to, rather fondly, think you were ‘Crab’ or ‘thatcrab’ or at any rate someone whose range extended beyond attacking other commentators. But really you are a weird disinfo person, are you not? Anyway, good luck and good bye to you, whoever you are.

  • technicolour

    yes, you should be in bed, or elsewhere, ‘Sofia’, if that’s all you can come up with.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    “…you are a weird disinfo person, are you not?”

    Thanks for the endorsement.

    But can you explain how refering to Nuland’s $5 billion boast could be interpreted as disinfo. Was she lying maybe?

  • John Goss

    Technicolour you did not read it then? You were not around this afternoon when the recorded telephone conversation which suggests that the snipers were from the Maidan thugs? It’s on the previous page.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    ‘Sofia’, if that’s all you can come up with.

    My friend, is thet all you can come up with.

    I love your complements but please address the issue.

    Is there a pattern here of creating visceral outrage or not?

    You might care to watch the footage of the snipers in Venezuela before you reply.

  • Evgueni

    This is it reported in Ukrainian. I didn’t see a corresponding English link.


    There was a report on 21 Feb that a sniper had been detained who shot at both sides. My Mum mentioned it at the time, concluding that this must have been done in order to portray the protesters as violent and armed so that the actions of Berkut could be justified. Speculation, of course.

    Results of Google search for “sniper shot at both sides” in Ukrainian:

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    “ok, what are you trying to prove, Sofia?”

    WTF? Doesn’t it seem significant to you that the public boast of spending $5 billion on destabilising Ukraine coupled with the hacked phonecall in which the coup is being micro-managed isw completely ignored by the corporate media while the outrageous bloodless “invasion” by Putin (Prince of Darkness) is given wall to wall coverage.

    I’ll break my own rule here and make a solid claim…Not even you can be that dumb!

  • Brendan

    Whilst I take the general point that Putin is acting like a dick, the avalanche of pro-bullshit propaganda has been astonishing. It really does remind me of pre-Iraq, and is truly disturbing. Almost every mainstream outlet, and even some less mainstream, is showing a credulousness that would befit an eager and curious child – but not a hardened journalist.

    Regardless of Putin, or whoever, our journalists have a responsibility to protect – protect us, as much as possible, from bullshit. I call this doctrine R2PFB, and think it might catch on. But the nonsense I am reading is just laughable, ignorant, Pravda-esque state cheerleading.

    Here’s how it is. Putin is a dick, who does bad stuff. This does NOT mean that we are angels. Scrutinize Putin, fine, but not at the expense of our own leadership. This doesn’t appear all that complicated, but could as well be typed in Martian, or Culture Marain, for all it’s understood, in certain journalistic circles. Embarrassing.

    Oh, and I had the pleasure of watching Democracy Now, and seeing Timothy Snyder argue that the Nuland leak proved that the US isn’t responsible for the coup. That was a mind-bender, for sure. Actually, rather plausible, in a way, but I’m not buying it.

  • Evgueni

    Arsen Avakov, head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine: “Bloody events in Kiev were provoked by a non-Ukrainian 3rd force”. The article attributes to him also a statement that there is an extensive investigation underway that will reveal “who was shooting, when, and what were the orders” but he believes that a “key role was played by a 3rd force, and this force was not Ukrainian”.


  • oddie

    wish someone in UK could help to identify the SECRETIVE “forensic experts” company in this highly-propagandised beeb piece by gabriel gatehouse. Qinetiq maybe?

    had to endure lengthy Citibank ad before the interview started. approx 6 minutes.

    25 Feb: VIDEO: BBC: Ukraine crisis: British forensic experts in Kiev
    British forensic experts are in Kiev to help establish responsibility for the deaths of dozens of protesters, mostly killed by Ukrainian government snipers.
    The investigators – who do not wish to be identified – say they have already pinpointed four sniper positions.
    The Foreign Office declined to comment on whether the UK government was assisting in the investigation…
    The experts did not want to reveal their identities or who had tasked them with the investigation, saying it was a politically sensitive issue…

  • OldMark

    The Cathy Ashton/Urmas Paet bugged telephone call had had over 500,000 hits in the 18 or so hours since it was uploaded on youtube. MSM here really behind the curve on this.

  • AlcAnon/Squonk

    Daily Mail one of the few carrying the report in any detail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573923/Was-massacre-started-Ukraine-revolution-ordered-new-leaders-Leaked-tape-says-Maidan-snipers-NOT-control-ousted-president-opposition-drove-power.html

    Was ‘massacre’ which started Ukraine revolution ordered by the new leaders? Leaked tape says Maidan snipers were NOT under control of ousted president but opposition which drove him from power

    The snipers that started the Ukrainian revolution by firing on anti-government protesters in Kiev were given orders by the same group, it was claimed yesterday.

    Rather than being hired by President Viktor Yanukovych, the snipers were in fact controlled by opposition figures, according to a leaked phone conversation apparently between a senior EU official and an Estonian politician.

    The 11-minute call is said to be between the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonia’s foreign affairs minister Urmas Pae.

    Top rated comment on the article

    Dave Smith, London, United Kingdom, 6 hours ago

    We are supporting some very shady people who ousted a democratically elected government, and are now proceding to sell off Ukraine’s natural resources to globalists.

  • mark golding

    OldMark – are MSM ever ahead of the curve? There have a built-in delay for anything truthful that might harm their masters.

    Hey! agent Cameron – Where is the Chilcot report? How long do you need to redact on anything inimical to national security?

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