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When Is a Rose Not a Rose?

7:43 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Editor’s Note: Deena Stryker joins FDL Book Salon on Aug 2nd to discuss Lunch With Fellini, Dinner With Fidel.

A soldier leans against a tank in Tahrir

Obama’s riddle: When is a coup not a coup?

You may be noticing the slightly confused expression on Obama’s face when he talks about the foreign affairs these days: he almost seems to be apologizing for contradictions that are obvious to even the most casual observers.

Here’s a sample:

  • Egypt first had a revolution, then a coup: after the revolution there was an election and the Muslim Brotherhood won. After the coup, carried out by the army, there was eventually another election and the head of the army won. Although officially we don’t support governments who come to power through a coup.  Egypt is so important (mainly to Israel) that all we did was hold back a few jets.
  • The Russian speaking inhabitants of Crimea, which was formerly a part of Russia, held a referendum in which they overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia: According to Obama, the referendum was not legal: Russia is fomenting separatism.
  • Scotland has scheduled a referendum for later this year, holding fast to its decision to do so in the face of Great Britain’s assertion that it would be illegal: Obama concedes it’s up to the Scots to decide their future.

What about a state’s right to hang on to territory?

  • NATO reduced parts of Serbia to rubble because it wanted to hang on to Kosovo (albeit in the name of a hundreds of years old incident); with NATO’s help, Kosovo, a majority Albanian speaking province, became independent.
  • Two decades later, NATO accuses Russia of fomenting separatism, violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity by recognizing the majority Russian speaking province of Crimea’s referendum to join Russia, and Obama accuses Russia of being a big country that imposes its will on a smaller one.
  • In the same vein for the seccessionist referenda held in Eastern Ukraine, Obama tells Russia it has an ‘obligation of influence:’ that it can only prove its good faith by convincing anti-fascist Ukrainians to accept a government that was brought to power by a fascist-led coup. Since when are leaders responsible for influencing outcomes?

France 24’s journalists were calling for Putin to recognize Petro Poroshenko as the legitimate president of Ukraine while knowing full well that even before the election he repeatedly declared his intention work with whoever was elected. Recently he noted that Poroshenko didn’t have blood on his hands (how long it will be possible to say that is not certain) and that he was ready to work with him. Putin emphasized that the Ukraine crisis had to be resolved through negotiations, which is what he says about every international conflict, as opposed to American leaders who invariably call for punitive measures and ‘leave no option off the table’.

Finally, there’s the issue of ‘killing one’s own people:’ Assad in Syria has been hammered relentlessly for this, although he is facing a foreign invasion; Egypt’s Al Sissi gets a pass. As for Poroshenko, he is doing the same in Eastern Ukraine, having declared he wanted the area ‘pacified’ before his inauguration, which is imminent! (At least he didn’t yell that they had to be ‘eliminated’ as two other presidential candidates, Right Sektor boss Dmitry Yarosh and Julia Timoshenko did.)

What all this boils down to is that if democracy is to political science what roses are to flowers, whatever its original attractiveness, when it fades, it doesn’t smell very good.

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D-Day 2014: Goings and Comings on the Eurasian Continent

7:19 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Editor’s Note: Deena Stryker joins FDL Book Salon on Aug 2nd to discuss Lunch With Fellini, Dinner With Fidel.

Pres Obama talks with Pres-elect Poroshenko of Ukraine following their bilateral meeting in Warsaw, Poland, June 4

President Obama’s four-day European tour leading up to the D-Day celebrations in France began in Poland with the announcement of an increase in the number of American troops stationed there, as the post-coup government in Ukraine continued military action against citizens who refuse to recognize it.

The borders of Poland, Bela Rus and Kievan Rus (going back to the Middle Ages) have dissolved into one another for centuries with ‘Ukraine’ as an entity created during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Aside from that, Obama’s commitment to defending Poland from a threat to the east twenty odd years after the collapse of the Soviet Union is no small irony: Having failed to defend Poland against Germany in World War II, it would now defend it against Russia, which has threatened no one.

American academia has finally acknowledged that the Soviet Union played the most significant role in the defeat of Nazi Germany, the allied D-Day landing having signaled the opening of a second front to the one the Soviets had been fighting on since June, 1941. However, from the end of WW II until 1991, the Soviet Union was condemned by the West for creating friendly governments in its buffer zone of Eastern Europe, including Poland, and accused of being an imminent threat to the ‘free’ nations of Western Europe. And by declaring in 2005 that the demise of the Soviet Union had been a geo-political catastrophe, Vladimir Putin provided the United States with a handy excuse to condemn Russia’s every policy.

Russia is labelled as aggressor for respecting the referendum organized by Crimea’s largely Russian population that desperately wants to become part of Russia, as it had been for centuries before the Soviet regime made it part of Ukraine. It is also suspected of evil designs on the Baltic countries as well as in Moldova in the south. And yet, while Washington has made it illegitimate for Russia to resist encirclement, NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe implies that the Soviet Union’s concerns over its buffer zone were legitimate.

The 70th D-day anniversary will serve as backdrop for the first meeting between Obama and Putin since the Ukraine coup, which the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (an interesting, and probably post-Soviet title) Victoria Nuland boasted publicly that Washington spent five billion dollars preparing. It is more than likely that a good part of those funds went to Right Sektor, an ultra-right para-military group that trained in Western Ukraine for months before turning the peaceful Maidan protests into all-out war and installing a government in which it holds four ministerial positions while continuing to worship its predecessors who, as German allies, committed atrocities against Jews, Communists, Gypsies and Poles.

Notwithstanding this uncomfortable truth, the Polish government can no more refrain from meddling in Ukraine today than it has historically. However, Europe’s uncomfortable position between a rock and a hard place is evident in the arrangements France’s President made for receiving both Obama and Putin in Paris in the run-up to tomorrow’s ceremony in Normandy: He had dinner with Obama, then a late supper with Putin. (Putin also responded to journalists’ questions in a TV show, which you can see on RT or France 24.) The reality behind these diplomatic acrobatics is that as Western Ukrainians reach for a European dream that is fast vanishing for its citizens, the United States and its allies are faced with a nightmare: Russia’s spearheading of an economic zone stretching from the Black Sea to the Pacific, in tandem with China.

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Who’s a Terrorist, What’s a Terrorist?

10:08 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Terrorist and terrorism are probably the most often used words in today’s media, making an inquiry into their definition and use long overdue. Having shifted the role of watchdog to whistle-blowers as part of its new mission to propagate the government’s views, journalists mindlessly apply the word “terrorist” to any group or individual engaging in activities that governments do not like.

Protesters on a march, some dressed in black bloc or as clowns

Terrorists?

Although it has no legally binding definition under international criminal law, according to Wikipedia, “Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion.” Common definitions tend to ignore the crucial notion of coercion, referring only to violent acts intended to create fear (terror), perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal that deliberately targets or disregards the safety of civilians (otherwise known as non-combatants). Both these definitions enable governments to designate anyone who disagrees with them — regardless of how they manifest that disagreement — as a terrorist.

Under these definitions, the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack can rightly be defined as terrorists.  Clearly however, groups and individuals whose aspirations and beliefs are simply in conflict with those of governments cannot. This makes it imperative to deconstruct the method used by power and its enablers to reverse engineer the “civilized world’s” sacred rights of citizenship into offenses punishable by detention and death.

Government begins by labeling ideas that deviate from its own as “extremist,” then it dubs those holding such views as extremists; then it moves on to alternating the word “extremist” with that of “terrorist.” Finally, like seasoning on a botched recipe, it equates both words with the term “anarchist,” scrubbing the word’s philosophical meaning to leave only actions of crowd violence perpetrated by individuals, as indelibly memorialized by Sacco and Vanzetti in the early twentieth century.

While the two Italian anarchists were being condemned to death for a crime they probably did not commit, Zionists fighting to free Mandate Palestine from British rule were setting up two terrorist organizations. The motto of the Haganah and the Irgun, “only thus” was inscribed beneath a hand holding a rifle superimposed on a map of Mandatory Palestine, implying that force was the only way to “liberate the homeland.” Although they were at odds with official Jewish policies, these groups are never referred to as “terrorists,” but as “paramiltary organizations.” Similarly, European underground fighters that thwarted German occupations during the Second World War are never referred to as terrorist organizations but are correctly labelled as “resistance fighters.”

Why then are Palestinians fighting to free their land from Israeli occupation referred to as “terrorists” rather than as “resistance fighters?” The long and bloody resistance of the Palestinian people to occupation, using the same methods as those employed by Irgun and Haganah, played a key role in the West’s gradual banalization of the word “terrorist,” with successive Israeli governments, along with the United States, Canada, the European Union, Turkey and Japan, designating Hamas as a terrorist organization. Unbeknownst to most Americans, Arab nations are not the only ones to disagree with this label: Iran, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, the United Nations and most Latin American countries hold firm to their dictionaries.

Never mind: the Palestinian precedent — as well as that of Syria’s civil war, in which government supporters are referred to as terrorists while Islamists seeking to establish a Caliphate receive American weapons — prepared the terrain for Ukrainians opposing a government that came to power through a bloody coup to be labelled as terrorists — or at best ‘rebels’. Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act, signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2011, is applied urbi et orbi.

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It’s Not Just About Ukraine

8:14 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Map of Poland 960-992

As the situation on Europe’s Eastern frontier degenerates predictably, awareness of the millennial violent history between Poles and Ukrainians is indispensable to any understanding. The phrase ‘they share a long history’ does not come close to elucidating what is happening today.

Actually, the phrase most often heard is that Ukrainians and Russians share a long history, and this illustrates the fact that even news analysts haven’t a clue as to what is motivating the protagonists in this drama. Americans who have spent time among Western Europeans notice the vastly greater awareness individuals have of their country’s past than they do. When it comes to Eastern Europe, you can safely double that.

As Ukrainians of East and West duke it out over their country’s future, a tortured debate in the Polish parliament has just culminated with a vote to qualify a World War II massacre of Poles by Ukrainians as ‘ethnic cleansing with genocidal elements.’ The massacre took place in Volyn in the summer of 1943, under the leadership of a Ukrainian fighting force under the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Nationalist Stepan Bandera who is the hero of the Right Sector now in charge of security under the putsch government in Kiev.

This was not the yearly remembrance, which occurs in July, but was directly related to the current situation in Ukraine, in which the Polish government continues to play a double role that goes back hundreds of years: seeking to once again hold sway over its Eastern lands, backed by a globalizing West eager to exploit them and represented for the cause by the EU.

In its coverage of the vote, RT pointed out that a few years ago the then presidents of the two countries had declared the issue laid to rest, but that subsequently, the Ukrainian government had erected monuments to Bandera and his organization.

And yet, this relatively recent history does not explain Poland’s current role in the Ukrainian drama: it is related to the tug of war between Poles and Ukrainians for sovereignty over the lands that lie between the contemporary Russian and Polish borders that began in the tenth century. This applies also to the Baltics, which Washington says Putin might invade while he’s at it. The huge landmass to the east of the Vistula River has forever been in turmoil among diverse tribes, then principalities, then nations. I’m not going to detail that history here, it’s easily available on Wikipedia, starting with Kievan Rus and following the links.

Doing that will help explain why globalization’s plans for Ukraine are not going to be that easy to implement.

Europe: Copycats and the Arrow of Time

7:25 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Closeup of 6 o'clock portion of an antique clock face, with hour and minute hands at 4:30.

Time’s arrow pulls Europe forward.

I’ve often written about the application of the modern physics principle — that the arrow of time is irreversible — to world affairs and politics in general. Today it is combined with copycat behaviors, thus becoming all the more important to understand

As Ukrainians pursue the historically-dictated split of their country, the West once again joining with Poland while the largely Russian-speaking East either becomes independent or joins again with Russia, using popular brute force not seen in Europe since the Second World War — or perhaps the Russian Revolution — European demonstrators fed up with Brussels and IMF imposed austerity are obviously thinking ‘We can do that, too!’

Ever since the end of World War II, in which Communist and Socialist parties across Europe played a major role in resisting and undermining German occupation, trade unions have provided the left with a strong backbone, allowing workers to demand and obtain benefits American workers cannot even imagine. Their resilience continues to be seen every day on images of demonstrations across the European continent against levels of unemployment that hitherto had not existed in the welfare states.

European workers are also well aware of the role militarism plays in diminished social welfare, as EU countries have allowed themselves to be increasingly co-opted by Washington since 9/11. Although Vladimir Putin correctly noted the similarity between Kosovo’s right to independence and that of Crimea, the crisis in Ukraine is different from the nineteen-nineties war in Serbia.  Serbia lay in the heart of a Europe that was merely in the process of becoming united. Ukraine’s only claim to belong to a united Europe lies in its long history of being part of Poland; but it has an even longer history of being part of Russia. As for today’s Europeans, the fact that Ukraine looms as a putative relative inevitably dares them to show that they are just as capable of putting their bodies where their convictions are.

So much for the copycat aspect of the situation. As for the irreversibility of the arrow of time, this refers to the fact that once a trend is set in motion, it continues until it reaches a bifurcation point, when it can ‘dissipate’ (in the language of physics) to something different. What direction bifurcations take is unpredictable, but is usually influenced by previous history. Translated, this means that as revolts gather steam, the likelihood of them being stopped through negotiation or compromise is slight because each side is propelled inexorably forward. Revolutions and wars are the most obvious examples of bifurcations.

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Turning Point

6:35 pm in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Today may mark a turning point not only in two places that have been in the news these days – Venezuela and Ukraine – but also in the larger political story of our times.

Nicolás Maduro - Caricature

Nicolás Maduro – Caricature

In Venezuela, President Maduro negotiated with his opposition on TV. In Ukraine, Prime MInister Yatsenyuk promised his obstreperous polity more autonomy, backing down from a threat of force to evict Eastern Ukrainians from government buildings they’ve been occupying for the last week demanding referenda.

Some will say I’m seeing what I want to see, but I prefer to identify trends rather than small discrete victories.  And time will tell: I believe these are markers in the slow but certain turn of civilization away from two hundred years of large political systems and toward the real people’s power that coincidentally is dictated by the looming climate crisis.

In a world that exhibits an increasing diversity of ideas, ideologies, and religions, in which desperate southern peoples still risk life and limb for what they believe will be a better life in the north, those hitherto on the fringes of their respective societies – the Greens, the students, the women, the minorities that exist in every land – are becoming the dominant voices, no longer waiting to be heard by the powerful, but taking matters into their own hands.  In order to survive, governments, like those of Maduro and Yatsenyuk, must adapt to that new reality.  These two men represent diametrically opposite philosophies, but tellingly, both are dealing with the same new world.
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Letter from a Pro-Assad Syrian Resident from California

6:45 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

The U.S. is not so much pursuing a new Cold War with Russia, as trying to destabilize it militarily from both near and far: in Syria and in Ukraine. After OpedNews contributor Lilly Martin, a California born, medical professional married to a Syrian who has raised two children in that country commented on one of my articles, I asked her to describe the Syrian tragedy from inside. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph of her assessment, about Syria’s long-standing policy known as ‘resistance,’ which is never mentioned by Western media:

A portrait of Bashar al-Assad

Everyon in Syria hates Assad? Not so, says Lilly Martin.

A Letter From Lilly Martin

You asked me about my assessment of the current President of Syria. Prior to the crisis, Assad’s general approval rating was maybe 75%. After the crisis began, and it became apparent that it was a foreign engineered ‘regime change’ project, and not anything real, or grassroots, his approval went up slightly, let’s say 80%.

As of today, based on what I hear from friends, relatives, neighbors and various contacts I have across Syria, it is about 80%. I work helping the refugees from Aleppo, so I hear their stories as well, which are from a different community than where I live in Latakia. (Ed note: Latakia is the border area with Turkey largely inhabited by Alawites.)

My assessment is supported by an identical statement of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Aleppo, who  in 2011 was in Paris on church business and stopped in at the FRANCE 24, the English language TV channel that is very anti-Assad. It toes the line of France, and the Holland policy of support for the rebels.

This innocent cleric stated what he saw and felt, but the TV presenter almost  flipped! She shouted, “But this is not what we are hearing from Syria at all!” He replied, “Well, I can’t tell you anything but the truth.” His true statement did not line up with her assumption that everyone in Syria hated him. Not so.

I have been here 21 years, I lived under his father’s leadership, and watched the new President come to office in 2000. When his first term finished in 2007 I thought he might start a ‘new’ election process, but he didn’t. Now in 2014, May 7th, Syria will have the very first free election based on voters, and not the one party system, as before. There are now 30 registered legal parties, one of which is lead by a woman. The campaign is just beginning, the candidates have been requested to submit their names, and also sign up for campaign funds. The election is open to any Syrian age 18 and over, no pre-registering required, no party affiliation required, you can be  independent of any party, and you can vote for any party.

The elementary schools have already begun a program in which the children participate in ‘play’ votes, in order to teach kids the value of voting, because they will be the next generation of voters. This is all brand new here! Before, it was one party, the members voted, then a general referendum public vote was done to accept the party’s candidate.

The new constitution was drafted and passed about 2 years ago. It abolished the one party system. Article #3 was controversial, because it demands the President be Muslim. Many people wanted NO religion mentioned, because for 40 years there has been a secular form of government here, but even the Socialists and Communists who were on the drafting committee said that socially the Syrians are not ready for a change on that point, and in the end, even the Christian community accepted it.  Maybe one day they will amend it.

I feel that if the ‘revolution’ in Syria, which began March 2011, had been truly a grass roots uprising of the actual Syrian people, living in Syria, the regime change could have happened in 3-6 months. But, from the outset it was so clear that it lacked the local, homegrown support of residents on the ground. It was always a foreign and expatriate affair, funded and supported by various Gulf and Western countries for various reasons, none of which was freedom or democracy. I hope that the election can go forward in peace and order and the Syrian people can have their voices heard.

I know they want a leader who will be strong and will continue a policy of resistance. This is another huge factor because the West doesn’t understand that Syria’s policy of resistance is not sectarian. The vast majority of Syrians, regardless of religion or sect, support resisting the Israeli occupation. After all, it is the brutal occupation of Palestine which is the real cancer of the Middle East.

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Ukraine via The Chicago School

10:29 am in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

Some American commentators close to the Obama administration are touting the coup in Kiev as a successful tit for tat for Russia’s obstruction of U.S. war plans against Syria and its broader imperialist agenda. However, the Europeans, who get a lot of their gas from Russia, are split over joining ‘a coalition of the willing’. At the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Feb. 26, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen insisted that a solution could be found through cooperation with Moscow. She was echoed by the German business community.

Ukraine!In contrast, as reported Feb. 26 by the European Policy Centre in Brussels, British neoconservative policy advisor Amanda Paul demanded the EU adopt a tougher line against Putin. The conservative daily Die Zeit agreed, noting that “although reason, caution and compromise are good virtues, Europe have to learn power politics. We believe that the world is rational, with lots of compromise and consideration. In reality, Man is not a moral animal, but an animal of power.”

It is no coincidence that this quote should come from the German business community, for it expresses an ideology that is deeply rooted in that country, and which has gained significant influence, albeit under the radar, in the U.S., although it constituted the philosophical basis of the Nazi state.

To make this point I will turn to a surprising source: British former diplomat Alastair Crooke’s 2009 book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution. Unlike NY Times bestsellers that deal with Islam, it introduces the reader to analyses of Western ideology by Islamist scholars, revealing knowledge ignored by most American college graduates.

During the Vietnam War, the well-known conservative philosopher Alan Bloom accused liberalism of undermining American values and in particular patriotism. He claimed that one of liberalism’s founders, John Locke, who influenced both the French and American revolutions, extended Hobbes’ ideas about liberal government, rights, the ‘self-aware Self’ and innate human goodness. Bloom and other Chicago School philosophers and economists, starting with Leo Strauss, were convinced that liberalism had thus led to nihilism, a ‘defining modern disorder’ that discourages citizens from sacrificing themselves for the State. The idea of nihilism had been laid out by Heidegger and Nietzsche, and led to the path taken by Nazi Germany. It was elaborated by their disciple, Carl Schmitt, who was none other than Leo Strauss’s friend and mentor.

The ‘Chicago School’, as it is widely known, is presented as being concerned strictly with economics, it’s best-known representative being Milton Friedman. In fact, it has been a major player in the development of the overall Neo-Conservative philosophy. From here I will simply cut and paste a slighted edited version of Crooke’s analysis of Neo-Conservatism’s philosophical background as it appears starting on page 248 of “RESISTANCE”:

The Chicago School and the Essence of Power Read the rest of this entry →

Pusillanimous Europe

1:22 pm in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

It’s hard to know which is worse: a Europe that is still caught in a Cold war stance between the bear and the eagle, or a Europe that allows itself to drift into Fascism, as if World War II had never happened.  Notwithstanding the strength of its economy, Europe is in this position because it never took its place among the other four Eurasian giants: Russia, India, China and the Muslim world, preferring a less challenging role as Washington’s junior partner.

Catherine Ashton’s lack of surprise and horror upon hearing that the government she helped put in place had hired snipers to fire upon both protesters and police reveals the true nature of the West’s campaign to detach Ukraine from Russia: F. William Engdhal’s “Full Spectrum Dominance” is not just about ruling the world; it’s about adopting fascist methods to do so.

During the Cold War, Europe was cowed into supporting the United States by constant warnings of Soviet tanks about rolling across the Danubian plain- or at the very least Europe’s ‘Finlandization’: a peaceful takeover by economic means.  After the fall of the Soviet Union, the EU breathed a sigh of relief and signed up for Russian gas.  Now it has to choose between being warm and becoming part of real war Fascism.

The conflict is still between the left and the right, even if the labels are not exactly the same. Ukrainian demonstrators who pulled down statues of Lenin may have been fighting yesterday’s battle, but I suspect they also reject the socialist ethos that informs many of Putin’s orientations – including the reluctance to use force in Crimea and his request for a special session of the Security Council to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine: Axis of Evil or Civilization Flatlining?

2:46 pm in Uncategorized by Deena Stryker

 One can’t help but notice the geographic pattern formed by the three countries that are currently in the United States’ crosshairs, roughly across the middle of the globe.

Beyond that fanciful note, the governments of these three countries may appear to be very different from one another, however they share a crucial element: the Catholic Latin American, the Muslim Mediterranean, and the Orthodox Eastern European, are all located on the left end of the political spectrum.

Although Ukraine has been a ‘capitalist’ country since the fall of the Soviet Union, its current president is allied with a Russia that, as I have noted before, has not thrown the socialist baby out with the communist bathwater (demonstrators recently tore down the statue of Lenin in Kiev); moving westward, Syria has been ruled by the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party since the 1960’s, and is the only truly secular Arab state (some of my readers believe this was also the case for Libya, but although all religions were tolerated, Gaddafi declared Islam to be the only universal religion in his Socialist Republic). And across the Atlantic, facing the Pacific, since Hugo Chavez became President, Venezuela has sought to implement the economic independence and equitable distribution of revenues called for by the 19th century revolutionary Simón Bolívar.

This could be considered a coincidence if all three regimes did not also share two other characteristics: their relationship with Russia and their relevance to the supply of oil.

The illogical desire of the Ukrainian people to be accepted as ‘Europeans’ given the EU’s dire economic situation, has been amply reported. Elements of the situation that have been given short shrift – at least in the Western MSM – include the fact that the Russia-Europe pipeline passes through Ukraine; that the leaders of the revolt have maintained World War II Nazi affiliations, and that they have been armed as no demonstrators in recent memory have. (Without arms, demonstrations remain demonstrations; they do not degenerate into civil war.)

As for Syria, let no one be deceived by references to Russia’s access to its Mediterranean seaport of Tartus; an Arab regime that is close to Iran by virtue of its religious affiliation to Shi’a Islam is on the other side of the ideological divide from, say, Al Sissi’s - or even Morsi’s – pro-capitalist, pro Western Egypt, not to mention Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies.

Washington’s three pronged aggression that almost spans the globe from West to East is not about democracy, or even replacing regimes that ‘have blood on their hands’. It represents a desperate attempt by the most powerful nation that has ever existed to maintain its dominance while the world increasingly rejects its values and goals. That is why we are seeing a united front between the younger generation of Islamic and left-wing activists: both are opposed to globalization and inequality.