Monday, July 28, 2014

Venezuela A People's Revolution

     Understanding the Revolution in Venezuela: A People's History

   The Western Media generally attempt to portray Venezuela as some type of dictatorship. In typical Orwellian fashion Venezuela is called Un-Democratic. The reality is that Venezuela is seeing  the creation of the 21st centuries first Real Democracy. I use the term Real Democracy because democracy is supposed to mean rule by the People. In the west we have so called representative democracy where we get to choose between bought off and pre-selected candidates who generally ignore the wishes of those they claim to represent. In Venezuela on the other hand there has been an effort to create people's assemblies so that the people themselves will directly participate in decision making. George Ciccariello-Maher's book "We Created Chavez: A People's History of the Venezuelan Revolution" provides a brilliant account of the forces that truly brought the Bolivarian revolution about in Venezuela where we can see the troubled birth of a new sort of democracy a Real Democracy where the people's voices are finally heard and their demands met. He takes a unique approach to the problem that should have been obvious save for the mesmerizing now dead Hugo Chavez who became a lightning rod. Whether portrayed as a hero or villain the obsession with Chavez Obscured from view the roots of the revolution. These roots are the many people of Venezuela who have been fighting for decades in the battle for a more just world. Actually the book is as much a work of Political philosophy as a work of history so you'll have to actually read the book if you want to follow George Ciccariello-Maher brilliant and complex line of thought.  I can offer here only a simplified account of the events and forces that would give birth to and shape the Venezuelan revolution.
   In most ways the account begins with the overthrow of the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958. Ironically the election of Romulo Betancourt the first "Democratic" president was greeted by riots in the capital. According to Betancourt "The People as an Abstract concept do not exist" this riot of discontent on the birth of representative democracy foreshadowed later popular uprising's like the one in 1989 that was a reaction to the treachery of Carlos Andres Perez who was elected on a based on his strong criticism of Neo-Liberal economics and the IMF Austerity policies that had impoverished Venezuelans. Upon being elected he immediately institutited the very policies he had campaigned against. If it had happened in Washington or London people would perhaps merely have shrugged but in Venezuela where radical opposition had permeated the society and the poorest were well organized a rebellion took place known as the Caracazo which the government suppressed by killing between 300 and 3000 people. (Throughout the 80's this "democracy" in a sea of dictatorships had begun murdering the opposition Caracazo saw this tendency reach a bloody climax) Chavez would come onto the scene as a sort of delayed response to the brutal suppression of the Caracazo in 1992 with his failed military coup. Chavez's brother was a member of the revolutionary party PRV. Chavez was a product of Venezuela's revolutionary heritage rather then it's originator. Since I've already jumped ahead to from one popular uprising to another let's jump to the third important popular uprising in the book before returning to 1958 to explain some of the history of Venezuela's radical groups. After being released from prison Chavez ran for office and became president. In 2002 the elite with the secret urging of the US and the CIA decided to overthrow Chavez in a coup. NED funded crowds flooded the streets made up of Venezuela's Privileged who despised Chavez for being poor and being part black and Indian. In fact the US ambassador got in trouble for putting on play in which Chavez was portrayed by a chimpanzee echoing racist caricatures common among the opposition then and now. Colin Powell was not amused and the ambassador was forced to apologize. In a situation eerily similar to the recent coup in Ukraine opposition snipers fired on their own protestors. The military used the shootings as an excuse to overthrow Chavez and he was dragged off to an undisclosed location where they tried and failed to get Chavez to resign. It was an echo of the many US backed coups in Latin America. However it was foiled when yet again the people flooded the streets to make their displeasure felt. This inspired members of the Military still loyal to Chavez or at least opposed to the Coup to launch a counter coup and restore Chavez to Office. It was after being returned to office by a radical and mobilized people that Chavez truly began his series of radical reforms. Faced with many enemies he sought to hand more and more power to the people since only they could truly be relied upon to safeguard the Venezuelan revolution. Actually the most Unique aspect to George Ciccariello-Maher's book is that Hugo Chavez himself only makes fleeting appearances. Thus I will wait till a future time to further discuss Chavez himself. Instead we must return to 1958 to understand the story of this people usually invisible and forgotten until it emerges onto the streets to make it's will felt.
   The tensions surrounding the first democratically elected president since the overthrow of the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez reflected the split in the forces seeking to overthrow the president between those older more higher placed opposition members who lived in exile and the increasingly radical grassroots movement that actually overthrew him. The new President had been greeted by an angry riot from the People of Caracas and he responded by launching a murderous campaign to suppress dissent. Inspired by the successful Cuban revolution that happened that same year and disgusted by their murderous new democracy  many youthful idealists actually quit parliament and decided to instead head for the country and attempt to stage a violent revolution. Unfortunately unlike the Cuban revolutionaries they failed to build strong ties with the people who's behalf they were supposed to be fighting. They fell under the influence of a French Theorist Regis Debray who had misinterpreted the Cuban revolution by putting too much emphasis on the idea that the key was for armed revolution to provide a focal point for popular discontent. Basically put simply the idea was that if you lead they will follow. The Guerrillas managed to alienate the masses and were crushed. However in failing they began to rethink their whole strategy and sought to form strong bonds with the People. Former guerrillas would begin to play vital roles in many of Venezuela's social movements. One of the running themes of the book is that whatever social movement he studies whether it is focused on Afro-Venezuelan Issues, women's issues, landless peasants etc. Inevitably he finds that it is lead by a former guerrilla. Former Guerrillas also served in the Chavez government itself. Thus while the Violent revolution proved a failure the introspection and change in direction this failure produced would be incredibly fruitful for Venezuela.
    One of the big mistakes of the Guerrillas was their failure to join pre-existing struggles they expected to inspire revolution wherever they went and so ignored the areas where peasant's were already fighting for economic justice. After they began to rethink their strategy in the late 60's this would change. They began to join and helped to organize Venezuela's social movements. It is the social movements that really are behind the success of the Venezuelan revolution. In fact most of the book is devoted to various social movements in Venezuela, students, women, indigenous peoples, afro-Venezuelan, Workers, peasants, soldiers and so called informal labor( temporary labor, street vendors, hustlers that make up a large portion of the world, the unemployed struggling to survive.)  Perhaps the epitome of the relation between the social movements and the Bolivarian revolution is the La Piedrita a neighborhood in Caracas marked by a sign that says "Here we command and the Government obeys" the social movements do not offer servile support instead they constantly demand more radical change. In many cases they are so successful that for instance it was the women's social movement that actually rewrote the parts of the constitution dealing with women, and it was indigenous groups that wrote the parts dealing with the rights of indigenous groups. Workers are encouraged to try and run their own factories.  Their is an effort to increasingly empower the people to vote in their own local assemblies and decide for themselves rather then relying on generally corrupt representatives. Of course this produces all sorts of tensions, Conflicts and complexities and Venezuela is far from some paradise at least not yet. Still while we in the US, Europe and almost the whole world seem powerless to influence our governments a problem only intensified by it's formalization in international treaties like NAFTA and the attempts to push through new ones like the TPP and the TAP Venezuela is one of the few countries where the people are gaining more say rather then less say in how their country is run. This is no accident but the result of the fact that Venezuela is one of the few countries in which the people have successfully organized themselves so as to make their demands heard. One of the excellent things about the book is that studying resistance in Venezuela is to study Venezuela itself. Meaning that studying the social movements one finds them active in every sector of Venezuela. Unfortunately the social movements provide to large a topic to do justice to them all in a short essay. Instead I'll briefly describe one example with which the book opens the neighborhood of La Piedrita literally the pebble. In the 70's and 80's Venezuela was the scene of a low intensity urban guerrilla war. Inspired by the urban guerrillas many poor neighborhoods began to form self defense squads to defend themselves first from the police then to fight crime in their neighborhoods.  La Piedrita was a particularly effective example it managed to stamp out the drug trade and also to keep the police at bay. As in most countries this was hardly paradoxical as the police were actively involved in the drug trade. Piedrita did more then just stamp out it's crime it also organized it's whole community into an assembly and the whole community became an autonomous collective. Piedrita became an important center for organizing the Caracazo uprising and later was also a major center for organizing the the resistance to the attempted coup in 2002. They are both strongly supportive of and fiercely independent of the Maduro government. To quote one leader in Piedrita (While Chavez was still alive) "Here the government doesn't tell us anything, they ask." Yet the same man when asked his opinion of Chavez replied "He's our Maximum Leader"  La Piedrita embodies the new Venezuela.
    The Venezuelan example has proved infectious across Latin America. While much of the rest of the world subserviently applies the policies of the IMF and the so called Washington consensus in Latin America a new independent course is being charted. It is long past time that the rest of the world began to follow the Venezuelan example. It is time that the rest of the world had a taste of real democracy. It won't happen overnight the Venezuelan revolution is the result of 40 years of struggle. Perhaps the key to the social movement's success is that unlike their northern cousins they retained their vision of radical social change the woman's movement for example always focused first on the needs of poor women (who make up the majority of Venezuela's women )and was clear in it's demand that the problem's of women could not be solved without radically changing society as a whole. The same focus is present in all of Venezuela's social movements. Thus social movements fight for areas of special concern but do not loose track of the big picture. Instead all to often in the north social movements sacrifice the big picture in favor of their narrow interests. Or worse engage in nothing more then identity politics narcissism. War, poverty, racism, ecological destruction all have one major cause our current economic system. Hundreds of millions have starved to death in the past 20 years. In other words to do nothing constitutes a great crime.
    Today Venezuela which one of the few beacons of hope in the world is under assault. It is the target of an NED backed color revolution. It is the target of a CIA covert war. It is the target of Columbia's drug trafficking death squads. It is the target of an international media disinformation campaign involving the press, social media, and Celebrity sell outs. It is the target of subversion from within. It is the target of Economic warfare. The people of the world must act to help defend the Venezuelan revolution. The people of the world must also embrace the Venezuelan example. It is long past time that we had a direct say in how our countries are run. Enough of politicians who talk of peace and make war who talk of wealth and bring poverty. Only by building real democratic structures will we begin to have any say in the future.

I definitely recommend George Ciccariello-Maher's "We Created Chavez: A People's History of The Venezuelan Revolution. I was only able to scratch the surface. You could also search for articles he has written online.

For a more in Depth Summary see this book review

Here is an excerpt from his book that describes La Piedrita

And a great interview with George Ciccariello-Maher on the Bullet Points podcast a great Podcast I loyally follow

The best source for news on Venezuela is Venezuelanalysis

Monday, July 21, 2014

MH17 FalseFlag in Ukraine ?

     Ukraine: Victory in the Southern Cauldron Followed by Attack on MH17

   Last week saw an enormous turn in the fortunes of the anti-Fascist resistance of Novorossiya (the area under assault in South East Ukraine). The Ukrainian army met a crushing defeat in the so called Southern Cauldron. Ukrainian Army and national guard units were forced to flee with some of the Fascist National Guards even retreating into Russia where they received medical treatment. It's ironic that the National Guard famous for butchering civilians should receive humane treatment at the hands of the Russians they so despise. This was followed by what appears to be a massive psychological operation the downing of Malaysian Airliner MH 17. This was immediately seized upon by the Media to demonize Putin Russia, and the Anti-Fascist resistance movement in Novorossiya. Details could emerge later that definitively prove exactly who shot down the Plane. However the evidence seems to point towards the Kiev regime as the guilty party at this point. Of course the media has shown it's usual determination to turn truth on it's head. You can call it the Syria syndrome. In Syria both of the big false flag chemical weapon terror attacks launched by the death squads the media dubs "rebels" occurred after they suffered decisive defeats. Apparently the same thing has occurred in Ukraine. The shooting down of the plane is clearly a response to the defeat suffered by the Fascist forces in The southern corridor.
     First I'll deal with the defeat. Once again the Vineyard of the Saker and Slavyangard sites proved themselves indispensable reading for anyone following the civil war in Ukraine. They broke the story of the massive defeat suffered by the Fascist forces in Ukraine to the english speaking world. Not a word about this important event was said in the mainstream media. What an embarrassment usually unconventional forces stand little chance in a head to head confrontation with a better armed conventional force. The Iraqi resistance learned that lesson when the Americans almost completely destroyed Fallujah. The so called "rebels" in Libya (ie terrorist death squads as in Syria)  would never have been able to win if NATO hadn't been bombing the Nation to smithereens. In Syria the US-NATO-Israel-GCC backed death squads have suffered year after year of defeat. However the Ukraine forces suffered a massive defeat at the hands of a smaller and less well armed force. This was achieved through sheer incompetence and  corruption at the top; combined  with ill paid hungry troops many who secretly have no desire to carry out this immoral war at the bottom. According to the Saker Russia may have upped it's covert support for Novorossiya after the retreat from Slavyansk.
   Actually I'll turn my attention to Slavyansk the "heroic City?" first since it's emerged that there may have been a whole political dimension to the decision to retreat from the city. At the same time as the news of victory it was announced that Khodakovsky former minister for state security of the Donetsk People's Republic had resigned from the government. He remains in control of the Vostok Battalion. According to an excellent analysis by the Saker (See sources below) Khodakovsky was connected to a scheme by Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and Donetsk Mayor Alexander Lukianenko to surrender the Donbass. This scheme was disrupted when Strelkov staged his surprise retreat from Slavyansk. Lukianenko fled to Kiev upon Strelkov's Arrival. Now Khodakovsky has resigned from the government. Thus it would appear the retreat from Slavyansk was undertaken just as much to prevent the surrender of the Donbass region as to avoid eventual defeat in Slavyansk. The people of Slavyansk are unfortunately currently living in terror. The national guard continue to murder anyone they suspect of having aided the Self Defense Forces. The streets are deserted and many stores are closed. With their talent for staging memorable atrocities the the national Guard once again shocked the civilized world when according to one eye witness interviewed on Russian television they Crucified a 3 year old child and then shot his mother after deliberately gathering the neighbors to witness this horror show. Clearly we will need to keep a close eye on the future plight of the Slavyansk the Heroic City now under Occupation by Fascist butchers. In addition Leaked documents revealed that Kiev plans to either intern in camps or draft all the refugees in areas under their occupation depending on age and gender. The Kiev regime claimed it was time for the people of south  eastern Ukraine make the same sacrifices as the rest of the country. What insane logic when the rest of the country is attacking the people of South Eastern Ukraine.
    However the Kiev regime suffered a major setback in it's efforts to wage war on it's own people. No longer encircled in the Slavyansk with more men and equipment at their disposal Strelkov's forces not only resisted Poroshenko's new offensive against Lugansk and Donetsk they also managed to surround and crush the forces meant to be encircling them in the Southern Cauldron. This refers to the narrow strip of land between the area controlled by the self defense forces Novorossiya and the Russian border. However instead of catching NovoRossiya in a stranglehold as was intended they found themselves surrounded and in some cases through the incompetence of their commanders were caught in the open and destroyed by Grad Rocket trucks and artillery fire. There are at least 2 separate survivor accounts translated by and posted on Slavyangard which tell the same story they set up camp out in the open and were completely wiped out by NovoRossiyan forces from afar. Actually it was a bit heartrending to read despite the Ukrainian militaries months long campaign of attacking civilians with planes artillery and rockets, I couldn't help but sympathize with the Survivors who describe living through pure hell watching their fellow soldiers be blown to bits in a matter of Moments. The 3000 Ukrainian troops of the southern corridor were either killed captured or forced to flee. Many changed into civilian clothes. The fascist national guards terrified of reprisal stripped down to their underwear to avoid being identified as fascist butchers. Some were so desperate they fled to Russia. Hopefully Russia will do a full investigation on the national guard units in their custody and if guilty will try them for their crimes, but that may be wishful thinking. Further reports on the situation have been scarce since the crash of MH 17.
   It should be mentioned that not only was Novorossiya victorious but the recent BRICS summit Provided a victory for Russia on the world stage. Putin had been touring Latin America. Perhaps his greatest public relations coup was canceling 37 billion in Cuban debt. This plays extremely well in Latin America where the Endless US bullying of Cuba for such crimes as providing free health care, or stamping out once rampant illiteracy is strongly opposed. Cuba stands as a symbol of resistance to American Empire in much of the world. For over 50 years Cuba has survived embargoes and covert war at the hands of their Giant neighbor.  Putin also strengthened ties with nations like Venezuela and Nicaragua. The BRICS summit saw a further challenge to empire as they set up a development bank  meant to challenge such tools of soft imperialism like the IMF or the World Bank. Basically he further emphasized that Russia was far from the international Pariah the US wished it to be. Not only had Russia strengthened ties with China but with the Global south in general through Russia's role in BRICS. Meanwhile Europe was resisting US efforts to force them to enact sanctions. Thus not only was the Ukraine Regime desperate after their defeat the US was extremely frustrated before the attack as well after Putin's triumphant tour of Latin America and the Successful BRICS summit.
    The strangest element of the crash of MH 17 is the fact that this was the second mysterious crash of a Malaysian flight this year. Actually call it revenge of coincidence while looking up a little information on MH 370 the first mysterious crash i discovered that Twa 800 crashed on July 17 just like MH 17 and that July 17 was the date  that the Tsar and his family were killed during the Russian revolution. Don't get carried away I'm sure it is just one of those strange coincidences. The fact that two Malaysian airliners were lost this year is more suspicious however. Actually the first is interesting because at the time at least the coverage of it was definitely used to distract from the Ukraine crisis which was in a fairly scary state with the west engaging in all sorts of chest pounding over the secession of the Crimea. Many were openly wondering about the possibility of Nuclear War. Suddenly the mainstream media  focused instead for a week on the search for MH 370. Regardless of whether the plane merely crashed or was the victim of a cyberhijacking or some other Unknown attack the tragedy was used in the media as a major distraction. This latest crash not only changes the narrative about Ukraine but served to distract from Israel's ongoing attack on Gaza just before the crash the israelis killed 4 Palestinian children on a beach in front of a bunch of reporters. In fact mainstream reporters famous in general for their subservience to Israel were starting to grumble. Two were fired for daring to criticize the latest one sided barbarous assault by Israel. I only mention it to show how the mainstream media will not only use the tragedy to demonize Russia and Novorossiya but also to distract from other events like the war crimes in Gaza or the Ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Christians the same week. Most of the west will remain ignorant of the slaughter of christians in places like Syria, Iraq, and yes Palestine. It is better that the west where christianity is the majority religion not get confused and start to identify with the people of the middle east so instead we are taught that it is the "muslim world." Sorry for the tangent but all over the world we see these divisions and oversimplifications of identity which are then weaponized Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, It's all part of the same empire of chaos people committing terrible crimes because they have been made to forget their common humanity. On a final note I learned recently that Omar  al-Baghdadi the Leader of IS formerly ISIL was trained for over a year by the Mossad Israel's intelligence agency.
   To return to MH 17 Malaysia has a connection to both Iraq and Gaza. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia was the sight of war crimes trials aimed both at condemning the war in Iraq and the Israeli occupation. It also hosted international Conferences aimed at Questioning what actually happened during the September 11th attacks. Plus it defied the advice of the technocrats at the IMF during the Asian Financial crisis leading to early economic recovery and providing a "bad example" for other countries. On the other hand it's current Government is much more Pro-US and signed on to the US scheme to encircle China. Again it could all be coincidence. While we'll probably never know what happened to MH 370 the evidence in MH 17 points to an attack by Kiev. In both cases secretly the truth was already known. The US definitely has the entire world under surveillance and so MH 370 was no mystery for them. However they refused to reveal what happened. In Ukraine both Russia and the US know what happened. Unfortunately the Russian Military doesn't want to reveal it's exact capabilities. They did however release their civilian radar records showing that MH 17 was indeed being followed by two Ukrainian fighter jets as eyewitnesses reported. There were reports that the NAF captured a BUK but the kiev regime claimed at the time they had been disabled in addition they require a trained operator which it is unlikely they posses. In addition Kiev provided photo's claiming to show that the self Defense forces had Buk anti-Aircraft vehicles. They claimed they showed them returning to Russia. However a blog called Human rights international proved that one of the BUKs (no 112) supposedly belonging to the NAF (Novorossyan armed forces) was actually Ukraine's. In addition Moscow Provided satellite photo's showing that the Ukrainian army had a number of BUKs in the area. In addition Alexander Borodai who heads the Donetsk People Rebublic pointed out that if Novorossiya had a working BUK it would have used it to attack the Ukraine air force which regularly conducts high altitude bombing raids against Novorossiya. Although the NAF have shot down a number of aircraft they were all flying at low altitude and were shot down using handheld missile launchers called Manpads. There was also a controversial leak by a spanish air traffic controller stationed in Ukraine which claimed that the Ukrainian army was responsible. In addition it has emerged that the flight was ordered to fly over the war zone when all other civilian flights avoid the war zone.
    The key question however is motive why would the NAF which hasn't even launched attacks on pro-Kiev areas would suddenly bring down the wrath of the International community upon themselves by launching an attack on a Malaysian airliner. This would be the act of a desperate group not one that had recently won a major victory. Especially when if they actually possessed a working BUK they would have many more pressing targets Namely the Ukrainian Air force which has been killing civilians and self defense forces for months. The Kiev regime on the other hand came to power because of a false flag attack. As I discussed in my earlier article "Leaks False Flag Destabilization in Ukraine and Turkey" it was revealed months ago that the sniper shootings were carried out by pro maidan forces which shot both police and protestors. The killings were used the Delegitimize Yanukovich but were quickly forgotten once it became time for Ukraine to wage war on it's own people. After all the Kiev regime has already killed far more civilians in their anti-terror campaign then ever died during the Maidan Protests. Thus there is no question of whether the Kiev regime would carry out a false Flag attack or murder hundreds of innocent civilians they have already done both. Actually the Ukrainian government also accidentally shot down a civilian airliner siberian air 1812 back in 2001. Thus the Kiev Regime is the prime suspect. Unlike the NAF they had just suffered a major defeat and were desperate. By destroying the plane they managed to demonize both the NAF and Russia. In addition they had the means it has been proven that they had both Fighter aircraft and BUKs in the area where the crash took place. They have also been caught lying first by denying their jets presence in the area then by providing faulty photo evidence. I'm reminded of their earlier attempts to use photos to falsely show that Novorossiya was being occupied by Russian troops. Despite being backed by the state Department and the New York Times it was shown to be a massive fraud within days. In other words I am no expert on air defense systems or plane crashes but the Kiev Regime's historical record of False Flag attacks and it's murder of hundreds of civilians make it in my view the prime suspect. It had the means motive and opportunity. The US also has a history of being involved in the destruction of Civilian airliners. In october 1976 US trained cuban Exile terrorists CORU blew up a cuban Passenger jet. Despite publicly bragging about it the US allowed them to live unmolested in Miami. Once Terrorist Louis Posada who was also responsible for the famous assassination of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier in  Washington DC bribed his way out of Venezuelan prison he was allowed to settle in Florida, after he did more dirty work involving arming death squads and smuggling Drugs. A tiny piece in the Iran Contra Affair.  In 1988 the US shot down an Iranian passenger jet. The US has also Killed millions of civilians and been involved in thousands of false flag attacks. Thus when it comes to whose history makes it likely they would be involved the US and the Kiev regime have the criminal rap sheet that makes them prime suspects. At the very least the US is covering for the kiev junta. It may actually have known about the attack in advance. It may have ordered the whole thing. We'll probably never know the details but just as in Syria where the rebels were eventually exposed at the very least the Kiev regime will probably eventually be exposed as the guilty party. You can bet that once again the US government and the Mainstream media will one day be exposed for telling yet another war mongering big lie on behalf of their mad quest to conquer the planet. MH 17 is destined to join the long list of US war provocations that were eventually exposed from sinking of the maine that started the Spanish American War to the gulf of Tonkin which escalated the Vietnam War, to incubator babies before the first gulf war, and weapons of mass destruction before the second US attack on Iraq, to the Ghouta story last year in Syria. These lies are exposed much quicker these days thanks to the internet. Malaysia has reached an agreement with Novorossiya to investigate the crash and hopefully the truth will be revealed. But if Malaysia bows to US Pressure and conducts a biased investigation we can at least rely on the Alternative media to expose the truth.


The militia briefings describing the victory of the Anti-Fascist forces

An excellent analysis by the Saker

Slavyangrad's great coverage of the MH 17 story

An account from the survivor of a disastrous battle

The Saker explains air defense

As for the rest just search through The Vineyard of the Saker or Slavyangard for most of it they've done too many great stories to post them all here unfortunately. But thanks Saker and Gleb Bazov and the other translators for your tireless work giving us the real news on the situation in Ukraine.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fall of Slavyansk, End of Iraq ?

      The Fall of Slavyansk, Balkanization in Iraq

   The Ukrainian Civil war entered a new phase with the withdrawal of forces from Salvyansk. The Self Defense Forces were forced to abandon the Heroic city whose example in resisting the coup regime helped inspire the birth of Novorossiya, It was a massive Symbolic defeat despite representing a tactical victory as Colonel Strelkov managed to break out of encirclement and escape with his men. Unfortunately it also means that the brave citizens of Slavyansk now live under fascist occupation and the murder of known sympathizers has already begun. In fact the true horror of the kiev regime was recently revealed in a series of hacked face book messages showing That the regime have taken the idea of profiting from war to gruesome new levels. If genuine the Facebook messages show Failed Presidential candidate Yulia "Nuke Em" Timoshenko's lawyer Segey Vlasenko acting as a middleman between German Surgeon Olga Wieber and Ukrainian military who agreed (for a cut) to harvest and sell the organs of their fallen troops to Germany. There rich germans were willing to pay black market prices for black-market organs. Meanwhile in Iraq the attempt at balkanization became all too apparent as America offered no real assistance while calling for Maliki to step down as if he was the new Assad.
    Slavyansk: now is the time to record the story of the brave resistance of what is known as the Heroic city. Arriving with only 20 light armed men Colonel Strelkov managed to wage an effective guerrilla campaign for months which saw his forces grow through volunteers who armed themselves through a series of battlefield victories. Thus they were able to hold this small town of 25,000 people with a few hundred volunteers agains a 15,000 strong Ukrainian army and the fascist national guard.  Unfortunately the Ukrainian army was able to seize a nearby mountain position from which they could bombard the region targeting mainly the civilian population hoping to turn them against the Self defense forces. They waged a long campaign of destruction continuing to bombard the city despite a supposed cease Fire. The internet was awash in the images of carnage houses destroyed and a steady stream of dead men, women and children victims of Ukraine's supposed democratic regime. But what the west condemns in Syria it simply ignores in Ukraine even though it's on it's own doorstep. Syria is fighting for it's life against brutal western backed terrorists who hold the population hostage. Ukraine on the other hand is fighting a war against people whose only crime is not wishing to be second class citizens in a neo-liberal fascist laboratory of the future. The Self Defense forces are trying to protect not terrorize the populace. In Ukraine the government is out to terrorize it's own populace. Yet the west condemns the regime battling terrorists and applauds the terrorist regime  in Kiev. The self defense forces managed to carry out a number of successful attacks eliminating fascist death squads and Capturing and killing hundreds of Ukrainian army troops. However the town was slowly encircled and the bombardment of civilians continually escalated. Colonel Strelkov decided to make a surprise withdrawal. An armored group gave their lives distracting the Ukrainian army while the towns defenders escaped with their families and many of their supporters. Unfortunately the town a symbol of freedom around the world has now fallen under occupation. The regime tried to stage a transparent propaganda stunt by bribing townspeople to pose with with the same troops that had been indiscriminately firing at them with Artillery, aircraft, and rocket trucks only the day before. Embarrassingly they were photographed handing out the cash and the images somehow made it out despite the communications blackout. More accurate are the reports of townspeople greeting their occupiers with shouts of "Fascists." Already there are reports of summary executions executions of people who aided the self defense forces. We can only hope that the city of Slavyansk does not go from being a symbol of resistance to the site of yet another fascist war crime like Odessa. The world is watching and waiting to see what will happen. Donetsk has become the new center of resistance and the resistance are bracing for yet another siege. The hope is that with the aid of the experienced veterans of the siege of Slavyansk they will be able to mount a more effective defense of Donetsk. Their only hope is to delay the fascists long enough for the regime to either collapse or be forced into a genuine negotiation. I should mention that hilariously CNN reported that Slavyansk was in Crimea and that the reconquest of Crimea had begun.  Incompetence or transparent propaganda? At this point it seems that an attack on Crimea would be the only thing capable of bringing the Russians into this war. After all they've even turned a blind eye to Ukraine shelling of Russian boarder Station. But of course they unlike the geographers at CNN (who have made a string of strange mistakes like this) know that Slavyansk is not in Crimea.
    Alternative media site Slavyangard run by Gleb Bazov known to Vineyard of the Saker readers like myself for his beautiful translations has broken two shocking stories recently. A hacked series of Facebook messages revealing that the oligarchs are profiting from the war by selling harvested organs on the black market. You'd think after all the embarrassing leaks earlier in the year they would learn to be careful what they said on the phone or in emails. After all Yulia Tymoshenko herself already was revealed to the world as a genocidal madwoman when her phone calls were hacked and released to the public. She was caught threatening to nuke ethnic Ukraine and Russia itself boasting she would use her international connections to start world war 3. Then she loudly wished she had a machine gun so she could assassinate Vladimir Putin. Despite that fact her lawyer decided to carry out Black Market Organ selling over FaceBook of all things. Ah the arrogance of sheer impunity since their imperial patrons in the US and the EU have clearly given them the green light to do whatever is necessary to crush all resistance and the Media have taken their cue and decided to pretend the whole thing isn't happening the Kiev regime have decided to use their impunity to make some bloodstained dollars. Sergey Vlasenko Yulia Tymoshenko's lawyer used his connections to find commanders willing to harvest the organs of the troops they lost in battle they may also have been harvesting organs of civilians or pows. After all the lawyer was under constant pressure to find the freshest possible organs and was constantly pressuring commandeers like Semyon Semenchencko who lead a fascist national guard force notorious for war crimes. At the very least they cynically profited from the often disastrous campaign. It's symptomatic of our whole sick world blood flows but so does the cash. I'm reminded of notorious Nicaraguan Dictator Somoza who for years made a fortune literally selling the blood of his people to America. Vampire capitalism at it's finest. For the Kiev regime every fallen soldier is a potential source of profit. Perhaps they were inspired by fellow NATO freedom fighters the KLA in Kosovo who also engaged in Black Market Organ selling as well as selling captured women into prostitution and dominating the flow of Heroin into Europe and the US. So long as a group serves western interest it can do whatever it wants on the side to make a buck which explains the long association of the CIA with the international drug trade. One day the CIA will change it's motto to "why choose the lesser evil." Their current one is absolutely hilarious "the truth will set you free."
    While the Oligarchs are making money from the bodies of their fallen troops Kiev continues under the reign of fascists bands. Just as the west has granted the Kiev regime impunity the kiev regime has granted the fascists impunity. The result has been a long series of violent attacks on their critics, ethnic Russians, historical sites, Synagogues etc. Kiev is beginning  to resemble the dystopian future of the clockwork orange where gangs of fascist youth go out looking for a bit of the old ultra-violence.  In Their latest escapade caught on security cam they swarm an LGBT club perform a few random acts of violence after forcing their way in and then flee it all takes less then a minute. More terrifying still is the account of some refugees from kiev who have recently arrived in Moscow and claim

  A: Kiev has become a scary place to live in, Sasha. For half a year now, people have been divided into two classes: those in masks are permitted to do anything they want, and, for that reason, they think themselves entitled to dictate their demands to everyone else. Moreover, they do not care who is in front of them; they dictate even to the elected president how and what to do.

These are youths, with sticks and guns, who are very well informed and they can find anything they want about their victim: where he lives, where he works, who his wife is, which kindergarten his kids attend. Since February, thousands of people have disappeared in our city. And everyone keeps silent about it; they are all intimidated and afraid. At any time, bandits in masks can show up at your door, and there is no control over them, not by police, not by the leadership of the city or the country. If you are in a mask – you are Über-Ukrainian; if you are without one – you are second class, regardless of whether you are Ukrainian or Russian.

     A terrifying description of life under fascism. I can't help but think of the iconic image floating around twitter fascists wearing deaths heads masks and SS T-shirts. And since I'm cutting and Pasting read this heartbreaking account from the same article the words of an orphan of Slavyansk. Again credit goes to Slavyangard for this information (see sources below)

This message was sent by a girl from Slavyansk to a LifeNews journalist, Ermina Kotandzhyan (@JustErmina). They became acquainted in Slavyansk.

Hello, how are you? That’s it Ermina, you won’t believe, but we have surrendered Slavyansk, we no longer have this city, and we are now in Donetsk … This is hot it is, many of guys died, and there were many wounded. My area, where I lived, was almost completely destroyed, together with my parents. So now I am homeless. I am an orphan with my sister; I managed to get her out – she is 9 years old. I don’t even know what to tell the child, that she now has no father, no mother, no grandma, no uncle … It’s only me left …

     Clearly the people of Ukraine are caught between two terrible fates. If they do not resist they will be terrorized by fascist mobs and if they do resist they will be terrorized by the army and fascist national guard units. Only time will tell whether the occupation of the city of Slavyansk  will prove even worse then the brutal siege. There is no telling how long this war may last.

    The Geopolitics of Iraq became even clearer as the US called for Maliki to step down. They showed their hand clearly since if they had any genuine concern over ISIL aka ISIS aka IS they would not be worried about Maliki's petty sins but would be demanding he centralize power and restore order. Here Ukraine provides the perfect contrast the west certainly isn't asking Poroshenko to step down or to negotiate. Instead it has demanded that he crack down even making the IMF loans contingent on his maintaining Ukraine's territorial integrity. In Iraq on the other hand the US is already playing out their regime change handbook demanding Maliki step down. The Central government must either choose a more suitably pliable ruler or say good bye to it's territorial integrity. The likely candidates show that the US has learned nothing. The names floating around even include the infamous conman Achmed Chalabi I call him that not because of his role in selling the idea that Iraqis would greet their invasion and occupation with shouts of joy, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, after all he was just repeating the neo-con talking points. Instead I refer to the little mentioned fact that he was wanted for fraud. They've also tried to reinstall old favorite Iyad Allawi who Iraqis call Sadham Without the mustache throughout the war the US hoped to install him as a new dictator but he was always too unpopular. Other names for possible replacements include Abdel Abdul Mahdi famous for his efforts to sell off the nations oil on favorable terms to the west and Bayan Jaber former head of the Badr brigade death squads. Maliki however has refused to resign since whatever his failings he did get the most votes.
   Meanwhile the mainstream press is entirely too gleeful Time magazine ran the Cover the end of Iraq? Wishful thinking, I'm sure they wish they could wipe the whole troublesome country off the map and out of the history books. But despite Thirty years of western scheming despite 3 wars and a  genocidal sanctions program Iraq survives. While the US only pretended to offer help Russia and Iran both offered real support. Calls from powerful clerics like the reclusive Ayatollah Sistani and the fiery Moqtada Al Sadr have caused a rush of volunteers who have stabilized the situation and the government has slowly gone on the offensive. In time they may be able to reconquer the ISIL held territories especially as the local population is bound to increasingly turn against ISIL. They are already carrying out their trade mark war crimes attacking Shia and Sunni Holy sites and massacring civilians. They are also already battling some of their supposed allies.  Meanwhile the government is already bombing the terrorists with Iranian supplied jets. Kurdistan is taking full advantage of the situation seizing the long coveted Kirkuk. Still the American's have supposedly told them that the time for independence has not yet come. If the Iraqi government succeeds in recapturing the ISIL territories or even before they finish we could see a war between the central government and the already practically defacto autonomous Kurdistan. Tensions have simmered for years between the two sides as the Kurds have attempted to grant oil concessions without the permission of the central government. The situation could further explode but for the moment Maliki still has a good chance of keeping Iraq's territorial integrity intact. Certainly he is fully aware of the treachery of the US and their longstanding plans adopted under Israeli influence to split Iraq into three separate parts. After all  vice president Biden himself announced such a plan in 2008. Iranian president Rouhani decided not to play along with the American fiction that ISIL is acting independently pointing out that it was long supported in Syria by the US and it's NATO GCC, and Israeli allies. After all Iran was the original target of the redirection the year was 2006 and just as today the US blames Russia for destabilizing Ukraine rather then their color revolution installing Oligarchs and Fascist's who openly called for genocide against the Russian speaking minority. It was the same way Back in 2006 the US blamed the chaos in Iraq not on it's invasion occupation and covert dirty war aimed at starting a civil war. Instead they blamed the Iranians even going to the absurd length of blaming them for being behind the Sunni resistance in the Anbar province and even Al Qaeda itself. That was when the US began it's campaign to bribe the Sunni resistance and began to direct it towards destabilizing Lebanon and later Syria. These are the origins of ISIL. Of course being neighbors of Afghanistan and possessing a good intelligence service Iran has doubtless followed closely every step of the creation and evolution of so called al Qaeda from the start. Thus disgusted by this attempt to Balkanize Iraq and remove the democratically elected Maliki from power, Iran openly accused the US of being behind the whole thing and refused to go along with the polite fiction that the US is the enemy not the ally of groups like ISIL. Putin has also thrown his support behind Maliki and if he holds onto power Iraq could become even more a part of the Arc of resistance and may become a future ally of Russia China and Iran. How ironic it would be if this attempt to balkanize Iraq instead ended with Iraq and Iran more securely allied to Russia and China. This is what comes of having foreign policy directed by neo-cons whose specialty is creating mythology not doing analysis how wonderful it would be to see the realists howls of rage on the day Iraq and Iran join the CSTO or the SCO. These are the Collective Security treaty organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization respectively the first is a Russia security alliance the other a Chinese economic alliance. Thus this latest pivot in US foreign policy could be disastrous in terms of the Great game in the long term. Just as the Ukraine crisis only further cemented ties between Russia and China another of Zbigniew Brzezinki's nightmares along with Iran pushed permanently into an alliance with Russia. No wonder his book strategic vision is full of warnings about Neo-Conservative meddling in US Foreign policy. If Maliki manages to survive and win the civil war the attempt to balkanize Iraq could backfire, just like the failed color revolution in then ally Uzbekistan pushed them back into the arms of Russia.
   While Slavyansk has fallen Donetsk has become the seat for the decisive phase of the Ukrainian civil war. Unfortunately they face overwhelming odds. Their only real hope is for the people of western Ukraine to rebel against this bloody and senseless war and the brutal Austerity measures that are about to go into effect. Russia seems determined not to intervene. Meanwhile Baghdad of course did not fall as even certain areas of the city could single handedly have wiped out ISIL had they been foolish enough to venture into say Sadr City. Maliki's Iraq may be able to survive intact. The US may end up pushing Iraq into the arms of Russia and China.

Slavyangard is a great site definitely recommended for those following the Ukraine crisis it's here

The black market organ sale story is here

The qoutes were from this great article three stories from the front

And on the fall of Slavyansk there is this

And this instant classic from the resistance

Eric Draitser did a great article on why the west doesn't like Maliki who is often presented superficially as an american puppet rather then someone trying to balance the interests of the US Iran and Iraq.

He also made a great appearance on one of my favorite podcasts Bulletpoints

And here is a great recent interview with Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya on the situation in Iraq

And the wit and wisdom of Pepe Escobar on Iraq

Check MindFriedo's updates regularly for the daily news from Iraq they appear on Vineyard of the Saker which also provides great info on Ukraine.