Humanitarian Interventionists Silent as Poroshenko Bombs His People

by lizard

The situation in Ukraine hasn’t been getting much attention recently, but that doesn’t mean atrocities aren’t occurring. Once upon a time, “humanitarian interventionists” opposed the slaughter of citizens by a despotic regime. Three years ago, for example, over at Intelligent Discontent, Don wrote this post, titled Libyan Intervention: Another Example of Rational Humanitarian Foreign Policy. This is what Don had to say about the NATO-backed overthrow of the Gaddafi regime:

I don’t celebrate the death of anyone, but it’s hard to feel terribly sad about the fact that the Colonel is no longer in a position which allows him to torture and kill indiscriminately. Eventually, people rise up to take down despots. It’s often ugly, even brutal, but it will happen—and I’d prefer a national security policy which works to prevent those people from being slaughtered.

Now that a US-backed billionaire is doing the slaughtering, there is silence from those humanitarian interventionists. Here is a Reuters piece with a rather curious title: Ukraine forces attack rebel positions, Putin growls:

Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday after President Petro Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of “parasites”.

His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself and German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.

Put more bluntly, Poroshenko is bombing his own people with air strikes. The allegations that Gaddafi was doing this is what triggered the no fly zone that morphed into the NATO-backed regime change. Where is the rational humanitarian foreign policy now? The answer is it never existed, and in Ukraine, Poroshenko is killing his people to draw Russia into a trap at the behest of the Obama regime. Here is Paul Craig Roberts’ take:

The slaughter of Ukrainians on Washington’s orders by Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has worsened considerably in the past three months, producing more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Russia for protection from strikes against civilian housing from the air, artillery, and tanks.

Every effort by the Russian government to involve Washington, the European Union, and Kiev in negotiations to find a peaceful settlement has failed.

Washington is not interested in a settlement. Disturbed by its NATO vassals’ dependence on Russian energy and the growing economic relationships between Russia and Europe, Washington is at work through its Kiev proxy murdering citizens in eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine that once were part of Russia.

Washington has declared these civilians to be “terrorists” and is trying to force Russia to intervene militarily in order to protect them. Russia’s protective intervention would then be denounced by Washington as “invasion and annexation.” Washington would use this propaganda, which would blare from the Western media, to pressure Europe to support Washington’s sanctions against Russia. The sanctions would effectively destroy the existing economic relationships between Russia and Europe.

Now let’s go back to Don’s assessment of the actions of Obama’s foreign policy:

In the end, the US and NATO did an admirable job. They used a relatively inexpensive mission which gave the rebels breathing room in which they could defend themselves against a despot. And then the people of Libya did the rest. We can’t know what kind of government or future Libya will have, but I think we can be sure that it will be better than the past two generations.

Following eight years of disastrous foreign policy, this was another sign that the Obama administration is simply far more competent when it comes to national security and military issues than the previous administration. In less than three years, he’s overseen the elimination of Osama bin Laden, led the effort towards killing of some of his chief deputies, drawn up firm plans to finally end Bush’s destructive war in Iraq, and done his best to navigate the complex issues of the Arab spring and its aftermath.

I think its pretty clear, three years later, that US foreign policy continues to be disastrous. Will we hear any mea culpas from the interventionists? Probably not. With violence escalating in Ukraine, The Polish Wolf continues to be silent, and Don is busy making dick jokes.

And so it goes.

  1. Turner

    It’s really hard to decide whom to side with in some of these conflicts. Roberts’ sympathy for Putin is hard to take. Putin is a fascist (ask Russian gays and other dissidents). But Poroshenko is little better.

    I think the U.S. and other western countries need to be extremely careful about taking sides in conflicts around the world and, instead, find ways to help ordinary people displaced by these conflicts. We can easily absorb them.

    This means granting immediate refugee status to tens of thousands worldwide, including of course those fleeing murderous gangs in Central America.

    Meanwhile, we need to take a closer look at how American businesses and the government they control have helped create some if not most of the international conflicts we’re wringing our hands about.

    • JC

      Putin is a “fascist?” Really? How do you figure?

      • Turner

        Amnesty International has several good summaries of Putin’s oppressive measures. Are you defending him? Why?

        I wasn’t using the word “fascist” in a technical economic sense. I meant it to describe someone who blatantly and cruelly crushes dissent. And who has expansionist ambitions.

        • JC

          “someone who blatantly and cruelly crushes dissent. And who has expansionist ambitions.”

          Someone like Obama? Like he did with Occupy and with his continuance of the Bush Doctrine?

          I’ve already labeled Obama a neofascist. I’d consider Putin less-so of one than Obama.

          • Turner

            So, for you, the enemy of Obama is your friend. Brilliant.

            • JC

              I never said that. Nor do I believe that. And I don’t think that demonizing Putin leads to any real understanding of geopolitics or political economy.

              But I do think that a bi or tri-polar world is better than a monopolar empiric hegemony projected through our Wall Street-dominated corporate governance puppets.

              • Turner

                I thought Obama Derangement Syndrome was restricted to the far right. Boy, was I wrong!

                I participated in several occupy events and never heard a single person in them blaming Obama. Obama does not equal Wall Street and the 1% no matter how many times you say it.

                That he hasn’t nationalized the banks doesn’t mean he is answerable to them. They wouldn’t have supported Romney if he was.

                If (like Fox News) you start with the proposition “Obama is responsible,” you can cobble together a sort of tenuous argument “proving” it, especially when you’re talking to like-minded people who already hate Obama.

                But to bring this irrelevant proposition into every discussion is tiresome.

  2. JC


    Obama at a State dinner with Wall Street bankers:

    “My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    And evidence gathered by the PCJF showing Obama administration complicity with surveillance, instigation, and the breakup of Occupy dissension:

    Separate government documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) showed that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency created after the September 11 attacks under the rubric of combating terrorism, conducts daily monitoring of peaceful, lawful protests as a matter of policy.

    Functioning as a secret political police force against people participating in lawful, peaceful free speech activity, the heavily redacted documents show that the DHS “Threat Management Division” directed Regional Intelligence Analysts to provide a “Daily Intelligence Briefing” that includes a category of reporting on “Peaceful Activist Demonstrations” along with “Domestic Terrorist Activity.”

    The documents show the routine use of Fusion Centers for intelligence gathering on peaceful demonstrations as well as the use of DHS’ “Mega Centers” for collection of surveillance information on demonstrations.

    Or maybe this, summarized at SourceWatch:

    “Dissent or Terror:
 How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With 
Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

 The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained
 from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how
 state/regional “fusion center” personnel monitored the Occupy Wall
 Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012.

    The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that 
have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have
 worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private
 intelligence sharing partnerships. 

While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring
 of Occupy activists nationwide, the bulk of the report 
details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter
 Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the “Arizona fusion center”) monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in
 Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of 
corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest 

    How this is evidence of “Obama Derangement Syndrome” is beyond me. Obama protected the bankers from the people –in many ways. And his administration used the full strength of their anti-terrorist powers and Fusion Centers against Occupy, as the linked documents above show.

    I fully understand you and other people not wanting to acknowledge the true reality of our country’s complicity and neofascism. But to suggest that Putin’s concerns for his borders, NATO expansionism, Russia’s security, and Ukrainian nationalism is fascism, while our actions protecting Wall Street and crushing Occupy are not, is… well… naive. I’m sorry you find it “tiresome.”

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