The U.S./NATO drive to war in the east and the collapse of intellectual resistance

Introduction by Roger Annis, Sept 12, 2014

A very insightful essay/book review was published three days ago in Jacobin magazine by writer and author Daniel Lazare. He reviews Timothy Snyder’s 2010 book ‘Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin’. Lazare’s essay is titled ‘Timothy Snyder’s lies’. It is posted to my website page ‘Ukraine: Articles by other authors‘.

Lazare describes Snyder’s book as part of a rising “double genocide” movement that equates the Holocaust and other atrocities of Nazi Germany with the repressions of the Stalin regime in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He then tackles Snyder’s writings on Ukraine, which have been widely published beginning in November 2013. » Read more..

Ukraine’s uprising against NATO, neoliberals and oligarchs – an interview with Boris Kagarlitsky

Interview by Feyzi Ismail with Boris Kagarlitsky, published on Counterfire, Setp 8, 2014. Boris Kagarlitsky is the director of the Moscow-based Institute for Studies in Globalization and Social Movements.

Boris KagarlitskyWhat are the origins of the crisis in Ukraine and why has the conflict erupted in recent months?

The origins of the crisis in Ukraine are threefold. The first thing is that Ukraine was designed by planners from Moscow as one element in a complex planned economy. The territories that form Ukraine were put together not because of any historical, cultural or ethnic reasons, but to organise complex planning – they wanted to link the industrial areas in the east with ports in the south, such as Odessa and Crimea, together with the agrarian west. That was the logic. Once this logic was destroyed with the end of the Soviet Union, this territory as an integrated unity started falling apart, and lost its raison d’être. » Read more..

Defeat of Ukraine army brings ceasefire, but underlying political conflicts unresolved

By Roger Annis, published on Truthout, Sept 8, 2014

Map DonetskA ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on Sept. 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance.

A 12-point agreement was signed in Minsk by representatives of the Kyiv government and the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Also signing were former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and Heidi Tagliavini of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. » Read more..

Documentary film series on the war in eastern Ukraine

The Watchdog Media group has produced a remarkable, six-part documentary film on the prelude then unfolding of the war launched in eastern Ukraine in April 2014 by the neo-conservative governing regime that came into power in Kyiv in late February 2014. It is sub-titled in English.

The film series is called ‘Roses Have Thorns’. The six parts are: Crimea and Maidan; Anti-Maidan; Donbass; The Anti-Terrorist Operation, Part One; The Anti-Terrorist Operation, Part Two; and The Odessa Maccacre. Each film is approximately one hour long. Below is the list of all six films, including links to their YouTube locations.

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Roses Have Thorns, A six-part documentary film
on the 2014 war in eastern Ukraine

1. Crimea and Maidan, 55′

» Read more..

The human tragedy of the war in eastern Ukraine has assembled ten of the recent video reports by its journalist in eastern Ukraine, Maria Finoshina. It calls its report ‘Ukraine’s killing fields in ten stories’. You can watch the video reports here. The first of the reports is here:

Fast-food workers in the U.S. turn up the heat

By Amien Essif, published in Working In These Times, September 4, 2014

Fast-food workers rally in Chicago on September 4, photo Amien Essif

Fast-food workers rally in Chicago on September 4, photo Amien Essif

“Paddy wagon’s on its way,” announced a Chicago Police tactical officer over his radio early this morning. Shortly thereafter, a crowd of about 300 demonstrators—including over 100 striking fast food workers—began chanting “Take the street!” and proceeded to do just that. Marching between a McDonald’s on one side of the road and a Burger King on the other, the crowd blocked 87th street traffic on Chicago’s south side for about 20 minutes.

The action was the latest escalation in the fast-food workers’ campaign for a $15 minimum hourly wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. Two dozen workers proceeded to link arms and sit down in the road in an act of civil disobedience, prompting the police to take them away in handcuffs.

See story on Democracy Now! broadcast of Sept 5, 2014. And in the New Yorker issue of Sept 15, 2014: Dignity: Fast-food workers and a new form of labor activism, by By William Finnegan.

» Read more..

Olivia Chow and the vanishing NDP in Toronto

Rising support for Liberals in Toronto may doom Olivia Chow’s mayoral bid

By Bob Hepburn, Toronto Star, Sep 4, 2014

Olivia ChowOnce the strong front-runner in the Toronto mayoral race, Olivia Chow is now locked in the political fight of her life with only a few weeks left to revive her faltering campaign. Recent polls place Chow, a former high-profile New Democrat MP, in third place behind both John Tory and incumbent mayor Rob Ford. So great has been her fall that even Chow has started to call herself “the underdog” in the race.

It’s a stunning position for Chow to find herself in, especially in light of how far ahead she was of her opponents in polls earlier this year. It’s even more shocking given the fact she now lags behind Ford, the disgraced mayor who spent weeks in a rehab clinic for drug and alcohol abuse.

Also in the Toronto Star: Those waiting for Olivia Chow miracle are running out of time, by columnist Royson James, Sept 6, 2014

» Read more..

Discussion on the ‘Russia as imperialist’ thesis

Introduction by Roger Annis, Aug. 30, 2014

Enclosed below is my reply to a published comment by Australian socialist Chris Slee concerning my article of June 18, The Russia as ‘imperialist thesis is wrong and a barrier to solidarity with the Ukrainian and Russia peoples.

Thousands protest NATO in Newport, Wales Aug 30, 2014

Thousands protest NATO in Newport, Wales, Aug 30, 2014

Panicked threats by NATO countries have mounted in the past 48 hours due to significant reverses suffered by Kyiv’s military offensive against the people of eastern Ukraine. Those reverses are blamed on an alleged Russian “invasion” of Ukraine by troops and tanks.

This is the latest in a long string of claims that Russia has “invaded” or otherwise intervened in Ukraine. This time, Kyiv is using an invasion claim to appeal to NATO for deliveries of armaments. Some of Kyiv’s representatives, including in Canada, are asking for NATO soldiers to land in Ukraine and join Kyiv’s war in the east. This is another example of the surrender of Ukraine’s national sovereignty undertaken by this regime that came to power in Kyiv in February 2014. Already it has surrendered Ukraine’s economic sovereignty by virtue of the economic austerity and loan agreements it has signed with Europe. » Read more..

Safety Board final report on Lac Mégantic disaster is sharply critical of railway regulation, but federal gov’t unmoved

By Roger Annis, first published in the Vancouver Observer, Aug 29, 2014

Lac Mégantic disaster, image on TSB website

Lac Mégantic disaster, image on TSB website

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board issued a 181-page report on August 19 detailing the breakdown in application and enforcement of federal rail safety regulations that caused the deaths of 47 people in the oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic, Quebec on July 6, 2013. (Read the 12-page executive summary here.)

The TSB report identified 18 distinct causes and contributing factors in which safety procedures and regulations failed or were not applied. These pertain to the operations and equipment of » Read more..

Another CBC exercise in propaganda over Ukraine

The following letter was sent to the weekday, national newsmagazine program of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Current on Aug. 29, 2014

Shelling of residencesHello CBC/The Current,

I thought your story today on Ukraine was another exercise in providing a platform to propagandists instead of seriously exploring a complex story. None of your three guests breathed a word of the most important sets of information that listeners require to reach a balanced view of the war being waged in eastern Ukraine. These are:

1. The Ukraine government has been waging a bloody, ruthless war against the people of the east of the country using methods that amount to war crimes, namely, the use of heavy, indiscriminate shelling against civilians. Thousands have been killed and close to one million people have been made refugees.

» Read more..