March 6, 2022
Oppose U.S./NATO Provocations and Attempts to Encircle and Crush Russia
At the United Nations
State of U.S. Democracy
End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba!
Oppose U.S./NATO Provocations and Attempts to Encircle and Crush Russia
In this issue, TML Monthly
publishing material which opposes the U.S./NATO warmongering,
disinformation about unfolding events.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on all peace-loving people across the country to speak out against the U.S./NATO use of Ukraine as a forward base to isolate, encircle, humiliate and crush Russia. Canada's government and its ministers are marching in lockstep with the U.S. in leading the charge. The Deputy Prime Minister is foaming at the mouth with rage and revenge-seeking to "crush Russia," while the Prime Minister and others are eager to prove their worth by disgracefully covering themselves in the Ukrainian flag and shouting the slogans of the neo-Nazi forces they have mobilized to carry out terrorist attacks against the population in eastern Ukraine: Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! and issuing apologetic statements to deny what they mean.
Brutal sanctions are being imposed on Russia by the United States, Canada and other countries of Europe. They are in no way intended to sort out the problems which have emerged as a result of the New World order established since the end of the bi-polar division of the world in the 1989-1991 period. With the bi-polar division the two superpowers each had their main spheres of influence in Europe and worldwide and a certain equilibrium existed. Since the U.S. declared its own "new world order," great disequilibrium prevails. The forces of counterrevolution and all reaction have the upper hand with no official counterweight to keep them in check.
The more the U.S. strives to be the sole superpower, the more it puts even the NATO countries said to be its allies under its control, the more the disequilibrium and the greater the dangers of a new world war. Using Ukraine as a forward base, the U.S. is pushing its dictate over all of Europe, getting NATO armed to the teeth and deploying more U.S. and NATO forces, on Russia's borders.
for the pre-emptive strike launched by Russia is the U.S. and
refusal to recognize the conditions Russia requires to secure
borders since the end of the bi-polar division of the world.
"Russian aggression" diverts from the fact that there would be
conflict today, or certainly not this conflict, had the U.S. not
expanded NATO at all, had it agreed to keep Ukraine out of NATO
used it to permit neo-Nazi gangs to attack the population of
Ukraine and threaten Russia's borders. It should have dismantled
after the Warsaw Pact was officially disbanded in March and July
1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Instead,
expanded NATO and is engaging in brinkmanship, pushing pushing
to see how far it can go in the hopes it can prevail to crush
and then deal with China from a position of strength.
This is by no means a road to peace.
TML: CPC(M-L) has said there is a problem with putting Russian military action in Ukraine and U.S./NATO warmongering and expansion in Eastern Europe on a par. Can you please elaborate on this?
Pauline Easton: Yes, of course. Thank you for the question. We have received many letters this week, some skeptical or outrightly opposing the stand we have taken but others -- in fact most of them -- supportive and grateful for the call to oppose the U.S./NATO warmongering, disinformation and lies in order to reach warranted conclusions.
One message we received from northern Europe reads:
"Anti NATO voices are very lonely, few and far between this week. All the ideological prejudices are up and running with bursts of hysterical misinformation. Same prejudices as in the height of the Cold War but without open anti-communism and with the chatter of social media to cause confusion. NATO egged on Russia and now...even the 'far left' here suddenly wants NATO everywhere and the man committed to an asylum."
It is reminiscent of how they demonized Saddam Hussein. The anti-war movement was supposed to make him the issue rather than oppose what the U.S. was doing. The anti-war movement took a clear position that our responsibility was to oppose what the U.S. and its so-called coalition of the willing were doing and leave the people of Iraq to deal with Saddam Hussein. And you see the lengths to which the U.S. forces lied, what they did to humiliate Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people who could not defend themselves and the suffering they imposed on the people and destruction of their cultural heritage in the name of peace, freedom and democracy.
TML: Some people are caught up in social media hysteria and allegations that Russia is targeting civilians. They express their sympathy by calling for Russia to get its troops out of Ukraine. They think opposing "Russian aggression" is how to achieve peace.
Pauline: Yes, unfortunately this is what the U.S. put forward in the UN resolutions. The U.S. and NATO seem to have adopted all the anti-war movement's positions, including opposing the use of force to settle conflicts. They will nonetheless reveal what they stand for.
In the 1989-91 period, the U.S. and big powers of old Europe, along with Canada and some of the countries in eastern Europe which the U.S. took under its wing, were euphoric. Democracy had triumphed, they declared. They decreed that European values had to be espoused by all countries in the world. Hardial Bains wrote an essay at that time titled Era. He wrote:
"... the slogans put forward by the various forces did not quite match their character. The right wing called for democracy, its sworn enemy. The working people called for the rule of the new forces, which could only go against their own interests. Soon the real character of all the forces will reveal itself. While it is true that no force can act in the old way, it is also true that no force can hide its true character. Words will once again assume their true meanings and the real quality of things and events will emerge." (April 25, 1991)
What he wrote then is indeed a feature of this new phase of this defining historical moment as well. The real character of all the forces will reveal itself. Words will once again assume their true meanings and the real quality of things and events will emerge. In the 1989-91 period, the euphoria of the U.S. and its allies claiming democracy had triumphed was soon exposed as the rich got richer, the poor poorer under the weight of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive. Wars of destruction were unleashed by the U.S. which declared itself the sole superpower. So too today, the U.S. ruling circles and those of their allies are euphoric, drunk with the belief that the whole world stands with them. The pressure to conciliate with what they are doing is enormous. Doing so, however, will not bring about peace, not even in the short term to stave off a greater war.
We sympathize with those who are against the suffering of civilians in all wars but when the issue is to turn things around in favour of the peoples, this is not enough. Not a few in Canada, even within the official circles, trade union movement and even anti-war circles, among others, are learning through the experience of finding themselves inadvertently supporting the U.S./NATO warmongering agenda that they have to take responsibility for what they are supporting. All of us have this task whether we like it or not. It is the call of history, not a matter of anyone's beliefs, right or wrong.
TML: Please elaborate.
Pauline: The official circles are fomenting hysteria and giving the World War Two Nazi collaborators' salute Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! and even apologizing for it by saying it does not have a neo-Nazi meaning today. The racists and white supremacists in the U.S. and Europe, as well as Canada, who give these slogans are euphoric. Like Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, they seem to think that they have won the war to crush Russia and back the U.S. aim to impose its dictate over Europe and dominate the world. At their own peril they forget that in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and within the heartlands of imperialism itself -- in the U.S., Europe and in Canada and in Oceania -- the peoples are striving for a freedom, democracy and peace which favour them. This is the preponderance of the world's peoples. They are the ones who are favoured by making sure governing authorities are on par with the conditions. They are laying their claims on society to bring in governing institutions which accord with the conditions, institutions which will favour the people and affirm their right to be. The people are fighting those who are striving for world domination at their expense.
This is what is taking place and has to be taken into account.
TML: CPC(M-L) held consultations with its members nationally, regionally and locally no sooner Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24. The Party analyzed the unfolding events and said the causes and lessons must be found in the "New World Order" established by the U.S. and big powers of old Europe in 1991, in which Canada and some of the countries of eastern Europe participated. Please elaborate.
Pauline: In November 1990, 34 countries, including Canada, got together in Paris at the Summit of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), to sign the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (Paris Charter). (In December 1994 the CSCE became the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE). The Paris Charter basically declared that adherence to U.S. definitions of a free-market economy, multi-party elections and human rights is the precondition to establish relations between countries. They described this as the "new world order." It enshrined acceptance of European "values" as the touchstone to judge whether a country is friend or foe. Recently declassified documents from the Clinton Presidential Library confirm that arguments began then within official circles to "update and realign the entire architecture of relations between the United States and Europe." One researcher points out: "Russia-firsters were concerned that NATO enlargement would aggravate Russian insecurities; Russia skeptics supported enlargement because they believed NATO needed to capitalize on Russia's temporary weakness."
The declassified documents show that the emergence of the U.S. initiated Partnership for Peace (PfP) for NATO in 1994 "was a compromise between both camps." The PfP initiated the expansion of NATO to include members of the former Warsaw Pact which had been disbanded when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
In other words, the plan to target Russia was not hidden and it has been pursued ever since.
In 1995 President Clinton visited Kyiv to celebrate Ukraine's declaration that it had adopted a market economy and given up its nuclear weapons.
Through the PfP, countries were permitted to join NATO once they showed they had established conditions which adhered to the Paris Charter and they had indebted their countries sufficiently to pay for their military contributions to NATO. This meant they had compromised their sovereignty by submitting to the U.S. and subordinated their economies to financial institutions under U.S. control. Since then, the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base has deepened both in the U.S. and on the world scale. The trend of the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer is rapidly revealing unsustainable results for the impoverished and for the structures of the so-called democratic institutions based on inequality, racism and police powers. The oligopolies which represent supranational interests, which operate through cartels and coalitions, have taken over the decision-making powers in various countries. The more they fight over control of the executive power in the United States, the more the U.S. has launched wars of aggression and occupation abroad in repeatedly failed attempts to unify its military and civil bureaucracies at home and prevail against its rivals abroad, including those within Europe as well.
This problem is getting worse for the U.S., not better, no matter how many countries are forced to submit to its striving for domination. In the one short year since Biden came to power, his administration has already suffered three foreign policy failures, the first its humiliation in Afghanistan, the second, its failure to impose regime change in Cuba in July 2021 and now the third, its failure to force Russia to submit to the U.S. threat of use of force, backed up by deployment of its own troops and weapons as well as those of other NATO countries. And this does not even take into account the assault on the Capitol on January 6 which was certainly an exposure of the inability of elections and the so-called democratic institutions to ensure a peaceful transition of power.
The current war in Ukraine arises because Russia could no longer afford to tolerate the U.S. attempt to isolate, encircle, humiliate and crush it using Ukraine as a forward base since 2014. No country can tolerate having its security threatened every day. How can economic and commercial relations, diplomatic relations, cultural relations and relations in all spheres of life be expected to be conducted peacefully when such things take place?
When all of this is the case, it is not helpful to put what Russia is doing and what the U.S. is doing on par. One of the main causes of the anarchy and violence worldwide is the U.S. striving for world domination. It has about 750 military bases abroad, uses NATO to force countries to submit to its will, mobilizes the dregs of World War II fascist forces, along with private contractors who hire these dregs along with highly paid mercenaries, and carries out wanton wars of destruction against countries of Asia and Africa, as well as Yugoslavia and in Latin America and the Caribbean. The imposition of the U.S. "new world order," in the existing conditions of disequilibrium, is increasing anarchy and violence and giving rise to yet more dangers. The "war on terror" and all the crimes committed in its name is but one example. As well, the tremendous human productive powers that have emerged worldwide are outside the control of the narrow private supranational interests as well as the U.S. That which they cannot control the U.S. acts to destroy, engendering yet more violence and wars of destruction. What is needed is control of the productive powers by the peoples in a manner that serves the human and natural environment.
Without addressing these problems, nothing either Russia or the U.S. do will bring about the peace, freedom and democracy the peoples aspire to. What is needed is a new world order of the peoples' own making. Nonetheless, in the current context, the arguments given by Cuba, Syria and others, including China, Vietnam, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mexico and Venezuela are consistent with what the conditions are calling for.
TML: It looks like the U.S. is having difficulty predicting the outcome of its various actions, like those against Cuba and the defeat in Afghanistan. How is this impacting the current situation?
Pauline: The anarchy and violence are so extensive, nothing is predictable. On the basis of what standards can things be measured when the narrow private interests do whatever they like? The existing institutions of liberal democracy have been undermined to such an extent, there is no rule of law, just police powers concentrated in the hand of executives. The U.S. intelligence agencies and those of its "five eyes" allies, as well as others, can no longer predict the outcome of elections, let alone the military adventures and brinkmanship. These failures include the intense rivalries in the U.S. Today talk about civil war is not if but when. There is broad disinformation to keep the public off-balance. Legislation grants the use of police powers in the name of "war on terror," opposition to "hate propaganda," and the "dangers posed to national security" and the like.
The "war on terror" and emergency legislation was and continues to be a component part of the "new world order." Every day exceptional circumstances are declared which require permanent emergency and war powers in the hands of the executives of countries, states and private institutions. The violations of the constitution and rule of law have given rise to much opposition.
The U.S. hegemon and its NATO allies, for which Canada does yeoman's service, have concocted what they call the "rules-based international order" where they make the rules as they go along. The result is more anarchy and violence which suits the oligopolies, which can intervene with impunity, playing all ends against the middle in order to sweep up the spoils. But it also means that intelligence agencies, as well as polling firms and think tanks, can no longer predict outcomes. Meanwhile, the "rules-based international order" is for purposes of testing the capacity of rivals to resist and using the threat of force to get them to submit. It is also for purposes of testing the waters to see how the people will respond to U.S. demands, how far the U.S. can divert and divide their movements for the affirmation of their rights.
Revanchist forces in the United States, Canada and Europe have their origins in the days of World War I when the Czarist, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and British empires came crashing down. They blame the Great October Revolution for their expropriation and loss of aristocratic titles which the "new world order" was supposed to restore. They were especially virulent against the communist Soviet Union which enforced their expropriation and now against Russia and its president which keep what they covet under Russian control.
The main feature of the "new world order" imposed by the U.S. and the big powers of Old Europe is that the Russian Federation, China and all countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe as well must submit to the U.S. and declare that the U.S. now rules supreme. Everyone, especially China and the Russian Federation, must prostrate themselves before the U.S.
From this content of "indispensable nation," with all others considered dispensable, flows all the crimes in the name of high ideals and the racist promotion of the alleged superiority of U.S. and European values.
The sanctions against Russia and others have the aim of ensuring one economic system prevails, dominated by one World Bank, one International Monetary Fund, one World Trade Organization -- all under U.S. control. The precondition for this "new world order" is that everyone must submit to these institutions. The irony is that after years of applying financial, commercial and economic sanctions and not achieving their aim, their strengthening of the same at this time is not likely to do so either.
On the contrary, it may well lead to the creation of functional alternative systems independent of the U.S. dollar. It could well lead to the humiliation of the U.S., not Russia, China and all the other countries who are seeking to trade on the basis of rules which apply equally to all, not ones set and monitored by one-sided self-serving U.S. interests.
The U.S./NATO warmongering to justify the encirclement of Russia in the hopes that it will buckle under and submit to U.S. dictate has nothing to do with helping the people of Ukraine in any way, shape or form; nor with the collective defence of Europe; nor any principle of any kind. Every action carried out by the U.S. and NATO, including Canada since they proclaimed their "new world order" violates the right to be of all the nations which comprise Europe, not just the biggest of all, Russia itself.
Far from being a force which upholds human rights, peace and democracy, the U.S. has resuscitated the descendants of Nazi collaborators which, in the Nazi tradition, it calls "freedom fighters," and engages them in systematic counterrevolutionary activities -- in Ukraine, Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere, especially all over Asia, Africa and Latin America -- where they incite insurrections for purposes of fishing in waters they themselves trouble.
The U.S. and its "allies" and "coalitions of the willing" also violate, with impunity, the right to be of all the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and have integrated Canada holus bolus into their war economy and war machine.
It is because of their "new world order" that, on the world scale, the consciousness among the peoples is deepening, not only about the economic problems that they face -- every kind of deprivation, every kind of insecurity -- but in terms of genocide and discrimination against various peoples deemed to be inferior and classes of people whose oppression and enslavement the rulers justify. There is also the intensification of exploitation on the basis of domination of one country by another, in addition to the problems of the environment, quality of life and so forth. This consciousness is developing everywhere. Nowhere have the peoples given up the struggle for their rights.
This too is a feature of the U.S. imperialist "new world order." The peoples are fighting; they are increasingly basing themselves on their own thought-material and seeking the vantage point which goes to their advantage, not that of the imperialists and all reaction. The peoples are resisting; they are honing their skills in organizing so that they establish modern arrangements and institutions which serve them. Within this, the champions of the U.S. "new world order" do everything within their power to make sure the peoples do not establish their own perspective which permits them to activate their own human agency so as to intervene in the situation in a manner which favours them.
Today, even as the conflict escalated, while the U.S., Canada and other NATO warmongers condemned the military actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, U.S. armed drones bombed Somalia and launched a missile attack against Syria. Where was the condemnation? Why are the lives of some in Europe worth more than those of the entire rest of the world? The U.S. resolutions put forward in the UN only demand that Russian troops get out of Ukraine, ignoring the fact that Russia's demands for its security to be provided with a guarantee are not on par with the hegemonic aim U.S. troops are fighting for all over the world.
Official adoption of neo-Nazi banners and slogans which they claim support the Ukrainian people go hand in hand with virulent U.S. and Eurocentric chauvinism and outright racism, seen in their statements and abandonment and mistreatment of Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean in Ukraine, in Europe and the United States itself. Meanwhile, the Biden administration's 200th illegal deportation flight sent 129 Haitians to Port-au-Prince, who are among the more than 2 million people deported since Biden took office.
TML: Anything you would like to say to conclude?
Pauline: CPC(M-L) calls on its members to step up the work to caution Canadians against falling into the traps laid for them by the official circles which play on their concern over the casualties of war and personal prejudices against Russian President Vladimir Putin. This includes the trap of supporting calls which gravitate towards the humiliation of Russia by putting what Russia is doing on par with what the U.S. and NATO are doing.
Humiliating and crushing Russia will not resolve the disequilibrium which exists on the world scale in a manner which favours the peoples. Supporting the anti-Russian Ukrainian regime in which neo-Nazis have been financed, armed, trained and unleashed to lead the killing spree against Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who are one-third of the population, will not bring peace. The U.S. is trying to turn world public opinion in its favour by calling Russia an aggressor which is not a proper use of the definition of what constitutes aggression coming out of the Nuremberg Trials which were held after World War II. It is important to not permit the United States and its NATO and other allies to declare themselves champions of peace, freedom and democracy.
The New World Order must be of the peoples' own making. This is the call of history.
After a rally organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Toronto on February 27 Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland posted her picture helping to hold a red and black scarf. The picture shows the slogan Glory to Ukraine. News reports indicate that Toronto Mayor John Tory who was standing close to Freeland shared a photo of the two of them in which the other side of the scarf with the slogan Glory to the Heroes was displayed. Both have since removed those photos of themselves.
Red and black flags represent the "Banderites," the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the armed wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B (OUN-B), fascist organizations which collaborated with the Nazis and carried out horrendous war crimes including the slaughter of more than 100,000 Poles and Jews in western Ukraine during World War II. The slogan Glory to Ukraine with the response Glory to the Heroes is the slogan of the OUN-B.
The photo met with immediate opposition and was removed and replaced. Then Freeland's press secretary responded, "A classic KGB disinformation smear is accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis. Indeed, President Putin's express goal is the ‘denazification' of a country led by a Jewish-Ukrainian president."
She continued, "Many people were jockeying for photos and giving the Deputy Prime Minister tokens, such as a ribbon. She sought to be friendly with all those who approached her. Someone presented the red and black garment. A photo was taken, tweeted, and later replaced when it was clear some accounts were distorting the intent of the rally and photo."
We are told Freeland was just being polite, which is to suggest that she doesn't support the "Banderites." Then she says that these are now the slogans of Ukraine in its fight against Russia, a statement. So why did she take the photo down if there is nothing to hide?
Then the press secretary declared that Slava Ukraini: Glory to Ukraine is the "slogan of Ukraine in today's fight against Russia," and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have used the phrase too.
Freeland's office is also suggesting that red and black represent Ukraine's culture and history. In order to save the day for the Deputy Prime Minister, the director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) went so far as to say its origins is not the Nazi collaborators but that red and black symbology for Ukraine goes back to the Cossack Hetmanate in the 17th century.
Per Anders Rudling, an associate professor in the history department at Lund University in Sweden who has written extensively on Ukrainian nationalism, points out that, "Red and black are the colours of the Bandera Wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. The flag symbolizes blood and soil, and was adopted by that organization in 1941..."
Demonstrations in Donetsk in 2014 against coup government.
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine fly the red and black Bandera flag. They carry it in the annual torchlight parades in honour of Stefan Bandera, who the Ukrainian government "rehabilitated" after the Maidan coup in 2014. Bandera is now officially a "Hero of Ukraine." His birthday was officially celebrated on January 1, 2022 in Lviv, in western Ukraine, the city where the OUN carried out its first pogrom against the Jewish people in 1941.
Since 2015, Canadian soldiers have trained the fanatic neo-Nazi militia Azov Battalion as part of Operation UNIFIER. They can be seen posing for photographs wearing swastikas next to the NATO flag. Since 2015, Canadian soldiers participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies in Etobicoke not with Ukrainian-Canadians who fought to defeat fascism, but with the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada (UWVA), the Nazi collaborators of Hitlerite Germany.
Canadian Armed Forces veterans participate in "Ukrainian Remembrance Day," in Etobicoke, November 11, 2015, alongside supporters of the fascist Ukrainian formations from World War II and supporters of neo-Nazi organizations that are part of the current coup regime.
As for references to the Cossack Hetmanate, a Hetman is supreme military leader with dictatorial powers over all affairs of state. In more recent history it is represented by the installation of Pavlo Skoropadsky by the Germans as Hetman of Ukraine from April to August 1918, an event celebrated by arch-reactionaries as the "first independent Ukrainian state." Members of his family later established the Hetmanate movement that sought to recreate the office of Hetman with the Royal House of Skoropadsky.
CIUS is itself an apologist for the crimes of the Banderites. The on-line Encyclopedia of Ukraine, a project of the CIUS, describes the UPA in glowing terms: "UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY (Ukrainska povstanska armiia). A Ukrainian military formation which fought from 1942 to 1949, mostly in Western Ukraine, against the German and Soviet occupational regimes. Its immediate purpose was to protect the Ukrainian population from German and Soviet repression and exploitation; its ultimate goal was an independent and unified Ukrainian state..."
The UPA called for the ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews, and did so through mass murder, showing just what kind of "independent and unified Ukrainian state" it stood for.
The Deputy Prime Minister has jumped out of the frying pan, into the fire. Apologetics will not manage to hide what the government of Canada stands for and is doing in Ukraine.
Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk spoke at an August 21, 2019 ceremony that unveiled a monument in Sambir to honour members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which collaborated with the Nazis.
Members of the Azov Battalion
pose with NATO flag in photo posted on twitter.
1. See "Yes
to Peace, Freedom and Democracy! No to Ultra-Reactionary
Nationalism Under the Banner of 'Glory to Ukraine, Glory to
Heroes!'" Peggy Morton, TML
Daily, March 3, 2022.
It is well known that the U.S. sets Canada's foreign policy. An ignominious part of that foreign policy is carrying out what they shamelessly refer to as "coercive diplomacy" to impose U.S. dictate on other countries.
Accordingly, Canada has had sanctions in place against Russia since March 17, 2014, following the U.S.-orchestrated Maidan coup in which Canada by no means played second fiddle. Known as the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, the sanctions were further amended in 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021 and most recently on February 24 and 28 of this year.
Like the U.S., Canada has not acknowledged Russia's security concerns in announcing its latest sanctions, nor how the sanctions will resolve these concerns. On the contrary, Canada's Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland does not let an occasion pass to express her venom against Russia and her desire to see it "crushed."
In addition to being aware of Canada's shameful role to back U.S.-led sanctions, it is important that working people in Canada and Quebec take note of the vindictive spirit in which Russia is threatened via sanctions and who is making these threats.
In announcing sanctions against Russia on February 28, Freeland repeated the threats she had made against Russia at the G20 meeting she attended in her capacity as Deputy Prime Minister on February 17: "To our Russian counterparts who are struggling vainly to prop up the ruble in freefall, let me say: We warned you. The West's sanctions, I warned, would be swift, co-ordinated, sustained and crushing."
Announcing more sanctions after a G7 meeting on March 1, Freeland's arrogance and revanchism was on full display. "Russia is not the Soviet Union. Russia is an economy and a society which is deeply integrated into the West and deeply integrated into the global economy. What we are seeing here from Vladimir Putin is an attempt to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to behave like a communist dictator," she said. Acting like a god above, she spluttered: "You don't get to do that. If you make war on a rules-based international order, we're going to cut you out of the global economy."
In a press release from the Prime Minister's Office on February 24, she was quoted as saying:
"Today, we woke up to a changed world. Russia has launched a brutal and unprovoked attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine -- a country of more than 40 million people who have sought nothing but peace and freedom. Canada understands what is at stake. We know that the people of Ukraine, in fighting for their lives and their sovereignty, are fighting for us, too. They are fighting for democracy, and we stand with them."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several other Cabinet ministers were quoted in the same press release, following Freeland's lead in speaking in an arrogant, high-handed and threatening manner.
At the Toronto demonstration on February 27, where Freeland marched with the arch reactionary Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), she said: "I think all of us today should let the people of Ukraine know, the leaders of Ukraine know, how much we admire them. We know they are fighting for all of us." She threatened Russia, saying that it must end "this barbaric war" or suffer the consequences. "The West is relentless and we will cut the Russian economy off from contact with our own," she said. It was at this event that Freeland stood behind a banner displaying the fascist slogan Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine), that also bore the colours of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators.
It is not surprising then that the arch-reactionaries in the UCC have been praising Canada's U.S.-led sanctions regime against Russia and that they are given a seat at the head table.
UCC's executive director Ihor Michalchyshyn said on February 23 that the UCC board of directors took part in a teleconference that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, Defence Minister Anita Anand, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. "It was about sanctions, humanitarian assistance and disinformation," he told the Globe and Mail. "Given the scope of the sanctions and the work we're seeing done and the way the government's communicating it, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland is at the lead, at the forefront, rallying her cabinet colleagues," he added.
Michalchyshyn's claim that
his group has a "high level of access" to the Liberal government
that discussions with the government have stepped up since
2021 in no way proves that the sanctions serve the people of
On the contrary, the UCC is representative of the most
Ukrainians who were permitted to enter Canada after World War II
escape the justice of the anti-fascist forces for the crimes
committed during the war.
Popular Resistance, Minneapolis Anti-War Ctte)
U.S. Senators Name Anti-Russia Sanctions Bill After Ukrainian Nazi Collaborator Slogan 'Heroiam Slava'
Memorial in Legnica, Poland to those massacred by Ukrainian collaborators with the Nazis.
On March 2, Republican U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Chuck Grassley announced that they were introducing a new bill to further sanction Russia by targeting "companies controlled or owned by Moscow -- such as Rosneft, Gazprom, Rosatom, Aeroflot, and RT -- access to critical American capital," reads a statement announcing the bill.
The bill is called the Halting Enrichment of Russian Oligarchs and Industry Allies of Moscow's Schemes to Leverage its Abject Villainy Abroad Act. The acronym is HEROIAM SLAVA, which translates as Glory to the Heroes. It is the greeting of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators during World War II.
The slogan first arose in the 1920s when the Legion of Ukrainian Nationalists, a predecessor to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), adopted it as a response to the cry Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine). The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the OUN military wing, collaborated with the Nazi massacres in the Holocaust and carried out its own massacres, including most notoriously the killing of 60,000 Volhynian Poles in 1943 and 1944 as well as pogroms against Jewish communities, such as in Lvov in 1941.
Polish victims of a
massacre committed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in the
Lipniki, Wolyn (Volhynia), 1943.
"The Jews in the USSR constitute the most faithful support of the ruling Bolshevik regime, and the vanguard of Muscovite imperialism in Ukraine," the OUN party program declared. "Moskali [an ethnic slur for Russians], Poles, and Jews that are hostile to us are to be destroyed in struggle," it added.
During the period of Nazi collaboration, the greeting Slava Ukraini/Slava Heroiam in the style of the Nazi greeting Heil Hitler, was accompanied by a "Roman salute" -- the full-arm Nazi salute.
Today, the slogan has been adopted by the U.S. and NATO official circles as part of their campaign to turn Ukraine into a forward base to encircle and humiliate Russia and establish the U.S. as "indispensable nation." It was used by U.S. President Bill Clinton during a visit to Kyiv in 1995 after which it has systematically become an official slogan of both Ukraine and its U.S. NATO backers. Hiram's 1555 Blog points out, "It gained more popularity after the U.S.-backed coup in 2014, in which far-right nationalists stormed the Verkhovna Rada and overthrew President Vyktor Yanukovych after he rejected an EU association deal that would have forced large loans on Kyiv.
"The coup effort was explicitly directed by the United States and spearheaded by neo-Nazi groups Right Sektor, Svoboda, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO), who hold bigoted views of Russians, Jews, and other non-Ukrainians in Ukraine and who attempted to force some of the most radical aspects of 'Ukrainization,' including the attempted removal of Russian as one of the national languages of Ukraine.
"The groups also led an assault on Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, including the Donbass, but also the anti-coup protests in largely-Russophone Odessa, the crushing of which culminated in the torching of the Trade Unions House and the deaths of 46 people trapped inside.
"The slogan was banned in the former Soviet Union, as were all forms of fascist ideology and expressions of racial hatred. After the Red Army liberated Ukraine from Nazi occupation, the OUN/UIA continued its guerrilla and terrorist war against the Soviets until a combination of counterinsurgency operations and extensive government investment in rebuilding the region weakened them and they were defeated by 1948. Some went underground, but others fled to the west, including OUN co-founder Mykola Lebed, who was given shelter by the CIA, for whom Lebed gathered intelligence on the Soviet Union through a front group called Prolog Research Corporation.
"A CIA report declassified in 2007 revealed that Prolog, as a research arm of the OUN-formed Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR), ‘publish[ed] periodicals and select books and pamphlets which seek to exploit and increase nationalist and other dissident tendencies in the Soviet Ukraine.’
"In an effort to achieve Ukrainian independence, the ZP/UHVR [External Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council] has collaborated with the CIA in clandestine operations since 1949," the report states.
"During the early years of its association with the CIA, ZP/UHVR re-established communications with resistance forces in the Ukraine. [...] [I]n its distribution operations Prolog has utilized the services of Ukrainian emigres in various countries who are sympathetic to the ZP/UHVR. Since the 1950s, Ukrainian collaborators in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia have infiltrated a great amount of Prolog material into the USSR. Prolog has been more able than other CIA assets to ferret out and approach dissident Soviet Ukrainians in the USSR."
In 2018, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made Glory to Ukraine/Glory to the Heroes the official greeting of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and later of its national police as well.
Today it has become an official slogan of the government of Canada, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and many others following their lead.
(Hiram's 1555 Blog, Deutsche Welle, TML Archives. Photo: A. Ofair)
African students await
evacuation from Ukraine.
During the debate on the
UN General Assembly resolution concerning Ukraine,
the Caribbean and Africa spoke to the unjust treatment of
refugees of African origin. The representative of Saint Vincent
Grenadines, for example, expressed dismay that people of African
descent are being singled out unfairly as the refugee crisis
calling for equal, fair treatment of all peoples. South Africa's
representative urged European countries to take steps to end the
current situation where African nationals and people of African
at the borders of Ukraine were not allowed to cross and move to
For example, African migrants and students in Ukraine were
from boarding trains and buses that could take them to safety. A
of Jamaican students was forced to walk 20 kilometres when they
forced off of a bus en
route to Poland.
Margaret Kimberley, in a March 2 article in Black Agenda Report, brought out the racism and chauvinism being promoted by the U.S. and Europe.
"By now everyone knows that Ukraine's flag is blue and yellow. It is impossible to miss as the Empire State Building in New York, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris have all been bathed in those colors. Nearly every city and town across the United States has followed suit and politicians ranging from local legislators to members of congress shout 'Stand with Ukraine!' at every opportunity," she wrote. Ukrainian flags were also prevalent at Biden's State of the Union speech.
She continued, "Ukraine is upheld as a bastion of 'civilization' which is supposed to put it off limits for war and suffering. The quiet part is now being spoken out loud. We are told that Ukrainians are more deserving of concern because they are Europeans.
"Ukraine's deputy chief prosecutor said as much in a BBC interview. 'It is very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed...' He wasn't alone in his assessment. An NBC reporter was asked why Poland was willing to admit Ukrainians even as it turned away other refugees. 'Just to put it bluntly, these are not refugees from Syria, these are refugees from neighbouring Ukraine. That, quite frankly, is part of it. These are Christians, they are white, they're ... um... very similar to the people that live in Poland.'
"CBS followed suit, ‘This isn't a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan who has seen conflict rage for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European -- I have to choose those words carefully -- city where you wouldn't expect that or hope that it was going to happen.'"
She brings out that war and privation worldwide are a direct result of U.S./NATO actions. It is the U.S./NATO aggression that destroyed the nation of Libya, that has attempted to do the same in Syria, that waged war against Iraq and Afghanistan, that foments war across African countries with U.S., French and British troops all there. The U.S. and NATO cause suffering and justify it by saying the people of Africa, Asia and Latin America are "uncivilized" with no rights that need to be respected.
A study by the Watson Institute of Brown University showed that more than 38 million people in North Africa, Western and Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa have been displaced by the U.S. and its allies since 2001. The humanitarian disasters begun years ago are ongoing, as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Haiti and many other countries show. The U.S. imposes wars of aggression, sanctions, destroys economies, unleashes chaos, robs assets and then punishes the many refugees its actions created. All of it causes more suffering and death as nations are robbed of the ability to care for their people.
Who is civilized and who is not?
Indian students stranded
in bunker, unable to evacuate from Ukraine.
Exposes White Supremacist Foreign Policy," by Margaret
Black Agenda Report, March 2, 2022. Photo: African
In their haste to condemn Russia and hide their own role in provoking war in Ukraine, after the vote held March 2 in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution "deploring Russia's aggression against Ukraine," official circles in the U.S., Canada and the European Union took to declaring that the whole world agrees with the U.S. and NATO that Russia launched an "unprovoked" attack and is alone responsible for the tragic events in Ukraine. The conception of "the world" and the "international community" they espouse, to dismiss any opposition to their narrative, is not only self-serving, but exclusionary and racist to the core.
"The World" Has Spoken
Speaking about the outcome of the vote on the resolution submitted by her country, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared that "the world had spoken with a clear, united voice." She said this despite the fact that 52 countries, including the two most populous nations on earth, in addition to the Russian Federation, did not endorse the resolution. Plenty of those who did were surely subjected to serious strong-arming by the U.S. and its NATO partners. A member of the Canadian delegation tweeted during the debate, "Have been working hard to get countries to vote Yes with us. With Ukraine."
Another one who spoke in terms of how "the world" sees things was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He said, "The West and, indeed, countries around the world are united in standing up for Ukraine -- not just for Ukraine, but for the principles of democracy and the rule of law that [have] led to tremendous prosperity and stability in our world over the past 75 years."
The Prime Minister cannot hide his profound anti-communism with his reference to "prosperity and stability in our world" since World War II. His assertions about the principles of democracy and the rule of law aside, it seems that the Prime Minister's world excludes not just the 52 countries that did not vote in favour of the anti-Russia resolution, but a whole swath of humanity who enjoy neither the prosperity nor stability he claims liberal democracy has bestowed on "our world."
The pronouncements of those representing the powers of old Europe were just as shameful, and had their own twist. The representative of the European Union (EU) to the UN said the vote was a historic one that "clearly shows the Russian Federation's isolation from the rest of the international community." The Spaniard Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said, "The world has issued a resounding condemnation of illegal and unprovoked attacks on a sovereign state."
The racist Eurocentrism of old Europe also permeated the speech that Ursula von der Leyen, German President of the European Commission, delivered to the EU Parliament on March 1. She spoke after President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on video pleading for Ukraine to be accepted into the EU. Von der Leyen made a point of saying Ukraine's fight against Russia was about the defence of "European values" which she also referred to as "universal values." She said it was a "clash between the rule of law and the rule of the gun; the fight between democracies and autocracies; between a rules-based order and a world of naked aggression." Referring to Zelensky's pitch, she said, "Nobody in this hemicycle can doubt that a people that stands up so bravely for our European values belongs in our European family."
Racist Double Standards of EU Refugee Policy
In addition to announcing that the EU would provide 500 million euros worth of military aid to Ukraine, von der Leyen promised that for those fleeing Ukraine, "Europe will be there for them, not only in the first days, but also in the weeks and months to come." She proposed that the EU's temporary protection mechanism be activated "to provide them with a secure status and access to schools, medical care and work. They deserve it. We need to do that now. We know this is only the beginning. More Ukrainians will need our protection and solidarity. We are and we will be there for them."
This is a far cry from how asylum seekers from countries in Asia and Africa have been treated by the EU, many of them escaping U.S./NATO wars of destruction that have ravaged their homelands. Who can forget the thousands who drowned in the Mediterranean or those met with barbed wire fences and armed guards to keep them out of countries that refused to let them in? How many Afghans will be resettled in Europe?
In 2016 at the height of the migration crisis in Europe, a NATO flotilla led by Germany, with Canada also contributing a frigate, was deployed to the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey "to stem illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean." The operation took place right as tens of thousands of mainly Syrian refugees but also others, risked their lives attempting to reach Europe's shores, setting out in over-crowded boats and rafts from Turkey and Libya, many hoping to make their way to Germany.
Syrian and Iraqi
refugees crossing the Aegean Sea in late 2015.
Under international law, vulnerable people fleeing conflict and persecution must not be denied access to protection, and have a right to have their asylum claims considered. But NATO member Turkey was paid by the EU to keep asylum seekers and migrants in its territory and to stop them from setting out for Europe. Any refugees picked up in a sweep of Mediterranean waters were forced to return to Turkey. Ursula von der Leyen was Germany's Minister of Defence at the time. She is reported to have been a key player in striking the EU's "robust" deal with Turkey to keep refugees arriving from the south out of Europe. How many died because of that deal, desperately risking all on more dangerous routes in an attempt to reach Europe's shores?
It all speaks volumes about the "European" and "universal" values the EU president says Ukraine is fighting for today, on behalf of "all of us." It also shows what kind of "rule of law” the European chauvinists, like their North American counterparts espouse, as they heap recriminations on Russia for threatening the international order in which the U.S. gets to make the rules, decide who is breaking them, and mete out punishment, while the U.S. and NATO are not held to account for their serial violations of the UN Charter and international law.
Far from accepting this state of affairs,
the world's people are fed up with the double-dealing and double
standards of the "rules-based order" of the U.S. and NATO; with
"European values" of those who fancy themselves superior moral
and capricious as well as racist notions of who is and is not
the so-called international community. What the conditions are
out for is an end to all the old arrangements and the
of state racism, Eurocentrism and lies that have no place in a
society. They are also calling for the people themselves to
being the new arrangements that favour them and allow society to
advance based on all human beings having rights by virtue of
human. One such arrangement that events in Ukraine and the
and ever-increasing encroachment on Russia's borders by the U.S.
NATO point to is the need for the peoples to bring into being
(Photo: G. Giannopoulos)
At the United Nations
25, as was to be expected, Russia vetoed a resolution the U.S.
push through the UN Security Council (UNSC) that would have
in the strongest terms the Russian Federation's aggression
Ukraine." The resolution also demanded that "The Russian
should immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine, and
all its military forces immediately, completely, and
from that country's territory."
The resolution did not include any mention of Russia's security concerns as a result of U.S./NATO encirclement, huge military build-up, provocations and setting up Ukraine as a forward base against Russia. It again called for reliance on the Minsk agreements even though Ukraine failed to abide by them. And France and Germany, who along with Russia were also signatories, did nothing to make sure Ukraine did abide by them, even as it continued its murderous attacks against its own population in the Donbass.
Left: Photos of some of the 152 children killed by Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region since 2014. Right: Kindergarten badly damaged by Ukrainian army shelling in the Kievsky district of Donetsk, March 2022.
China abstained when the U.S.
presented its resolution to the Security Council saying it was a
complex situation and the Council should respond "with great
with actions that defuse, not add fuel." Ambassador Zhang Jun
that the issue of Ukraine is not one that emerged today; nor did
current situation emerge suddenly overnight. Rather, it
interplay of various factors over a long period of time. The
of one country cannot come at the cost of that of another, he
adding that Ukraine should be a bridge between the East and the
not an "outpost for major Powers."
The U.S. plan then became clear when it invoked a rarely used procedural measure to convene the General Assembly to debate "Russia's military operation in Ukraine" and then have the General Assembly vote on a similar resolution condemning Russia. Only 11 such emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been convened since 1950 when the measure was adopted, including this latest one on Ukraine.
The procedural measure the U.S. used is resolution 377A(V), known as "Uniting for Peace," first introduced by the U.S. in 1950 during the Korean War. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. delegate to the UN at that time said the Korean War was a chief motivator in coming up with this procedural rule. The U.S. wanted the cover of UN support for its war of aggression against Korea and needed to prevent a Soviet veto. At the time the Soviet Union was boycotting procedures to protest the refusal to recognize the representatives of the People's Republic of China as the legitimate representatives of China. China had yet to take its seat at the UN due to strong opposition by the U.S., who demanded the same from other Security Council members.
The "Uniting for Peace" resolution states, "If the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security."
It is noteworthy that the U.S. generally has not bothered to get UN approval for its wars of aggression and illegal actions against myriad countries over the last thirty years. When it does seek it, such as with its performance at the UN concerning Iraq, its failure to secure it has little meaning as it proceeds with its wars of aggression anyway. The U.S. often acts unilaterally, creates so-called coalitions of the willing and repeatedly tramples in the mud the UN Charter and international rule of law. Further it is trying to impose its own so-called rules-based system -- where it gets to make up the rules, change the rules, decide who is and is not following these rules and the punishment for any it declares "illegal" or "terrorist."
U.S. "shock and awe"
bombardment of Baghdad, Iraq during its 2003 invasion, March
In the case of Ukraine, the U.S.
and NATO countries claim all is done in the name of the UN
Conventions. The Security Council resolution regarding Ukraine
Russia vetoed, for example, refers to the Charter requiring "an
obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against
territorial integrity or political independence of any State."
entire history of the U.S. is one of violating this obligation
wars of aggression against Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Iraq,
and Syria, and its interference, coups, and assassinations to
regime change in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Its aim now is
meet its obligations under the UN Charter and international law,
drag the UN into approving its striving for world domination and
of moral superiority. The problems in Ukraine and conflict
Ukraine and Russia will not be resolved in this manner. Having
approve U.S. actions undermines UN authority while further
to the crisis.
Comments by the U.S. make clear it was also seeking justification for yet more "extraordinary" measures. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "By calling for an emergency special session of the General Assembly... [we] have recognized that this is no ordinary moment and that we need to take extraordinary steps to confront this threat to our international system." She stressed that such a meeting of the wider UN membership was important to make their voices heard on "Russia's war of choice." The U.S. does not want discussion to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner, with the UN assisting in this, but rather it wants to impose its dictate and justify further U.S./NATO interference.
The General Assembly met in emergency session from February 28 to March 2 to debate and vote on a U.S. anti-Russia resolution. The resolution called for Russia to "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders." It said nothing about the U.S./NATO use of Ukraine as a forward base to isolate, encircle and humiliate Russia and their arms and troop build-up and eastward expansion. The resolution, which needed a two-thirds majority in the Assembly to pass, is not binding and did not include measures for the use of armed force.
The vote was 141 of the assembly's 193 members in favour, five against and 35 abstentions. Twelve countries did not participate in the vote and were counted as not present, including Venezuela. Although Venezuela’s stand was clearly presented during the debate, it has had its voting rights suspended because it cannot afford to pay its UN dues because of U.S. illegal sanctions. By demanding the emergency session and pushing through the resolution, the U.S. was successful in embroiling UN members in its manoeuvres that have done nothing to resolve the conflict.
In the creation of the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. is leaving no stone unturned in an effort to be head of a world order where it is the hegemon which makes the rules and everyone had better fall in line or else face terrible consequences. Russia drew its security "red lines" over expansion of NATO to Ukraine and U.S. missiles on its borders. Ukraine is completely expendable in the U.S. plan, a pawn and a victim in the U.S. striving for domination over every arena of concern to the peoples of the world. The United Nations has become one such battleground.
The resolution adopted on March 2 is dangerous. Unlike in 1950 when the U.S. got the UN to mandate armed UN intervention against Korea, it did not do so on this occasion. However, when matters are referred to the General Assembly by the Security Council under the "Uniting for Peace" resolution, it is with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including potential use of armed force. Even though the General Assembly is not considering this at this time, the U.S. could attempt to use the resolution, and what it claims is Russia's refusal to abide by it, to do so in the future.
The resolution states among other things that "The territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, and that any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a State or country or at its political independence is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter."
Are the world's peoples supposed to forget all the U.S. interference, invasions, coups, wars against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, coups in Honduras, Haiti, attempts at regime change against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua -- and these are just recent examples. Yet for Ukraine an emergency session is called, replete with U.S. dictate and chauvinism.
This was also indicated in the following section of the resolution: "Recognizing that the military operations of the Russian Federation inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine are on a scale that the international community has not seen in Europe in decades and that urgent action is needed to save this generation from the scourge of war." Note that the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 is not considered a "land war" and on this basis dismissed. Note also that Russia is not treated as part of Europe. The transparent aim is to make Russia alone the source of world war in conditions where it is the U.S., with its brinkmanship and unending provocations that is instigating confrontation everywhere in Europe as well as the Asia Pacific in particular at this time.
The U.S., NATO members and other member states aligned to this position, although it is known the U.S. and its allies such as Canada and others use strong-arm tactics. Their remarks echoed those of the U.S. about "unprovoked" and "unjustified military aggression" by Russia.
The five countries that voted against the U.S.-sponsored resolution and 35 countries which opposed it by abstaining, have long experienced the impact of aggression and colonization by the U.S. and European countries and justifications for it. This includes current militarization and placement of troops in Africa by the U.S. as part of its AFRICOM.
For the full text of the UN resolution click here.
1. The five countries which voted against the resolution are: Belarus, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria.
The 35 countries that abstained are: Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Congo, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
Twelve countries did not vote: Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Venezuela was suspended from voting in the 76th session and this 11th emergency special session owing to its failure to pay dues in the previous two years, for which it didn't receive a special waiver from the Assembly.)
Below are excerpts from statements made by some of the countries which spoke at the UN General Assembly debate on the U.S. anti-Russian resolution, or on the question of anti-Russia sanctions. Some who spoke in the UN debate voted for the resolution but opposed the escalation of the crisis and widening of the collateral damage upon the whole world from the U.S.-led sanctions against Russia. Some also denounced the racism being expressed towards refugees from Ukraine, mainly those of African origin.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The DPRK voted against the resolution. Its position was clearly made in a press release on February 28. "The situation of Ukraine is now focusing the attention of the world," it said. "The root cause of the Ukraine crisis totally lies in the hegemonic policy of the U.S. and the West which indulge themselves in high-handedness and arbitrariness towards other countries.
"The U.S. and the West, in defiance of Russia's reasonable and just demand to provide it with a legal guarantee for security, have systematically undermined the security environment of Europe by becoming more blatant in their attempts to deploy attack weapons system while defiantly pursuing NATO's eastward expansion.
"The U.S. and the West, having devastated Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are mouthing phrases about 'respect for sovereignty' and 'territorial integrity' over the Ukrainian situation which was detonated by themselves. That does not stand to reason at all.
"The greatest danger the world faces now is high-handedness and arbitrariness by the U.S. and its followers that are shaking international peace and stability.
"The reality is proof positive once again that peace will not be achieved worldwide as long as there remains the unilateral and double-dealing policy of the U.S. which threatens the peace and security of sovereign states.”
In a separate meeting of the General Assembly held February 27 to review and modernize the UN Charter itself, the representative of the DPRK reminded the entire Assembly of the crimes and aggression committed by the U.S. against Korea in the name of the United Nations. The Ambassador said: "The Special Committee should pay due attention to dismantling an illegal body like the 'UN Command' in south Korea in violation of the UN Charter. As is well known, the 'UN Command' is what the United States crafted by arbitrarily abusing the name of the UN in order to conceal its aggressive identity as an instigator of the Korean War back in 1950.
"Today the Command is posing serious threats to peace and security on the Korean peninsula and the rest of the region in service to the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK and its strategy towards Asia.
"The U.S. cooked up the relevant 'resolution' on manufacturing the 'UN Command' in flagrant violation of article 32 of chapter 5 related to participation of a party to a dispute under consideration by the Security Council and paragraph 3 of article 27 of chapter 5 of the UN Charter related to the decision making process at the Security Council."
Finally, he stressed that the "UN Command" in south Korea is "An out-and-out U.S. Command which is not subjected to direction from the UN nor covered by the UN budget and has misused the name and the flag of the UN, in every way. Therefore, positive measures should be taken to immediately dismantle it in accordance with the resolution adopted at the 30th session of the UN General Assembly back in 1975."
Syria voted against. Syria's Ambassador said that "despite successive crises and major challenges that have confronted the international community for decades, Western States have never demonstrated so much excitement in calling an emergency special session of the General Assembly, which demonstrates a politics of hypocrisy and double standards, based on interests and not principles."
He continued, "The memories and files of the United Nations have ample proof of illegitimate acts of intervention by the United States and its NATO allies that have caused millions of innocent deaths in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, not to mention the blockades imposed on people in Latin America and elsewhere to achieve their own objectives."
He condemned the campaign organized and led by the U.S and the West and their media against Russia, ignoring the suffering of the people of the Donbas region and ignoring Russia's legitimate security concerns while not hesitating to provide weapons, including missiles, to Ukraine.
Belarus voted against the draft resolution. Their ambassador said the international community must bear its share of responsibility for what is currently happening in Ukraine. Recalling the signing of the Minsk agreements eight years ago as well as the relevant resolutions adopted by the Council and the Assembly, he said the international community was unable to convince the Ukrainian authorities to abide by these documents. Ukraine has found itself in a state of civil war for years and civilians have been dying in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Noting that operative paragraph 8 of the draft text hypocritically calls on all parties to fulfil the Minsk agreements, he asked its sponsors where they had been for the past eight years.
Cuba abstained. Cuba's Ambassador began by saying Cuba champions International Law and is committed to the Charter of the United Nations. Cuba firmly supports the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in 2014 in Havana by the Heads of State and Governments of its region. Cuba is committed to International Humanitarian Law and calls on all parties to protect the civilian population, their possessions and infrastructure.
Cuba said this is a crisis of U.S. making. "The United States' and NATO's military moves in recent months towards regions adjacent to the Russian Federation, preceded by the delivery of modern weapons to Ukraine, which altogether add up to a military siege, are well known. [...] History will hold the United States accountable for the consequences of an increasingly offensive military doctrine outside NATO's borders, which threatens international peace, security and stability. [...] The draft resolution on the situation of Ukraine not adopted in the Security Council on 25 February was not intended as a genuine contribution to resolve the current crisis."
Ambassador continued: "The text that is now being considered by
General Assembly suffers from the same shortcomings and lacks
necessary balance. It does not take into account the legitimate
concerns of all the parties involved. It does not acknowledge
the responsibility of those who instigated or deployed
actions that hasten the escalation of this conflict. Cuba will
advocating a serious, constructive and realistic diplomatic
the current crisis in Europe by peaceful means, ensuring the
and sovereignty of all, and regional and international peace,
Venezuela was unable to participate
in the vote. During the debate its permanent ambassador to the
Samuel Moncada opened by saying that in its capacity as a
member of the Security Council, Venezuela had voted in 2015 in
of the "Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk
Agreements" aimed at providing a peaceful solution to the civil
Ukraine. He deplored that those Agreements were squandered after
years of non-compliance, saying this served to deepen the
internally and the suffering of the civilian population. The
internal crisis was exacerbated by the growing external pressure
the NATO military bloc towards Ukraine itself, he said, which
destructive effect on security guarantees for all that are the
Europe’s security architecture, affecting especially the
Russian Federation. He said the permanent expansion of NATO into
Eastern Europe added a higher threat level of a strategic nature
national crisis in Ukraine. "Our role today is not to fuel
divisions on these three levels: national, regional and global."
The United Nations cannot be used to deepen conflicts, Moncada said. He proposed the crisis be addressed by the UN and “responsible members of the international community" in a balanced manner and with extreme caution to avoid deepening divisions. In this regard, he said, "we reject the application of unilateral coercive and retaliatory measures, whether economic, commercial or financial, as they will intensify the crisis and prolong the conflict. As humanity continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new global economic crisis will be imposed -- by design -- with the express purpose of generating suffering for hundreds of millions of people around the world. A crisis deliberately generated to destabilize a nuclear power. That is not the path to peace."
The Ambassador said the principle of indivisible security presupposes that the security of one country cannot sacrifice the security of others, and military blocs such as NATO cannot expand indefinitely, threatening the security of other regions of the planet. Therefore he said it was necessary to initiate direct negotiations "that will allow for an early, peaceful, comprehensive and lasting resolution of the current situation … taking into account the concerns of all parties concerned." This should involve a political dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, he said, welcoming the recent contacts in Belarus. There should also be direct talks on equal terms between Russia and NATO, he said, towards achieving "a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism."
In conclusion, Ambassador Moncada reiterated Venezuela’s "unwavering commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations” and stated: “From this rostrum we call for the cessation of war propaganda, as well as the discourse of intolerance, guided by hateful ideologies, and we emphasize that only through diplomacy, dialogue and containment, without pressure or sanctions, can we build a necessary firewall between the three levels of the crisis in Ukraine, and thus prevent a chain reaction that will lead us sleepwalking into the abyss."
Bolivia abstained. Addressing the General Assembly Bolivia spotlighted the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Palestine. Recalling the bombing of Yugoslavia which occurred without the authorization of the Council, he condemned the moral double standards shown by certain Powers which are fanning the flames of confrontation, rather than seeking peace.
China abstained and restated its consistent position that "one country's security must not come at the expense of another's and cautioning against the expansion of any military blocs. [...] The international community should stick to the overall direction of a political settlement and foster an enabling atmosphere and condition for direct dialogues between the parties concerned. [...] The top priority at present is to prevent the situation in Ukraine from escalating or even getting out of control [...]."
China's Ambassador said: "Regrettably, the draft resolution submitted to this emergency special session for vote has not taken full consideration of the history and complexity of the current crisis. It does not highlight the importance of the principle of indivisible security, or the urgency of promoting political settlement and stepping up diplomatic efforts. These are not in line with China's consistent positions."
"Blindly exerting pressure and imposing sanctions and creating division and confrontation will only further complicate the situation, and result in a rapid negative spillover of the crisis, that affects even more countries," he said.
China is actively promoting mediation efforts and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Kuleba said, "China has played a constructive role on this issue and that Ukraine is ready to step up communication with China." He looked forward to China's "mediation efforts for the ceasefire."
People's Democratic Republic
The Lao People's Democratic Republic abstained. The Lao representative said his country has previously suffered the scourge of war and knows only too well the endless negative consequences it causes to innocent lives. While commending the United Nations and Member States that have offered humanitarian assistance to the affected people, he emphasized that his country remains skeptical of unilateral sanctions, cautioning that such measures could entail long-term impacts on innocent people, including the global community at large, especially during the pandemic. In that regard, he called upon all parties concerned to refrain from any action that could further fuel the escalation of tension, seek peaceful solutions, and restore peace and security. Expressing support for the ongoing effort to find a peaceful diplomatic settlement, he stressed the importance of taking into account the legitimate security concerns of all parties. "It is our fervent hope that, through this diplomatic effort, peace can be restored, peace which constitutes the heart and soul of our Organization, the United Nations," he said.
Vietnam abstained. Spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang tweeted that "Vietnam emphasized respect for international law and UN Charter, dialogue to achieve long-term solutions, protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and scale up humanitarian assistance. Vietnam welcomes the ongoing dialogue between Ukraine and Russia and hopes that the sides will soon find long-term peaceful solutions to differences in line with international law and taking account of legitimate rights and interests of the concerned parties."
The representative of Iran reiterated his country's principled
position of respect for the Charter, international law and
international humanitarian law. Stressing the importance of
double standards in the maintenance of peace, he pointed to the
conflict in Yemen. Expressing concern about the Council's
noted that his delegation abstained from the vote.
India abstained, as it did with the February 25 resolution the U.S. presented to the UN Security Council. India's ambassador reiterated his delegation's previous calls for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to hostilities, noting that all United Nations Member States are not only obliged to follow the Charter but also to respect international law, territorial integrity and State sovereignty.
South Africa abstained. Her representative said the current text does not lead to an environment conducive to mediation and could lead to a deeper rift between the parties. Her delegation would also have preferred an open and transparent process in the negotiations rather than the resolution. She called on the international community to go beyond gestures that merely appear to promote peace without ensuring meaningful action. She also urged European countries to take steps to resolve the current situation whereby some African nationals and people of African descent at the borders of Ukraine are not allowed to cross and move to safety.
Brazil voted for the resolution but called for an end to escalating the conflict saying: Over recent years, the world has seen a deterioration of security and the balance of power in Eastern Europe, which paved the way for the current crisis. However, that "in no way justifies the use of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of any Member State." Urging an end to belligerent acts before it is too late, he also called upon all actors to reassess their decisions concerning the supply of weapons and the application of sanctions, particularly those which could affect the global economy in such critical areas as food security.
Serbia voted in
favour. The ambassador recalled that the first major attack in
after the Second World War occurred in 1999 in the former
He said that there had been no United Nations reaction with
Serbia, and the consequences are still felt today. For its part,
will continue to advocate for ending conflict, expressing hope
parties will create peace through dialogue.
Djibouti voted in favour. Its representative urged that a country, if it has legitimate security concerns, prioritize the use of Charter tools. He reiterated the African Union's call to immediately establish a ceasefire and to start negotiations without delay under United Nations auspices. He expressed alarm at the persistent "representations of negativity" towards Africans and statements by so-called experts who are drawing distinctions between refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and those fleeing conflict in Ukraine. "We are at a critical moment in the history of the United Nations and must put an end to conflict and do everything to prevent other conflicts. It is within our reach. [...] Let us mobilize our political will to put an end to them," he said.
Argentina voted in favour.
Her Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero confirmed in a press
conference on March 4 that the position of his country, as
expressed by President Alberto Fernandez, is that dialogue and
of diplomatic channels and not sanctions against Russia was
resolve the conflict in Ukraine.
Argentina is calling for peace, to de-escalate the conflict, and unilateral coercive measures will not give rise to that, or to a frank dialogue to resolve the conflict and save lives, Cafiero said, adding that his government was also against taking down the signals of Russian television channels as requested by members of the opposition, in the interests of freedom of the press.
Mexico voted in favour. During his daily press conference on March 2 the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said his government would not be imposing any sanctions on Russia either. This is in spite of his previously expressed opinion that any kind of invasion, especially by the great powers, should become a thing of the past, as they are contrary to international law. López Obrador said economic sanctions were not part of the Mexican government's policy, and that instead it would work to promote dialogue to achieve peace. He said Mexico wants to maintain good relations with all the governments of the world and to be in conditions to be able to talk to the parties in conflict.
Asked for his opinion on the banning of Russian media as some countries are doing, he said he did not agree with media censorship. "I was against it when President Trump's social media account was cancelled, and I do not agree with Russian media or any other country's media being censored; we have to uphold freedom," he said.
Including in this complaints by individual Twitter users about their accounts allegedly being labelled as "Russian government-affiliated media" and having posts deleted for expressing opinions Twitter considers pro-Russia, he said, "There cannot be double talk, a double standard. We cannot be talking about freedom and at the same time be limiting freedom of expression."
State of U.S. Democracy
One year of Biden rule in the United States has been tough going with many problems facing the U.S. both at home and abroad. President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union address on March 1 with an effort to unite the vying ruling factions a main theme, as if the situation is fine, or as he put it, "We are stronger today than we were a year ago."
This is not the case. He is speaking in conditions where conflicts among the private oligarchs and their representatives in government are feeding an open civil war -- as seen in the dysfunction of Congress, elections that sort out no problem and contention within and between the presidency, the military, and federal and state officials.
It is important to understand that both main factions -- the one currently led by Biden and the one currently led by Trump -- are fighting for even more police powers to be concentrated in the federal executive and over control of the Office of the President as an instrument to control everything. Biden does it by declaring that the democratic institutions are representative and U.S. democracy is the model for the entire world to follow. Sedition, conspiracy charges and the refusal to have a peaceful transfer of power are all related to the U.S. Constitution and using it to justify what cannot be justified. Trump, on the other hand, is not informed by any attempt to maintain the current structures of the so-called civil society and constitution but to smash them all as impediments to overt oligarchic rule.
Biden began his State of the Union with: "Tonight, we meet as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. But most importantly as Americans. With a duty to one another, to the American people, to the Constitution. And with an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny."
He then spoke of Ukraine. "Let each of us here tonight in this Chamber send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world. Please rise if you are able and show that, yes, we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people," he said. Ukrainian flags had been distributed and many Congresspeople had them while others wore Ukrainian flag pins. The Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. was present and given a standing ovation. In these and other ways, every effort was made to use Ukraine to divert from the crises raging within the United States from coast to coast so as to unite the vying factions among the rulers, including the military, also present, and its bureaucracy.
Given that the causes of the civil war raging among the rulers in the United States are not imaginary, Biden's effort to stave off the increasing conflicts by inflaming passions in support of Ukraine will not go far for long.
Biden continued to speak about Ukraine, repeatedly targeting Putin with the usual personalist venom, name calling and accusations of "dictator." Of course, the U.S. is not to be accused of being an aggressor waging wars, an invading force all over the world, the architect of "colour revolutions" for regime change. This is not called U.S. dictate. It is called freedom.
The history of eastward expansion of NATO in a manner which threatens Russia's borders and of U.S. interference in Ukraine to turn it into a forward base to threaten Russian interests in the most strategic area of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov have made the disequilibrium in the world seriously more dangerous. This disequilibrium set in when the bi-polar division between the two superpowers ended with the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
The lack of an equilibrium which favours humankind is a main matter of concern for the peoples of the world today. It has led to the current unfavourable situation in Ukraine -- whose outcome cannot be predicted so long as it is not the peoples in charge of the decisions which affect their lives. The fact is that Biden and his son directly benefited from the takeover of Ukraine's financial and political institutions by narrow private interests, but of course, this is not a mentionable when claims are made that everyone is united and the spoils are there for the taking.
Biden did reiterate that there will be no U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine. He is quite content to use the Ukrainian people and foreign mercenaries as cannon fodder in the name of high ideals. "Our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine," he said, adding: "we've mobilized American ground forces, air squadrons, and ship deployments to protect NATO countries including Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia."
This indicates that the provocations against Russia are to continue, which include the $1 billion sent so far to the Ukraine government in weaponry and what is called economic aid and more sanctions.
Biden also voiced what he considers an accomplishment of his administration: "We see the unity among leaders of nations and a more unified Europe, a more unified West." He remained silent on the fact that in one short year, his administration has presided over no less than three foreign policy failures: one, the inability of his intelligence agencies to predict the chaos which would accompany U.S. defeat in Afghanistan; the second, the failure of his intelligence agencies to predict his failure to overthrow the revolutionary government of Cuba in July 2021; and the third, his failure to force Russia to give up its security interests and come under U.S. dictate.
Biden crowed about achieving unity in Europe as if Russia is not the largest European country in terms of land mass and the size of its population. This is a serious problem going forward. Besides this is the fact that nothing is said of the coercion, blackmail and false promises, delivered in the style of mafia hit men behind closed doors, to force the European countries, big and small, to agree to the U.S. agenda, even when it means that imposing sanctions goes against their own particular interests. As with the efforts to unify the factions at home, it is unlikely that such unity will persist given the divisions within NATO, between the U.S. and Europe as a whole, and within Europe.
The degree to which Biden's proposals are not serious can be seen in his talk emphasizing "a duty" to keep the U.S. constitution in place. As part of this he is now calling on the Justice Department to go after Russian oligarchs, not within its jurisdiction at this time. "I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more. The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs. We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains."
It remains to be seen which U.S. oligarchs get caught in this net and the infighting that causes, and whether calls will be raised for him to do the same with the U.S. oligarchs within the U.S. itself. Quite a few people in the U.S. must wonder why and how the U.S. Justice Department can set up a task force to go after Russian oligarchs, but no such task force exists to target U.S. oligarchs, notorious for their corruption, their massive ill-gotten wealth acquired even during the COVID pandemic, and their many crimes against workers, including immigrants.
Efforts are to divert attention from the unfulfilled responsibilities of the Justice Department concerning racist police killings, well-documented crimes of private detention centers and conditions in all U.S. prisons, crimes of the pharmaceutical oligopolies, on-going genocide against Black and Indigenous peoples, and more. It reveals that Biden is pandering to the civil bureaucracy, which is also greatly divided, hoping they will unite behind this call for the Justice Department to go after Russian oligarchs, instead of what is happening within the U.S. itself.
That also explains why Biden did not mention at all the January 6, 2020, attempted coup by the Trump forces and where the Justice Department stands with those prosecutions. It is all a pipedream which is sure to blow up in his face sooner rather than later. It reveals that the working class and people must prepare now not to be divided one faction against another, as is happening over the crisis in Ukraine, but to unite based on their own interests for aims which favour them, not oligarchs anywhere.
Ugly Display of U.S. Chauvinism to Justify Paying the Rich
Another means by which U.S. rulers strive to unify their ranks, while also gaining support among the people, is to incite U.S. chauvinism. Biden did this with his emphasis on "Buy America." He gave repeated examples of how "Buy America" will benefit the economy. The repetition and emphasis were such that those present began chanting USA! USA!
Biden's attempts to express concern for the people ring hollow indeed. "So many families are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising cost of food, gas, housing, and so much more," he said. He mentioned things like raising the minimum wage and enabling workers to unionize to cover up the fact that even though his forte was supposed to be as a unifier of the vying factions to get legislation passed, he failed to get his main "Build Back Better" bill passed. According to him, "Buy America" and current bills in Congress on infrastructure and innovation are about competition with China and providing government funding for the oligopolies.
Ford and GM are to get assistance with electric cars, including the federal government building charging stations and purchasing the cars.
Speaking first of the infrastructure bill, Biden said: "It is going to transform America and put us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st Century that we face with the rest of the world -- particularly with China."
Taking up the Trump mantra to Make America Great Again, he said: "We will buy American to make sure everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails are made in America." He said that to compete for the best jobs of the future, "we also need to level the playing field with China and other competitors."
Referring to the Innovation Act he is trying to get passed in Congress, Biden spoke of the promise by global semiconductor giant Intel to build "mega-site" in Ohio. He said, "Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who is here tonight, told me they are ready to increase their investment from $20 billion to $100 billion. That would be one of the biggest investments in manufacturing in American history. And all they're waiting for is for you to pass this bill." Intel is a major technology and manufacturing force, with $79.02 billion in revenue for 2021.
Biden repeated the usual empty promise of jobs that workers know never get delivered. The entire speech underscored the fact that narrow private supranational interests have usurped government's decision-making powers and that they are demanding that the public treasury be used entirely for their private interests to effectively compete with China and wipe out Russia.
In a neo-liberal globalized economy, workers have learned that their interests lie not in competition with fellow workers worldwide, but in common efforts to defend their rights and stand together. In this manner, "Buy America" is not only to unite the vying factions within the ruling class by assuring them that the treasury is at their disposal, but also to convince U.S. workers to join in the chauvinism and stand with U.S. oligarchs against workers in China, Russia and elsewhere.
Biden also addressed the issue of taxes to try to align people behind him. "The tax system is not fair," he said as if he were the first president to make such a discovery in order to hand over a greater share of the wealth to the rich yet again. He gives the example of top oligopolies not paying any taxes. His solution is the same as that of those who came before him, which is to "close loopholes" and raise the corporate tax rate, currently set at 21 per cent. "We got more than 130 countries to agree on a global minimum tax rate so companies can't get out of paying their taxes at home by shipping jobs and factories overseas," he said. All of it is said to hide what is well known -- the tax rate does not determine how oligopolies with worldwide interests operate, although getting tax breaks and not paying taxes are always part of their plans. "Closing loopholes" has never solved a single problem of inequality, impoverishment and oppression anywhere, certainly not in the United States.
Biden's attempts to gain support among the people while also silencing any discussion on alternatives when it comes to taxes is not likely to get off the ground, let alone fly. The best and simplest way to ensure oligopolies pay is for government to secure the funds right at the point of production. Doing so would eliminate the need for individual income taxes while providing sufficient funds for social programs. Of course, such alternatives are not to be considered.
As an additional part of his effort to unify the vying factions, Biden told the U.S. Congress: "Let's stop seeing each other as enemies and start seeing each other for who we really are: Fellow Americans." He then proposed what he calls a "Unity Agenda for the Nation." This involves what are said to be noncontroversial issues: to beat the opioid epidemic; take on mental health, especially among children; support veterans and "end cancer as we know it."
The dysfunction of elections and of Congress itself, including its inability to pass significant legislation, are among the factors fueling civil war as these mechanisms for sorting out conflicts no longer function. One year of Biden rule shows that his former prowess in getting legislation passed, especially in the Senate, is not working for him. Thus, his agenda of noncontroversial issues to unite the vying factions and show the public that Congress can get something done is also bound to fail.
Institutions which no longer function to reconcile interests cannot be made to function just because you provide them with allegedly non-controversial issues.
Narrow private interests permeate everything, everywhere, and every opportunity is taken for narrow private interests to make a killing. Anarchy and violence prevail, and no amount of police powers concentrated in the Office of the President will keep these private interests under control or make this feature of the current situation go away. The divisions and conflicts among the rulers will no doubt intensify as they cannot provide the problems facing society with solutions and refuse to meet the demands of the times for people's empowerment.
The U.S. working class and people are another matter. They have a self-interest in constituting themselves as the nation and vesting the sovereign decision-making powers in themselves, on a modern basis in which each and all can speak in their own name and reject the Constitution and governing structures which enshrine inequality, enslavement, violence, oppression and war. Those who share weal and woe have common interests to govern in a manner that serves them, not those in positions of power and privilege. It is the working people and their fight for rights by virtue of being human and their striving to humanize the natural and social environment that provide the way forward.
The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol has now said that Trump and key allies were involved in a criminal conspiracy. This is the first time they have made such a charge in a court filing. The filing is part of efforts to get Trump lawyer John Eastman to turn over documents related to the events of January 6, 2021, specifically emails sent between January 4 and January 7. Eastman is the one who put forward the advice that then Vice President Pence could reject electors from states won by Biden and give the election to Trump.
Lawyers for the House Committee said in a court filing March 2 that the Committee "has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States." They say Trump and key allies engaged in potential crimes during their effort to overturn the election: conspiring to defraud the United States and obstructing an official congressional proceeding -- the counting of electoral votes.
The filing is part of a civil case in a California federal court challenging Eastman's refusal to turn over thousands of emails the committee has requested, related to his role in trying to persuade Pence to reject Biden electors. Eastman has cited attorney-client privilege as a shield against turning over the documents because he has said he was representing Trump at the time. Lawyers for the committee argued that the evidence it has gathered led to a "good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts" and that Eastman was "used in furtherance of those activities." If so, the attorney-client privilege does not hold.
"The facts we've gathered strongly suggest that Dr. Eastman's emails may show that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to impede the transfer of power," the committee's chairman, Representative Bennie G. Thompson (Mississippi), and vice chair, Representative Liz Cheney (Wyoming), said in a statement.
is significant that the House Committee chose now to make the
President Biden, in his State of the Union address made no
all of January 6. This was part of his effort to unify the vying
factions among the rulers, using the conflict in Ukraine and
termed his "Unity Agenda." He chose to not address the very
conflict around January 6, directly related to the civil war
increasing in the U.S., including on this issue of peaceful
power. Trump and his backers, with their January 6 attempted
made clear they will not abide by the Constitution while Biden
House Committee continue to try and use it and their claim of
“peaceful,” to preserve the union and keep the
The dysfunction of elections and conflicts within and between the military, presidency and with governors as well, have not been sorted out. Retired military Generals, numerous academics and others are saying there will not be a peaceful transfer of power for 2024. They are openly talking about the threat of civil war. This includes a breakdown in the military chain of command.
The House Committee has been a main means to test the waters in terms of going forward with criminal charges against Trump and his allies -- something that would likely prevent Trump from running for president. The Committee itself cannot bring charges but only make recommendations to the Department of Justice (DoJ). The DoJ has not responded to these latest charges. Furthermore, now Biden has given it another task, to pursue Russian oligarchs, also part of his effort to unify the bureaucracy.
Biden is contending with a situation of repeated failures, like the defeat in Afghanistan as well as failing to pass his signature legislation, such as Build Back Better. He seems to think that by not mentioning January 6 he can rise above the divisions and unify the contending forces, while using the Committee to leave open the possibility of criminal charges against Trump. There is no indication this will lessen the contention among the ruling factions vying for power, with the powers of the presidency the most coveted of all.
Mass actions of the
people continue to demand an end to state violence and
impunity. March in Minneapolis, April 19, 2021.
The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has proposed establishing a special police force dedicated to investigating what it deems to be violations of election laws. If approved by the state legislature, the new office would have a 52-member team, including 20 police officers, to "investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation" of election laws. DeSantis wants $5.7 million to create the Office of Election Crimes and Security. The Office would give the executive branch unprecedented power to investigate whatever it considers voting irregularities, including making arrests. Executive power can be directly used to decide if voters and votes are valid and if county approval of the vote count is valid, to target voter registration drives, etc.
Florida law enforcement agencies, local election officials and state prosecutors already have the power to enforce Florida election laws. The election police DeSantis wants would take matters out of their hands and put it in the hands of the Governor. Florida's Secretary of State, who would administer the police force, is appointed by the Governor.
The election police could probe allegations of voter fraud in the state as well as take over other law enforcement agencies' investigations. DeSantis could also have this new force investigate election officers and "conduct proactive information gathering and investigations to identify and prevent potential election law violations or election irregularities." Wesley Wilcox, a Republican who runs elections in Marion County, in central Florida, said he was taken aback by what he called the "tough" wording in the law and that it made county officials look like the "bad guys." Broward County (Miami area) Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott said, "It sounds like they are going to focus on grassroots organizations -- the type of organizations that go out and do voter registration drives."
DeSantis says his proposal will "provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will matter." This is in the context of the widespread consciousness among the people that U.S. elections are not "free and fair" in a system designed to keep the rich in power and the people out, including by blocking the right to vote. The votes of almost half of those eligible are not counted because they are unable to register and many of those who are registered are blocked through numerous other means.
The new election police are a tool to increase executive power over elections while intimidating and criminalizing voters in conditions where voter fraud, in Florida and elsewhere across the country, is almost non-existent. Fraud by officials, on the other hand, is well-known, whether it is arbitrarily removing voters from the rolls, often on a racist basis, closing or moving polling places on Election Day, imposing arbitrary requirements to register, and more.
DeSantis is among those proposing additional laws for stricter voter ID requirements for voting by mail and restrictions on ballot drop boxes, both widely used in COVID conditions. The drawing of district voting lines is another means to discount votes and favour either Democrats or Republicans. Along with his election police force, DeSantis is proposing a district map that favours Republicans and weakens the Black vote, for example.
Greater executive power and use of police powers to criminalize voters, whether at the state or federal level, is solving no problem -- while in the eyes of the people it further confirms that those in power now are unfit to govern.
Washington State recently conducted a review of mail-in ballots for the 2020 election. The state auditor's office found that some counties were more likely to reject the mail-in ballots of Black people, Latinos and younger voters compared to other demographics. A far larger number of people used mail-in ballots given COVID conditions.
The audit determined that mail-in ballots belonging to Black voters were thrown out four times as often as those of white voters. Such rejections disqualified one out of every 40 mail-in votes from Black people. The cause for every rejection was a problematic signature. Rejection rates were higher for Indigenous peoples, Latinos, and Asian and Pacific Islander voters, as well. (A signature is required whenever an individual registers and is then included as part of the voter rolls to verify identity.)
The audit also determined that "where a person lives was the most significant factor to whether their election ballot was rejected." Mail-in ballots submitted to certain counties were four to seven times more likely to face rejection than those submitted to others. Election officials are well aware of the segregated nature of U.S. cities and which zip codes have larger numbers of Black people or Puerto Ricans, or Mexican Americans and so forth.
According to Washington State election officials, the rejection rates were not "intentional." One wonders then how it happens that those who have long been targeted for voter repression are the ones most impacted.
Officials said the signatures were either missing or were said to "not match" the one on file. In either case there are immediate remedies, such as providing a temporary or provisional ballot until the voter can be contacted. Such ballots are kept separate and counted on verification. In some cases, they are only counted in close elections, also after verification.
According to officials, the problem with rejected signatures could be the result of "voter inexperience, language problems or other factors." They can also be the result of officials manipulating the rolls or not keeping proper records of the voter and their signature.
The signatures, and arbitrary ability to reject them, along with the many other requirements for registering and voting, are yet more means to keep people from voting or to keep their votes from being counted. It is also the case that while counties have the main responsibility, the Secretary of State of each state has the power to arbitrarily eliminate names from the rolls, as has been done repeatedly in states such as Florida, Ohio and elsewhere. The false claim is made by officials that the person is dead, or a felon, or has moved, etc., always targeting Black and Latino voters, and the person does not even know until they attempt to vote.
Many are calling for the need for
a signature to be eliminated, as a record already exists of
person is registered and whether they have voted in a given
Indeed, the demand is for an independent election commission to
established to take responsibility for providing and maintaining
of all eligible voters, eliminating registration and the
unequal situation that exists now with each state determining
and state officials readily able to manipulate the rolls on a
(Photo: A. Azikiwe)
End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba!
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the United States' criminal blockade against Cuba. Last February 3, President Díaz-Canel reaffirmed his demand for the lifting of the blockade against Cuba. He stated: "The Revolutionary Government, on behalf of the Cuban people, emphatically demands the end of the blockade imposed by the United States. Our denunciation will remain firm and invariable until this inhumane and illegal policy ceases."
Executive Order 3447, signed by then U.S. President John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962, formalized the U.S. actions against the emerging Cuban Revolution, which after its triumph three years earlier, had to deal with undercover operations and the mercenary invasion of Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) in 1961, an invasion which was soundly defeated by the Cuban people under the direct leadership of Fidel on the battlefield. This policy has been intensified and strengthened during these six decades with measures such as the Torricelli (1992) and Helms-Burton (1996) Acts. In the last five years, the U.S. has strengthened the blockade against Cuba by adopting more than 240 unilateral coercive measures, 55 of which were approved during the pandemic. The current U.S. administration maintains and expands the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba while promoting campaigns of international discredit and internal destabilization, such as those seen last summer.
Far from acting from a position of strength, the U.S. is completely isolated in its criminal efforts against Cuba, as for 29 consecutive years, the international community within the United Nations' General Assembly has voted almost unanimously to lift the blockade. In spite of the fact that the declared intention of Executive Order 3447 was to provoke hunger and discouragement within the Cuban population and to overthrow its government, to this day the U.S. who, along with Israel, votes against the UN resolution, still resorts to its worn-out phrases about "respect for human rights." It is becoming increasingly clear for everyone that, if anything, the blockade undermines the Cuban people's well-being and their human rights. Even as the Cubans developed their own vaccines to fight the pandemic, the blockade made it extremely difficult to have access to certain medical components for their production. In the spirit of working tirelessly to ensure the well-being of the people, and with dynamic health, research and scientific institutions -- yet another legacy of Fidel -- the Cuban people overcame this obstacle.
Cuba also has the support of the world's people and friendly and commercial relations with nations around the world. One of the aspects of the blockade is precisely that the U.S. interferes in the sovereign affairs of other countries, such as Canada, dictating to them with whom they should or should not do business, threatening them with financial sanctions.
For the past sixty years, every step of the way, the Cuban people and their Revolutionary government have fought to overcome the various problems facing them, in spite of the blockade. It is hard to imagine the extent of what the Cuban people will accomplish in all fields once the weight of the U.S. blockade is lifted once and for all.
End the Criminal Blockade Against Cuba!
It Is the
Basic Human Right of the Cuban People to Decide Their Own Fate
Without Foreign Interference!
Ottawa-Cuba Connections, CUPET)
The parliamentary petition (e-3640) against the U.S. Economic War and Blockade of Cuba officially closed Saturday, February 26 at 8:31 am. The petition initiated by the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) is sponsored by Niki Ashton, member of Canada's parliament for the federal constituency of Churchill--Keewatinook Aski in the province of Manitoba.
Despite a relentless anti-Cuba disinformation campaign by various media outlets, especially the CBC, the petition successfully garnered 1,732 supporters.
The petition's first marker of success is reaching the required 500 signatures, compelling the Government of Canada to issue an official response.
Once the Clerk of Petition has certified that there are 500 valid signatures, the petition will then be presented to the House of Commons. Upon being presented, the Government must respond in 45 days.
The second marker is surpassing the anti-Cuba petition (e-3573), which closed on December 18, 2021 with a total of 700 signatures. This was achieved despite support of well-funded reactionary forces and sections of the Canada elite, who threw their weight behind the malicious anti-Cuba campaign.
Central to the CNC's petition was the call for the Government of Canada to take specific steps in opposing U.S. attacks on the heroic island nation and ensure that Ottawa's policy and relations with Cuba do not mirror or follow Washington's diktat.
It bears underscoring that the CNC petition builds on the success of the previous petition (e-3456) that was launched in 2021 during the last parliamentary session when 3,375 citizens and residents of Canada emphatically demanded an end to the U.S. economic siege and blockade of Cuba.
Thousands of Canadians signed both petitions, declaring that Cuba is not alone in condemning Washington's economic war and campaign of subversion.
Canadians are sending a powerful and unambiguous message to Ottawa.
As we await the government's response, it is abundantly clear and undeniable that Canadians have a profound respect and admiration for the people of Cuba. Irrespective of their political or ideological positions, Canadians stand for the building of genuine friendship with the island nation: relations based on mutual respect, equality, and recognition of Cuba's right to self-determination and sovereignty.
sí, bloqueo no!
No to the U.S. War on Cuba!
Co-Chair and Spokesperson
Canadian Network On Cuba
If the U.S. Government Cares
Opinion of the United Nations General Assembly,
it Should End its Blockade of Cuba!
Cuba solidarity picket,
Kingston, Jamaica, February 28, 2022.
If the U.S. government cares about the opinion of the United Nations General Assembly, it should end its blockade of Cuba! On March 2, following the UN General Assembly vote by 141 for, five against, 35 abstentions and 12 non-participating, to condemn Russia's military action in Ukraine and call for its immediate ending, U.S. officials stepped forward to commend the stand of the General Assembly. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared that "the world has spoken with a clear, united voice," while President Joe Biden stated that "Russia stood isolated."
With these words, the leaders of the U.S. try to create the impression that the opinion of the United Nations General Assembly matters to them. But this is clearly not the case when it comes to the illegal and criminal blockade that the U.S. has maintained against Cuba for the last 60 years.
In fact, for the last 29 consecutive years, the United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly spoken with a clear, united voice to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba and demand that the U.S. lift it. At the last such vote, on June 23, 2021, the U.S. stood even more isolated than Russia in the Ukraine vote, with 184 votes in favour of the motion calling for the lifting of the blockade, two votes against, three abstentions and four non-participants. However, the U.S.A. has showed that it has no respect for the opinion of the UN General Assembly by completely ignoring all its votes calling for the lifting of the criminal blockade.
The Cuban government has pointed out that the illegal blockade is part of a policy of siege and economic suffocation aimed at inflicting suffering on the Cuban people in order to incite them against the Cuban government. The blockade has evolved into the most complex, prolonged and inhumane act of economic warfare committed against any nation and it constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people. It qualifies as an act of genocide under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In the 60 years of the economic blockade, it has inflicted over U.S.$144 billion in damages to the Cuban people and their economy.
The U.S. should end its hypocritical approach towards the opinion of the UN General Assembly and heed the calls of this body to end its illegal blockade against Cuba and her people.
Lift the Blockade and Let Cuba Live!
(See online: Caribbean Network for Solidarity with Cuba)
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