Media Scoundrels on Sham Ukrainian Elections
by Stephen Lendman
Their comments didn’t surprise. They supported sham Ukrainian elections. Throughout the run-up, voting and aftermath.
They endorse sham US ones. They pretend fantasy democracy is real. They do it every time. Unapologetically. With a straight face.
The New York Times headlined “Election of President Seen as Beginning to Repairing Ukraine,” saying:
Some Ukrainians called Sunday’s election “the triumphant culmination of six months of protests and at times violent upheaval.”
The Times claimed many people believe Ukraine is different than earlier. With “systemic government reforms.” With “more on the way.”
Citing unnamed “analysts” claiming unidentified “civic activists, combined with pressure from… International Monetary Fund demand(s) in exchange for…emergency financing…set Ukraine on a course…past…post-Soviet…corruption and mismanagement.”
Unnamed “experts” were cited. “(I)mportant changes” were made, they claimed. Raising gas prices, The Times noted. It called it a step “experts” urged for years.
Fact: Most Ukrainians are impoverished.
Fact: Many deeply.
Fact: Millions more heading for destitution.
Fact: IMF loan sharks demand bankers get paid first.
Fact: Then other major investors.
Fact: Debt service matters most.
Fact: Force-fed austerity is mandated.
Fact: When Ukrainians need help most of all.
Fact: Residual amounts pay depleted bureaucrat ranks.
Fact: Those not sacked get poverty or sub-poverty wages.
Fact: Without benefits, hugely reduced ones, or too few to matter.
Fact: With virtually nothing for ordinary Ukrainians longterm.
Fact: Kiev putschists increased gas prices 50% starting May 1.
Fact: Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz hiked them 40% more beginning July 1.
Fact: It promised further stiff increases ahead.
Fact: At the same time, Ukraine’s central bank began limiting currency interventions.
Fact: Since January 1, Ukraine’s hryvnia currency lost over one-fourth of its dollar value.
Fact: It may end up worthless.
Fact: Expect more deterioration ahead.
Fact: Pensioner income was halved.
Fact: It went from $160 to $80 dollars monthly.
Fact: Other social benefit cuts were made.
Fact: More coming.
Fact: Ordinary Ukrainians are hit hardest.
Fact: Kommersant-Ukraine (K-U) obtained an internal document.
Fact: “The Finance Ministry has prepared a plan for optimizing budget expenditures, which implies budget sequestration is to be in force before the end of March,” said K-U.
Fact: “For this purpose, in particular, it has been proposed to reduce capital costs, eliminate tax schemes and preferences and to cut social benefits, for example, 50 percent of pensions to working pensioners.”
Fact: At the same time, plans are to plunder Ukraine.
Fact: Hollow out its economy.
Fact: Sell its state enterprises at fire sale prices.
Fact: Sack growing thousands of its workers.
Fact: Eliminate its trade unions altogether.
Fact: Crack down hard on nonbelievers.
Fact: A race to the bottom defines official policy.
Fact: Hunger and homelessness are increasing.
Fact: So is human misery.
Fact: Popular needs don’t matter.
Fact: Fascist regimes operate this way.
Fact: Don’t expect Times correspondents, contributors or editors to explain.
Fact: Editorial policy defends the indefensible.
Washington Post editors bash Putin irresponsibly. “Will the West move the goalposts again for” him they asked?
Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “warned that disruption of Ukraine’s election by Russia would trigger a tough new round of sanctions by the West.”
They expanded “what (they) meant by ‘disruption…’ ” They said it’s “not just whether “Moscow’s agents tried to stop voting, but whether the government of Vladimir Putin tried to prevent such interference.”
Voting included “substantial disruption(s).” In “two (Eastern) provinces…”
“(W)here Moscow’s agents tried to stop voting,” they claimed.
Where Vladimir Putin did nothing “to prevent such interference,” they said.
“(N)o voting (was) possible” in most Donetsk and Lugansk districts.
“Ukrainian security forces (were) ambushed.” Kiev “election commissions (were) abducted and threatened.”
“There’s little question among Ukrainian government officials and Western diplomats in Kiev that Russia is backing the separatists and has done nothing to stop their interference.”
“Yet US and German officials…again (moved) the goalposts.” They “justif(ied) retreat by (saying voting) will proceed smoothly in the rest of the country.”
Noting Putin “hinted he would accept the results. The bottom line is that Mr. Putin could come out of the election having kept alive the separatist movement…”
“(W)ithout suffering economic consequences.” Giving “Moscow de facto suzerainty over the eastern provinces…”
“(A) power to block any move by Ukraine toward the West.”
WaPo called it “lapse of Western resolve.”
Fact: It bears repeating.
Fact: Ukraine’s sham electoral process was farcical.
Fact: It had no legitimacy whatever.
Fact: So-called Eastern Ukrainian “substantial disruption(s)” reflect freedom fighting in action.
Fact: For fundamental human and civil rights everyone deserves.
Fact: For what warrants universal support.
Fact: So-called “Moscow agents” don’t exist.
Fact: Ukrainian freedom fighters acted on their own volition.
Fact: No evidence suggested otherwise.
Fact: None whatever.
Fact: They’re not separatists.
Fact: They’re not militants.
Fact: They’re ordinary people wanting to live free.
Fact: Most Donetsk and Lugansk residents reject Kiev putschists.
Fact: They refused to vote.
Fact: Ballot choices excluded democratic ones.
Fact: Fascists or sympathizers alone competed.
Fact: Putin “hinted” nothing.
Fact: He was clear and unequivocal.
Fact: “We understand that the people of Ukraine want their country to emerge from this crisis,” he said.
Fact: “We will treat their choice with respect.”
Fact: “We are today working with those people who control the government, and after the election we will of course work with the newly elected authorities.”
Fact: He urged peaceful conflict resolution.
Fact: He stressed “constructive dialogue.”
Fact: He made no demands or ultimatums.
Fact: He urged mutual respect.
Fact: He supports unity.
Fact: He opposes separatism.
Fact: He has no Ukrainian territorial ambitions.
Fact: Or anywhere else.
Fact: Claims about him wanting Russia’s empire restored don’t wash.
Fact: He called making them “a tool in the (anti-Russian) information war.”
Fact: “People are trying to label us as such, that we’re trying to restore the empire, the Soviet Union, to bring everybody under our influence. But this is totally inaccurate,” he said.
Fact: Ukrainian security forces wage war without mercy.
Fact: On ordinary Donestsk and Lugansk civilians.
Fact: Notions of heavily armed troops being “ambushed” are sheer nonsense.
Fact: Or claims about “threaten(ing)” and “abduct(ing)” them.
Fact: Or saying Putin backs separatists and does nothing to stop them.
Fact: Or suggesting he’s in any way involved.
Fact: So-called goalpost retreat claims reflect WaPo editors neocon credentials.
Fact: They’re militantly hardline.
Fact: They support war.
Fact: They deplore peace.
Fact: They reject diplomatic conflict resolutions.
Fact: They prefer belligerent ones.
The Wall Street Journal headlined “Ukraine Seeks to Regain Stability as Voters Head to the Polls.”
“In Donetsk, hundreds of heavily armed pro-Russia rebels paraded in front of a crowd of about 2,000 to underscore the power they hold there,” it said.
“The rebel insurgency has left dozens of people dead and transformed much of the country’s southeast into a conflict zone.”
Fact: Journal comments were milder than their usual militancy.
Fact: Perhaps a Monday editorial follow-up will talk tough. Perhaps it’ll make up for what its election day report lacked.
Fact: So-called “heavily armed pro-Russia rebels” use hand-held light ones.
Fact: They’re no match against Ukrainian tanks, APCs, artillery, mortars, attack helicopters and fixed wing warplanes.
Fact: They reject fascist rule.
Fact: Most prefer Ukrainian unity.
Fact: They want local autonomy.
Fact: They want Ukraine federalized.
Fact: They want the right to elect their own officials.
Fact: They reject having them appointed.
Fact: Doing so denies their democratic rights.
Fact: Washington bears full responsibility.
Fact: It turned their regions into conflict zones.
Fact: It elevated illegitimate fascist putschists to power.
Fact: They launched war without mercy.
Fact: They did so against freedom-fighting Ukrainians.
Fact: They acted at Obama’s behest.
Fact: Don’t expect Journal correspondents, contributors or editors to explain.
Fact: They in lockstep with longstanding US policy.
Fact: Imperial lawlessness reflects it.
Fact: Ukraine is in the eye of the storm.
Fact: It’s Obama’s latest imperial trophy.
Fact: Holding it is another matter entirely.
Fact: Ukrainian freedom fighters may have final say.
Fact: Perhaps if they stay the course.
Fact: If their will to win remains indomitable.
Fact: If growing thousands more Ukrainians join them.
Fact: If freedom fighting protests spread nationwide.
Fact: If they’re sustained.
Fact: Organized people can beat organized money.
Fact: Perhaps Ukrainian freedom fighters will become role models.
Fact: Perhaps for activists everywhere.
Fact: Perhaps they’ll inspire resistance too strong to beat.
Fact: Perhaps real change is possible.
It bears repeating. The fullness of time will tell.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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