Sunday, March 9, 2014

What’s Really Going On: Bahrain vs. Ukraine, Can You Spot the Difference?

I. Introduction

What amazes me is that sane intelligent people have become hysterical by consuming western mainstream media propaganda designed to divert our attention away from the root cause of what ails our society.

For example, with the Ukrainian crisis shock doctrine tactics are being used to bombard us into a frenzy, the ultimate purpose for which is to distract us from the great game: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (2, 3), our economy’s addiction to indefinite growth, the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street (2), the resource wars, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the geography of energy pipelines, the misconception of American exceptionalism and how it influences our foreign policy specifically on how it relates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the significance of war being a racket (2), and the inverted totalitarian nature of our governments waging war on information (2, 3).

To have a better understanding of what all this is about, below you will find a brief summary of what’s been going on in two major conflict zones, Bahrain and Ukraine. Can you spot the difference?

II. Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a monarchy which has been ruled by the al-Khalifa dynasty since 1783. The present king is Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and he rules the country with an iron fist. He was molded for this position, receiving training from the “British Army at Mons Officer Cadet School at Aldershot in Hampshire” and the “United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas” where he acquired a “degree in leadership” [sic].

In 2011, when faced with a mass popular peaceful uprising from the majority Shia population demanding equality and freedom, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa decided to brutally suppress the protests; injuring, killing, and kidnapping countless people in the process. Some news reports even cited it as ‘genocide’.
“At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain's police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict….

“Many of the doctors, aged from 33 to 65, have been ‘disappeared’ – held incommunicado or at undisclosed locations. Their families do not know where they are. Nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff have also been detained.”
When it became evident that if this unrest continued the al-Khalifa dynasty might lose their 220 year old strangle hold on the nation and that king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa might be deposed, a request for assistance was make to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE, who in turn sent in their militaries to quell the protests.

Poets, activists, artists, children, lawyers, journalists, doctors, nurses, writers, musicians, along with countless others have been and continue to be imprisoned. Some have even been sentenced to jail for listening to music not approved by the regime. The brutality of the totalitarian nature of this kingdom has gone as far as passing a new law that makes ‘offending’ the King of Bahrain “punishable by up to 7 years in prison.”
“Offending King Hamad can now result in up to seven years in prison, Bahrain announced Tuesday. The news comes just days before the third anniversary of the Shiite-led, Arab Spring-inspired protests against the kingdom’s Sunni monarchy….

“Bahrain convicted and jailed two activists for one and four months, respectively, in 2012 for Twitter comments that supposedly insulted King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Social media comments are included in the new edict.”
Most of western mainstream media has chosen self-censorship, refusing to expose the brutality of this regime. Western mainstream media’s coverage of Bahrain has been so benign that “the regime in Bahrain often openly trumpets the hagiographical treatment it receives”, which is evident by CNN’s international arm’s decision not to air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression:
“Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.

“It is CNN International that is, by far, the most-watched English-speaking news outlet in the Middle East. By refusing to broadcast ‘iRevolution’, the network's executives ensured it was never seen on television by Bahrainis or anyone else in the region.”
Bahrain portion of iRevolution on CNN June 19 2011 (Amber Lyon)

By the way, did I mention that at the time that these protests were taking place, “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived… on an unannounced visit to [Bahrain to] offer American support to the royal family”, and that the “U.S. [was] actively feeding that regime new weapons” (2), and that the United States has a large military base in Bahrain that they have operated since 1971, and that “in 2010, the Navy embarked on a five-year, $580-million project to expand the base, proposing to essentially double the size of the current 62-acre facility”?
During a visit to Bahrain “US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the United States would not abandon the region. ‘Although the Department of Defense is facing serious budget constraints, we will continue to prioritize our commitments in the [Persian] Gulf, while making sure that our military capabilities evolve to meet new threats,’ he said.”

click image to enlarge - source

Just to help put things into perspective, the following two maps show the approximate locations of U.S. Military Bases in South-Central Asia and the Middle East, and some of the Existing and Proposed Oil and Gas Pipelines. Additional maps for this set providing a lot more information available at: “Target is Still Iran: Clear Cutting the Middle East and the Coming Blood Bath (Mapping World War III)”.

click map to enlarge - source

click map to enlarge - source

It’s very important to keep in mind that the protests in Bahrain were and continue to be largely peaceful, and that no delegates from any other country have ever appeared in support of the protesters at any of the locations where demonstrations have been taking place.

Now let’s take a look at Ukraine.

III. Ukraine

Ukraine is a “unitary state composed of 24 oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Crimea) and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital and largest city and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches.”

It is widely accepted that Ukraine has been ruled by oligarchs for a very long time, the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was removed from power by the Ukrainian parliament in February 2014, being one of the most prominent.

We can pick up the Ukraine story in 2004 from the Orange Revolution, or from the 2008–09 Ukrainian financial crisis brought about by Wall Street shenanigans followed by an IMF bail-out (2), or in 2010 when Ukraine passed a law “against joining military alliances such as NATO”, or from 2013 when China decided to buy 3 million hectares of Ukrainian farmland, or we could even go back as far as 1954 when the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic:
“On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimean Oblast from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The transfer of the Crimean Oblast to Ukraine has been described as a ‘symbolic gesture,’ marking the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Russian Empire. The General Secretary of the Communist Party in Soviet Union was at the time the Ukranian Nikita Khrushchev.”
How about we pick up the story from 21 November 2013, with this latest round of unrest; Dubbed Euromaidan, the protests began in response to a sector of the public “demanding closer European integration” through a trade agreement with the EU which the Ukrainian government had decided to reject.

The agreement was a modified version of the same deal that the EU had offered Armenia, which Armenia also rejected, since the government and the majority of Armenians realized that it was a bad deal. To find out how bad this offer was all we have to do is look at why Armenia also ended up rejecting the offer.

In September 2013, Armenia called off an Armenia-EU Association Agreement after they found out that the trade deal was not really about easing trade restrictions with the EU but about screwing over Russia, and themselves by extension (emphasis added):
“The apparently smooth progress towards a final deal came to a shuddering halt in early September, when President Serzh Sargsyan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and announced plans to join another economic bloc, the Moscow-led Customs Union. Membership of the grouping, which currently includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakstan, would require Armenia to adopt a different set of trade tariffs and agreements which EU officials say are not compatible with the Association Agreement.

“Despite this, President Sargsyan says Customs Union membership would not conflict with the EU accord, which he argues could be uncoupled from the DCFTA.

“‘Armenia is ready even now to sign an Association Agreement with the EU,’ Sargsyan said in a question-and-answer session after addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 2. ‘Sadly, our partners in the European Commission have said there is a clear contradiction between the Customs Union and the agreement on a free trade zone.… We have suggested that we could sign just the Association Agreement, which mainly covers political reforms.’….

“‘There has recently been a lot of talk about the civilisational choice facing members of the Eastern Partnership initiative. We have always stated that we don’t believe it’s right to view the issue in those terms.’”
What the EU wanted Armenia and Ukraine to do is equivalent to telling someone that they can come over and play at your house as long as they are willing to permanently tell the rest of their family to fuck off! Insanity!

This rejection by Yanukovych’s administration did not sit well with Eurocentrics, western oligarchs, Euromaidan’s core protesters, the EU, or the United States government. So, the protests turned violent as did the oppression by government forces, which in turn kicked off what is now being referred to as the 2014 Ukrainian revolution which has brought about the ascension of Oleksandr Turchynov and Arseniy Yatsenyuk to power, as President and Prime minister respectively; Yatsenyuk being the person that the U.S.’s top diplomat in Europe, Victoria Nuland, and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine had agreed would be the best person to rule Ukraine:
"The two officials also discuss frankly the merits of the three main Ukrainian opposition leaders - Vitaly Klitschko, Arseniy Yatseniuk and Oleh Tyahnybok. The female speaker [Victoria Nuland] says that Mr Klitschko, the former heavyweight boxing world champion, should not be in any new government. 'I don't think it's a good idea.' She adds: 'I think Yats (Arseniy Yatseniuk) is the guy who's got the economic experience.'"
Марионетки Майдана (Marionettes of Maidan)

Further information on what was being discussed in the above leaked telephone conversation through the following video in which the spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Jen Psaki, is grilled with questions on why the United States is, in essence, conducting a coup d'état, planning a regime change in Ukraine:
“What I’d do is not have USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy working with U.S. taxpayers’ money to knock off an elected government in Ukraine, which is what they did. I wouldn’t try to force the people of Ukraine into a deal with NATO against their interest or into a deal with the European Union, which is against their economic interest.” - Dennis Kucinich.
State Dept. Psaki grilled over leaked ' F**k the EU ' tape - Russia leaked it

This, of course, did not end with simple words. Western oligarchs, one of whom was John McCain, were involved in supporting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine (2):
“We watched today what is going on from the Eastern Europe. Europe parliamentarians are coming to Kiev demonstrating and even camping. Polish parliamentarians are camping in Kiev in Maidan, main square of Kiev city.

“And so yesterday Russian TV showed John McCain arrival to Kiev and he brought with him some luggage, diplomatic luggage, eight big bags: one of them only was set for ... [his] diplomatic car and the seven other big bags were placed in Ukrainian cars and they said that it is money. Huge amount of money brought to spread, to support opposition.

“I asked where is international law? How is it possible to intervene in such ugly way in the internal disturbed situation in Ukraine?

“Money, money and all this was spread [among opposition] and made based on huge amounts...

“So I think that not Russian intervention but European, American intervention, direct appearance in demonstrations, appearance among oppositions, take and flow, making some speeches, encouraging for revolution.

“That I can say, I as a former diplomatic, my job, I cannot even imagine such kind of behaviors are suitable for current international law...”
Victoria Nuland Admits: US Has Invested $5 Billion In The Development of Ukrainian, "Democratic Institutions"
- Please note the Exxon Mobil and Chevron logos flanking Victoria Nuland on the podium -

As for what’s currently unfolding in Ukraine? The situation is dynamic: there is an “anti-Russian revolutionary government in power in Kiev”, “Russia has taken control of Crimea”, Canada’s Stephen Harper is comparing “Russia’s Crimea moves to Third Reich aggression” [sic], Crimea's parliament has voted to join Russia (2), the United States is threatening Russia with sanctions (2) and accusing Russia of a “breach of international law”, Russia is close to calling in a $2 billion Ukraine gas debt (2), some are calling this a new Cold War (2, 3, 4), and video and testimonials have surfaced that indicate the snipers that were assassinating people during the protests were hired by Maidan leaders (2, 3, 4, 5, 6):
The first day when there was killing, out of the 28 people dead, nine were police. I mean, it’s not normal in these demonstrations, when one side opens fire, and it’s usually the police, but nine of their own people die. So one was always suspicious, at the beginning.

“But from this phone call that you just played, it seems that almost all the snipers were from the opposition side, which is a terrible indictment of their behavior, and also of the—most of the foreign media, which have completely suppressed this phone call, and of Western governments, who have made no reference to it. I mean, to their credit, the new authorities in Kiev claim that they’re going to have an investigation of the sniper issue, but I’ve not heard John Kerry or David Cameron coming out publicly and saying, ‘That’s a very good idea, and these are very disturbing suggestions.’”
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone: Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders - leaked EU's Ashton phone tape
(conversation begins at approximately 2 minutes into the video)

As for what all this is about, as Pepe Escobar, “the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia”, states:
“In a nutshell; Washington’s bipartisan Ukraine policy has always been anti-Moscow. That implies regime change whenever necessary. As the European Union (EU), geopolitically, is nothing but an annex to NATO, what matters is NATO extending its borders to the Ukraine. Or at least Western Ukraine – which would be a valuable consolation prize.

“This is a purely military-centric game – the logic of the whole mechanism ultimately decided in Washington, not in Brussels. It’s about NATO expansion, not ‘democracy’. When neo-con State Department functionary Victoria Nuland had her 15 seconds of fame recently, what she actually meant was ‘We’re NATO, F**k the EU.’ No wonder there will be an urgent NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, centered on Ukraine.

“No one will ever read that in US corporate media – or in academia for that matter. Harvard Professor Francis Boyle talking to Voice of Russia, or Princeton’s Stephen Cohen in a recent article for the Nation, are glaring exceptions.

“Every informed analyst knows the mastermind of this ‘policy’, since the 1970s, is Zbigniew ‘The Grand Chessboard’ Brzezinski. Dr. Zbig was US President Barack Obama’s mentor at Columbia and is the Talleyrand of the Obama administration’s foreign policy machine.”
The Expansion of NATO

As for what will happen when the dust settles, Pepe Escobar does have some predictions:
“Ukraine is slouching towards federalization. The Kiev regime-changers will have no say on autonomous Crimea - which most certainly will remain part of Ukraine (and Russia by the way will save $90 million in annual rent for the Sevastopol base, which until now was payable to Kiev.)

“The endgame is all but written; Moscow controls an autonomous Crimea for free, and the US/EU ‘control’, or try to plunder, disaster capitalism-style, a back of beyond western Ukraine wasteland ‘managed’ by a bunch of Western puppets and oligarchs, with a smatter of neo-nazis.

“So what is the Obama/Kerry strategic master duo to do? Start a nuclear war?”
Below you will find four maps that should help in providing further information on what some of this chaos may be all about: First is an Ethnolinguistical map of Ukraine (excluding minorities), and the next three are maps of pipelines connecting Russia to the EU.

click image to enlarge - source

click image to enlarge - source

click image to enlarge - source

click image to enlarge - source

IV. The Point

What would the discourse in the United States be if western mainstream media used their resources to investigate the feasibility of U.S. foreign policy; spending billions of dollars overtly and countless billions covertly to overthrow democratically elected governments across the globe? Would the citizens of the United States continue to point their fingers at other nations, and demand the overthrow of those corrupt governments, or would they look inward, and question the overwhelmingly opulent life of their own leaders? What would the world look like if those responsible for so much chaos, death and destruction were brought to justice? Will we ever see that day?

Bill Hicks - It's Just A Ride


  1. "the majority Shia population" Would you be kind and links us the survey or studies that show this as a fact?

    1. Sure. Here is the quote from wiki, and I've now added a link to the article so you can go to it directly:

      > "The state religion of Bahrain is Islam and most Bahraini citizens are Muslim. There are no official figures for the proportion of Shia and Sunni among the Muslims of Bahrain, but approximately 66-70% percent of Bahraini Muslims are Shias.[208][209][210][211]"

  2. Ukraine Moves to Retake Eastern Cities; Russia Accuses U.S. Firm of Secret Role - "Russia’s foreign ministry claims Ukraine’s forces in the east have been joined by both right-wing nationalists and U.S. mercenaries from the private military firm Greystone. Greystone is affiliated with the private security firm Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, which has previously denied accusations its staff are working in Ukraine."

  3. Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine - "From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine"

  4. Ukraine crisis: dozens killed in Odessa fire as violence spreads to country's south - "Witnesses described how the pro-Russians were overwhelmed and forced back to the trade union building, where they attempted to make a final stand before the building caught fire."

  5. Interview 881 – Rick Rozoff Calls Out the NATO Warmongers - Podcast, James Corbett - "Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO International breaks down the history of NATO’s global partnership program, its decades-long build-up in Eastern Europe, the people and organizations in whom the fate of the world is increasingly hanging in the balance..."