A Russian army officer helps armored personnel carrier in Sevastopol, Ukraine's Black Sea Port. The United States supported fascist coup is raising tensions within the region., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Crimea, democracy and responsibility
The West, as usual, has painted itself into a corner by instigating a movement it did not understand or know how to control, a movement that predictably turned into a monster rejected by so many of its "citizens". Now how democratic is it to state that the result of a free and fair referendum will not be tolerated?
The involvement of the west in the Putsch which overthrew Viktor Yanukovich is very clear to see, even at the level of personnel protesting in EuroMaidan (Independence Square) in Kiev, principally at the level of financing and advice behind the scenes from the famous NGOs (sorry, "agencies"). As usual, the west recognized the "new Government" in a predictable show of force for what?
For a start, the Putsch which placed Oleksandr Turchynov as Interim "President" was unconstitutional because the entire process did not follow the norms established under the Ukrainian Constitution. Many deputies of the Party of Regions were not present in parliament, there was multiple voting using absentee members' cards (illegal under reforms brought in by Yanukovich), so the Parliament did not have the Constitutional right to oust the Prime Minister and sack the judges of the Constitutional Court, the two legal bodies which had the powers to perform the substitution process, under four conditions, none of which were present. In any case, the coercion, threats of violence and murder against deputies during the process must surely render it void, even if all the norms of the Constitution were followed (in the event none of them were). Obama knows this, Cameron knows this, Hollande knows this.
Therefore any claim that a process of independence or autonomy following a referendum in Crimea is void because it is anti-Constitutional, is equally void when the "Government" of Ukraine itself is anti-Constitutional. And since the Government of Ukraine at present is not Constitutionally based, then any norms governing any new declaration of deliberation by the Parliament of the Republic of Crimea (a Republic within Southern Ukraine) regarding independence, are meaningless. Currently, Article 135 of the Ukrainian Constitution dictates that any Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.
Let us move on to the other argument, that a Referendum does not a country make. And now let us ask a question. When Britain uses a referendum on nationhood in the Falkland Islands, when it declares that ninety-nine per cent of the Falkland Islanders voted in a referendum to remain a British territory and not become an Argentinian one, where are the dissenting voices among the NATO countries now howling in disdain over Ukraine?
So, if a referendum serves London and its allies to dictate the status of the Falklands Isles, how come the situation is suddenly different when it comes to Crimea? If the process is void in one place, then what is the point of holding it in another and using it as a political justification for status and policy?
Let us then see the west's reaction to the most open and clear demonstration and manifestation of democracy, a collective will, shown in a referendum which is not only free and fair but which also garners massive public support. We see that the west is happy to use the word and notion of democracy in its carrot-and-stick modus operandi as it panders to the whims of the banking, weapons, drugs and energy lobbies which pull the strings of the politicians around whom they close ranks.
Yet when democracy, real democracy, is on the other side, the west cries blue murder and states that a referendum (a massive demonstration of public will) is insignificant. For the west, as we have seen time and time again, public will is indeed insignificant, as is its word and the promises it makes.
It comes as no surprise therefore to learn that the west was quick to shake hands with the "new Government" of Ukraine, which includes a deputy secretary of the Council for National Security who has allegedly boasted about links to al-Qaeda, the same one who fought alongside Chechen terrorists against Russia; it includes Right Sector Fascists who worship the Third Reich; it includes officers trained in the USA; it includes founders of the Ukrainian National Socialist (Nazi) Party.
And Obama, Cameron, Kerry and Hague take sides with this motley bunch and against a collective expression of will through a referendum? That speaks volumes about their own stance regarding democracy and paints their political epitaphs, does it not?
Russia, on the other hand, has acted within the law and is simply protecting the rights of ethnic Russians in a country now run by Fascists, and the first thing they did was to demote Russian language and culture as part of their new policy. After the kidnappings, rapes, murder and torture carried out by Fascist thugs against ethnic Russians in Kiev and western Ukraine, what was Russia supposed to do? Stand back and watch?
Ukraine jumped the gun by staging a Putsch, the west jumped the gun by instigating it and by recognizing Fascists and terrorists as Government, knowing that the shootings in Kiev were perpetrated by snipers who were firing at the police and at the protesters, to blame the police. If anyone has to be punished for recklessness, it is the "new Government" of Ukraine and its western supporters. The price? The Crimea. If it stops there, a shot will not have been fired.