Today (March 20, 2014) US President Barack Obama has extended the sanctions against Russia, introduced earlier by an executive order declaring “a national emergency” in view of the “actions and policies of persons — including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine – that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.” This order blocks all property and interests in the United States that belong to individuals under sanction, suspends entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of such persons, prohibits any type of donations to or benefitting such persons, and even forbids “any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order.”
Section 10 of the order eliminates the possibility of challenging these sanctions in any court:
This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Thus, the US president has essentially authorized the extrajudicial expropriation of any foreign-owned property located within the territory of the United States. This executive order is unprecedented. Never before has the United States introduced sanctions against individuals who have peacefully exercised their right to self-determination, as vested in them by the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Ironically, in July 2009 the United States officially stated in a reference to the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo:
The legal principle of territorial integrity does not prevent non-state entities from peacefully declaring its independence.
The double and even triple standards of the US in regard to the situation in Crimea have already been fully unmasked by many international analysts (read e.g. Henry Kissinger in Washington Post, Jeffrey Taylor in Foreign Policy, David Hendrickson in The National Interest, Chris Kanthon in the Nation of Change or Paul Craig Roberts in a number of posts). Thus, the Russian refusal to consider the unscrupulous and baseless claims made by the West in regard to the issue of Crimean sovereignty and reunification is widely seen as justified and exemplary.
Tuesday’s decision by Russia to grant the request of the overwhelming majority of Crimeans who voted on Sunday to rejoin the Russian Federation is in reality a prime example of “democracy in action” in its most classic form. Watching the delighted public celebrating this reunification all over the Crimean peninsula in the last few days, only the most shameless presstitutes could insist that the 1.2 million Crimeans who opted for a Russian Crimea (of the 1.5 million registered voters on the peninsula) cast their ballots “at the gunpoints of the Russian occupation forces.”
Faced with this fundamental reality, the political impotence of the Western power groups that have an interest in reincarnating the Cold War and marginalizing Russia is evident. The announced sanctions seem even more ridiculous once one realizes that since 2013 Russian internal legislation has forbidden any Russian official or legislator (the US sanctions list includes only individuals from this category) from legally owning or exploiting any kind of personal assets abroad. As a matter of fact, Obama’s executive order encourages the enforcement of Russia’s internal legislation, which is intended to consolidate elites, and it exposes the hypocritical approach of the United States to its declared mission of “promoting democracy and the rule of law.” Today we see that Russia is the real bastion of democracy and justice, any ally can reckon on. Because while the West exports chaos, Russia brings order and peace.
In this context, the Western policy toward the self-appointed “government” in Kiev and the role of the US and EU in ousting President Yanukovych appear even more short-sighted. We now have a clearer picture of the Western-sponsored coup d’état in Ukraine. The latest evidence presented by the former chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, Alexander Yakimenko, suggests that the ultranationalist storm troops operating at the site of “Euromaidan” were under the full control of the Western intelligence officers stationed in Kiev. Expanding on the earlier revelations from the Estonian minister of foreign affairs, Urmas Paet, about the Ukrainian opposition groups that were involved in hiring unknown snipers who killed both protesters and riot police on February 20, Mr. Yakimenko said that shots were fired from the building of the Philharmonic Hall in the Ukrainian capital, which was under the full control of the opposition forces and particularly the so-called Commandant of the Self-Defense of Maidan, Andriy Parubiy, who was appointed secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine after the coup. Furthermore, the former security chief believes that Parubiy has been in contact with US intelligence agents who could have coordinated the assault. He also said that according to the available intelligence, those snipers could have been foreign nationals, including mercenaries from the former Yugoslavia, as well as ex-undercover agents from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.
The use of mysterious snipers has become a hallmark of every “color” revolution sponsored by the West. We remember perfectly well the poorly investigated cases of shootings by an unidentified sniper in Tehran in 2009 and Tunisia in 2011 (the video of “boar hunters” with British and Swedish passports captured on the streets of Tunisia needs no further comment). Before that, there were reports of sniper fire from the roof of the American embassy in Moscow during the tragic civil confrontation in October 1993. But the earliest false-flag incident involving sniper shooting in modern history is well-documented. According to the confessions of the former minister of national defense of Lithuania, Audrius Butkevičius, armed men under his command, including snipers trained by US special services, shot at the crowd during the storm of the Vilnius TV tower in January 1991, when what was then Soviet Lithuania was plagued with civil unrest [for details, see the documentary history The Fool’s Ship (in Lithuanian), a book written by Vytautas Petkevičius, a former activist from the Lithuanian nationalist Sąjūdis movement]. It’s no wonder that the same destabilizing techniques were used in Kiev last month.
In the end an ugly picture emerges: US foundations and secret services invested billions of taxpayer dollars into a chimerical ultranationalist project for Ukraine, with the intention of removing this nation from Moscow’s sphere of influence. The immediate result of this investment is the establishment of a weak, neo-Nazi-backed puppet “government” in Kiev, an escalating wave of political repression against the new (pro-Russian) opposition leaders there, and the very real threat of civil war and the disintegration of this failing state in the center of Europe. [For details read “Who is in charge of Ukraine today?”] This is a classic example of how an arrogant and primitive foreign policy can cause serious damage to the image of a nation that wants to be seen as “a beacon of democracy.” As the Voice of Russia argued earlier this month, the US sanctions on Ukraine would be more appropriately used against the “Euromaidan” activists and the illegitimate government in Kiev and its Western backers, who have virtually destroyed the constitutional order and territorial integrity of Ukraine.