Authored by Dmitry Babich via The Strategic Culture Foundation:
During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).
THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS
Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?
The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941,
» Lees verder
As the US is preparing to withdraw its troops from Syria, it seems little has changed in Washington’s vision of the conflict: the Assad “regime” is still the problem, and Tomahawks are going to rain on Syria if WMDs are used.
Despite President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the 2,000 US troops stationed in Syria being perceived as a sudden change in course on the ground, it appears that it has hardly affected Washington’s Syria policy in general. The latest thinly veiled threat of a strike on Syria was made by US National Security Advisor John Bolton on his way to Israel on Saturday.
Also on rt.com
‘I never said fast or slow’: Trump has vague timeline for ‘sand and death’ Syria withdrawal
“There is absolutely no change in the US position against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and absolutely no change in our position that any use of chemical weapons would be met by a very strong response, as we’ve done twice before,” Bolton told reporters on his plane shortly before landing in Tel Aviv.
While the schedule for the planned pullout remains unspecified, Bolton noted that the US would hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for any incidents involving chemical weapons.
“As we elaborate how the withdrawal is going to occur and the circumstances, we don’t want the Assad regime to see what we do as representing any diminution in our opposition to the use of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
“A lot of options would be on the table… if [the Syrian government] don’t heed the lessons of those two strikes, the next one will be more telling,” Bolton said. It wasn’t the first time the official has promised a “much stronger” response to chemical weapons use in Syria. He made a similar statement back in September 2018.
Also on rt.com
Bolton promises ‘much stronger’ response if chemical weapons used in Syria
The US has squarely blamed Damascus for almost every chemical weapons incident in Syria while refusing to consider any other side as a possible culprit.
» Lees verder
In our preview of Sunday’s now-concluded emergency EU meeting on refugee policy which the FT dubbed “The summit to save Merkel”, we said that the German chancellor fate could be decided as soon as today should a newly populist Italy present a set of insurmountable demands on how to deal with Europe’s migrant problem. And judging by the opening salvo, the odds of Merkel’s political career just slumped after Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conti demanded the EU rip up its system for dealing with migrants, laying bare seemingly insurmountable divisions in the bloc over migration policy.
The hastily-gathered meeting, a segue to the formal EU summit scheduled for June 28 in which migration will be the key topic, was requested by Berlin as a chance for Ms Merkel to press for stronger powers for countries to send back asylum seekers already registered in another EU country: a key condition in an ultimatum that was handed to Merkel last week and which threatens her tenure as chancellor.
In other words, Merkel was testing the water to see how much of a political case she can formally make at the international level on Thursday, one that supposedly saves her career domestically.
She was, however, stunned after the Italian prime instead called for “radical change” in the EU’s so-called Dublin principle that makes frontline countries such as Italy responsible for dealing with asylum claims and allows for registered asylum seekers that move on to another country to be sent back to the state they landed in.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As the FT first reported, in an eight-point plan presented to leaders on Sunday, Conte called for “severing” the link between the “safe port of disembarkation” and the “competency to examine asylum rights”.
The reason why is simple: Italy, along with most other peripheral European nations, tends to be on the short-end of that trade, as Rome ends up stuck with any migrants that cross the Mediterranean to arrive in Italy.
At the moment, when migrants arrive on Italian soil only Italian authorities can process their asylum application. Rome wants this to be broadened to other EU countries,
» Lees verder