While most people were busy being distracted by the constant coverage of protests around the country in regards to the Michael Brown case the US House passed a resolution which gives the president the authority to declare war without congressional approval by invoking Article 5 of a NATO collective security agreement as laid out in the resolution;
Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that “an armed attack against one or more” of the treaty signatories “shall be considered an attack against them all”;.
House Resolution 758 is specifically aimed at giving the US president the ability to invade Russia as an ongoing diplomacy war is at hand. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger from the 16th district of Illinois who is also part of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Besides laying out the legal framework in which the US would seek to engage a military confrontation with Russia it also took the opportunity to lay out it’s list of grievances against the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin. Some of the more notable mentions included hotly debated events and accusations which the US has failed to produce any evidence for, including;
Whereas the terms of the cease-fire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was
signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-led separatists in the eastern area of Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;
Note: The statement implies that the Russian Federation has “repeatedly violated” the Minsk Protocol it helped put together. There is no evidence of this nature to be found. It also completely ignores violations of the Ukrainian military completely.
Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter;
Note: There has been no invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation to date. This remains the biggest lie propagated in Western media. Russian military units do not operate within Ukraine.
Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a missile fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;
Note: A gross and alarming accusation against the government of Russia in the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. No evidence has been presented by the US which can confirm this slanderous accusation.
Whereas the Russian Federation has protected the Assad regime and backed its brutal assault against the Syrian people;
Note: If it was not for US military, political and economic support of Syrian terrorists who sought the violent overthrow of a legitimate government no such assistance would be necessary. If Russia is not allowed to assist rebels in Ukraine, why is the US allowed to do so in Syria? Hypocrisy and double-standards.
Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;
Note: The US has historically, and up to today, provoked economic terror and war against countries through economic measures known as sanctions. Beyond this, the US is in collusion with Saudia Arabia in manipulating international oil prices to place political and economic pressure on multiple countries throughout the globe.
Whereas France agreed to sell to the Russian Federation two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in 2011 for $1.7 billion;
Note: The United States openly supports the violation of business agreements and responsibilities agreed upon hence setting precedence for other countries to not follow on their obligations and agreements.
Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;
Note: Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. Both Voice of America and Radio Free Europe have been accused and highly suspected of being CIA fronts for propaganda whereas funding comes from the CIA itself. This is a clear attempt by the US to infiltrate and subject foreign people to political programming.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger seems to be a leading voice of Hawks in the US House. Hawks are politicians who support military interventionism and war and are heavily involved with the military-industrial complex. For example one of the most notable hawk in the US government is John McCain, who virtually supports any bill that involves the US military. In this case, listen to representative Kinzinger, the same rep. who sponsored H.Res.758 as he lays out an emerging reality for the US – and keep attentive to his implication that more war, and more military intervention is the answer to all of America’s problems, from Syria, to Russia and elsewhere –
Do Americans want war with Russia? Does the American citizen want anymore wars at all? It is alarming that our government is taking such steps to give itself legal grounds on invading whomever it pleases without any consent from the people. Following the nightmare which still haunts the US, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were enough for most people in the country to begin to understand arguments in favor of isolationism as opposed to intervention around the world.
In fact, the recently escalating diplomatic failure that we see playing out towards Russia is another reason that any resolution coming out of the House should be pushing the ball back in the corner – not aggressively in the face of our competitors. The childish sanctions which were placed on Russia by a number of Western countries in Europe and the US only proved to solidify Vladimir Putin’s position as Russia’s necessary leader – even if that wasn’t the case. Enacting sanctions against a leading Security Council member in the UN and a necessary partner for international security and cooperation was a very complex mistake and an irresponsible position by western countries. If anything ever unified opposition parties and boosted national support for a leader – it would be sanctions. The fact that Russia has been so pragmatic in it’s response shows how fast diplomacy is changing, especially when sanctions can be interpreted as modern day declarations of war. If the US is looking for a fight, they have done everything they need to to instigate it.
Yet can it be argued that the US foreign policy machine is seeking actively to invoke a hostile and confrontational response out of Russia to further it’s agenda with the goal of military invasion. While US citizens would probably overwhelmingly disapprove of another war, especially one where the US provokes the fight, our quickly crumbling soft power and diplomacy seems to speak a different truth. There is a lot of speculation that the US is actively seeking war to cover for its many foreign policy failures and to force countries back into its sphere of influence around the globe by force. A war with Russia is surely MAD (mutually assured destruction), as nuclear capabilities and advanced modern technology can inflict collateral damage both here in the US and in Russia. But what can the US gain?
In Western media a rather interesting picture is being painted when Russia is concerned. The two most important fallacies that are given is that 1.) Russia is a great evil empire and 2.) the world is united against Russian aggression. The first point doesn’t require any important insight to clearly understand that it is propaganda for the sake of propaganda, the same kind that slandered every single other competitor that has faced the US. The second point is more subtle and requires a careful review. The last decade has seen a rapidly declining US power base. Countries around the world have begun to fight back against US imperialism and economic oppression. With the return of Russia on the world stage as a key international mediator and economic supplier, countries have found an escape by aligning either in the center or behind Russia.
Previously suppressed and out-dated economies have begun to rise up in the likes of Iran, Venezuela, Brazil, India and China. It is no mistake that Iran, North Korea, Iraq and even Russia were considered to be part of an “axis of evil.” These emerging markets, often referred to as BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are seeking to level out the playing field in terms of economic development and diplomatic power. The leading country in terms of international diplomacy is Russia, the biggest economic competitor, China. As US power continues to fall it is inevitable that it will reach it’s break-even point, and in time, become a lesser power. As frightening as it sounds, there is a great possibility that if it comes to this scenario, the US will have no option but to resort to war to physically claim its supremacy once more on the world stage and battle it out with either China or Russia. In the theory of triangularity, the US has to only pick one of two to remain on top. The unfortunate reality is that in the minds of US diplomats and congressional hawks, war can be legitimized by their desire to continue worldwide dominance.
Are more wars worth the cost? And how many more Americans are willing to die for political ambitions and special interests. How many Americans died so that corporations could steal Iraqi oil? How many are willing to die to remove Iran as a contentious power block that is not a threat to us, but in fact our famous “ally” Saudia Arabia? How many Americans are we willing to send to Syria so that the US can take control of gas pipelines and solidify Saudi and Israeli backed politicians in the area and create a monopoly to further control all the resources? And are any Americans willing to die in order to prevent Russia from acting out of it’s own self interest in respect to its historically tied neighbors, which poses no threat to US national security? If American’s have truely awakened from the war mentality that possessed us after 9/11, then it’s time now to stop supporting resolutions with further our split from the rest of the world. Russia is a very important partner for the US. Maybe it’s time we treated other countries with the respect that we expect from them. After all, what would the reaction be from Americans if another country sanctioned us just to hurt us in our daily life. Do we as Americans actually support our government doing that to ordinary citizens in other countries then as well? We do not need to keep asking why people around the world have become so anti-American, just study US foreign policy in the past 10-20 years to see how much destruction our politics and policies have inflicted on people everywhere.
You can read the entire bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-resolution/758/text
Before I even came up to him I could tell this was a very serious individual who was visibly committed to his cause. A firm tall posture, upright sign, and an unwavering stare into the multitudes of passing visitors and guests who came to one of the most visited destinations in the United States. It was hard to picture how a protest could be arranged by just one person after seeing so many organized protests and marches put together by massive crowds and money-backed organizations.
However I was much more impressed with this display – it took much more courage to be the only one standing and not having the ability to disappear into a screaming crowd where your personal responsibility is spread out minimizing your own risk to whatever protest was taking place. Whatever this young man was doing took a lot of courage – and you simply must respect something like that in our society.
“If you want to hold a sign I think you should be out here with your own, it’s not personal, I say that to everyone who asks.”
When I first walked up to Wesley Gore I asked if I could hold the sign to take a picture. A cardboard flat square with red letters that read “TV is Brainwashing.” The sign appealed to me naturally and I barely watch TV anyway – and then again, how cool would it be to have a picture of me holding that sign in Times Square? Clearly I was taken in by the novelty of it, but Wesleys first reply to me made it very clear that this was no simple matter. What use is just taking a picture with a sign? Better yet, if you agree, why are you not here with your own? Wesley Gore perhaps summed up the current political climate in the US in a very brief phrase – indifference and general apathy. Many people agree with the sentiment as well as many others, but very few, the brave few actually take the message to the streets.
“I have made it my mission to force national awareness.”
I was more impressed with Wesleys mannerism and sincerity than I had originally anticipated. This is what it looks like when someone honestly and truly believes in something. At that point it didn’t even matter what it was – the entire process deserves attention and appreciation. Appreciation for US freedom and citizen action. Appreciation for an individual – the very few left – who do not need a crowd to hide behind or TV screens to force the conversation. Wesley Gore was sending a message without even speaking a word. He was at the right place with a message everyone agrees with even if it’s tucked deeply away behind political correctness and general fear of authority. His sign was another light bulb going off for those who tried to suffocate the pressing issues of modern America.
“If someone wants to be a good American I think they should stop watching TV, they should just turn it off, because the methods they use to manipulate our opinion are very subtle….I’m just here standing for the USA.”
You see it wasn’t an issue about proving who could stand in the cold the longest or about how brave an individual was. The biggest message is that we have some serious problems going on in our country. The message is that you are in a fight for your own identity and future and there are very serious and daily processes which are in direct opposition to your well-being.
From the banking system which enslaves many into perpetual and life-long debt, to manipulation of opinion and mind control through propaganda the tools and powers that be are at work in our daily lives through the food we eat, the programs we watch, the news we read. Wesley Gore understands that many are losing the fight and slipping back away into the blissful ignorance where ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ is the going rate.
Whatever your position is in regards to the future of our country, or how you feel about the government, I think we can all agree that it is refreshing to see such strong individuals taking advantage of their rights as a US citizen to openly protest and be heard in the most professional of manners. When most rather stay indoors or coward out, Wesley Gore will be out on the streets trying to fight for your and my rights. And that’s a good thing.
With all due respect to opinions and positions regarding the intensifying [civil war] raging in Ukraine our position at tgRevolution has always been the desire to present information which would not have in other words made it to your screen. In the spirit of diversifying the news stream and presenting a more balanced picture, we decided to translate videos which are circulating around the internet about the Ukrainian crisis that you may find rather shocking or with information you never knew. The reason for this is because we have made the assumption that granted you live in the West (America, Europe, Canada) you already have an overload of information about Ukraine which is colored in anti-Russian and pro-Revolution rhetoric and bias. Our goal is to even out the slate, as we have been doing and continue to do in an effort to provide you with hidden, denied or outright censored information.
What is important to understand is that we do not condone any violence which is taking place. And as many Americans believe alongside with us, we stand against American intervention in far away countries. We stand firm in our ideal of respecting other countries borders, in not policing the world, and in fixing our own problems here in the US.
With talk about sanctions and potential world wars beginning between the United States and Russia, it is important that the American people got to see the other side of the Ukrainian crisis, the one that won’t make it onto your TV screen.
The video will play first, and the translation to it will follow. In the case where there is nothing to translate, we will describe what the video is showing.
This video happens to be graphic and disturbing altogether. It show’s anti-maidan activists falling from a burning building either to escape being burned alive or because they have lost conciseness. Although there is much speculation about who caused the fire, it is widely circulated and reported that members of the militant nationalistic group Right Sector were behind it (also, it appears from the video that people outside of the building were waiting with bats and sticks to finish them off). The most disturbing element here is that the fire was started to specifically burn the people inside, from which around 30-50 people have died, although there are no clear number. That will remain so considering no investigation will probably be established and no one will be prosecuted for this act of mass murder. Even sadder is the fact that the government in Kiev currently applauded this action as appropriate to cleanse the country of pro-Russian forces (more like killing any opposition which has risen against the revolutionary government).
“In total there were 116 casualties, guys, they were cutting people, finishing them off”
– What about gas?
“Not only with gas, different types of grenades, weapons, they were finishing off who they could, two guys got beat down with bats to death, that’s normal? That’s called a united country? A women was burned alive with her two children, information came out that on the second floor they were burned! ”
– Here, tell it to the camera!
“There are more than 116 dead, guys! Please tell me, your mass media, no excuse me, I will say this, your mass media called us terrorists?! When that Right Sector forced us on the roof, were throwing us around, yelling “death to the enemy”, death to who?? They yell Ukraine is united. Fu*ck this united Ukraine!”
-What is the chronology? Were there kids?
“Children were dying, women were dying, old men too. They finished off those trying to survive, just killing them, jumping on them. They were jumping on the corpses, guys, jumping on the corpses.”
– Where are the rest? There’s more of you?
“They are 6 kilometers from here, you’ll have to go pick them up.”
– Whats your name?
(studio is talking about the story, something about separatists, in Ukrainian)
Lady in Red – “Don’t worry, we won’t touch you, just tell us which channel this is from?”
Reporter – (starting her report in Ukrainian) Good day….
Lady in Red – “Good day?….good day??” (accenting the fact that the reporter is speaking Ukrainian), that’s it, shut this thing down, close it down. You bit*hes, you set us up, you will never put us on our knees! Odessa will never be put on her knees!”
Reporter – Hands off!
Lady in Red – “In Kiev, Kiev has divided this country, you started this mess…..”
Lady in Red – “Get out of here scum, you divided Ukraine, you burned our boys alive!”
(From moment of audio recording)
Tymoshenko – “We need to take arms and shoot those Katsap’s (derogatory word for Russians)…I hope that I can connect my network, I’ll raise up the whole world as much as I can, just so that there was nothing left in Russia!”
Shufrich – “But what should we do with the 8 millions Russians who are left inside Ukraine today?”
Tymosheko – “Damn, just shoot them with a machine gun.”
The former president of Ukraine would see to it that ethnic Russians inside Ukraine would simply be shot and killed, all the while using derogatory slang terms when speaking about Russians. This is the beacon of democracy and freedom that the US supports? I’m not sure Americans would be happy to know that these type of people are leading the revolutionary government.
During these past few months Ukraine has been in the news. Events are unfolding everyday and it seems they are getting worse. When Russia announced that Crimea is now part of the Russian federation, the United States issued joint statements with the United Nations that this was against international law. Since when have countries in the UN respected international law (speaking more in terms of the powerful ones)? The United States also announced sanctions against the Russian Federation government. However, Russia and Ukraine both are also important to Japan, China, and South Korea. Therefore, this puts the United States in a tight corner of what to do next. Brookings and other news sources have discussed how the United State wants Asia to react.
I came across an article written by Bruce Jones from the Brookings Institute. His analysis has one central theme, “The United States will come out stronger at the end and all its allies will follow.” I completely disagree with his analysis on Ukraine. Here are three following reasons:
President Obama just returned from Asia. This was not any trip, it had to do with showing the United States wants its agenda to be followed, at the price of countries such as Japan and South Korea sacrificing its resources and agenda. According to Mr. Jones, the U.S. wants to ‘’re-balance’’ its power in Asia and not ‘’pivot.’’ So according to Mr. Jones, balancing is setting up more U.S. bases in the Pacific region. Last time I checked, that is more of a move to flex military strength and as a result instigate. Not only is that a waste of money, but it is also reckless. How is that even making an effort towards diplomacy?
According to the Thomas- Kilman Conflict Modes, the U.S. is being assertive and competing with Russia, not cooperative or compromising. Mr. President Obama, remember Iraq and Afghanistan and how we jumped to conclusions and started an imaginary war based on “trumped up pretext”? During that time rather than being assertive and compromising we were also being highly assertive and competing against ourselves. Is the US trying to resurrect the Cold War again?
Did you know that Japan is the biggest consumer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)? This complicates things for PM Shinzo Abe, since Russia does a lot of business with Japan. Sure, Mr. Jones is right, the U.S. came to the rescue after China set up an ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) close to Japan. However, if the U.S. cannot produce enough oil or any sort of natural gas for itself, what should Japan rely on? Mr. Jones also emphasizes that the U.S. has a role in forestalling inter-state war in the Gulf. Last time I checked, since when did the Gulf countries have an inter-state war? The U.S. did assist Saudi Arabia and protected its interest by preventing a further intrastate war back in the 90’s. Not sure if Mr. Jones knows the definition of intrastate and interstate.
• Intrastate- Sustained political violence which takes hold between armed groups representing the state and non-state groups.
• Interstate- This is between two or more states which are part of the international system which use national forces during conflict.
If Asian countries want oil or any other subsidy, they will make deals with Russia or Europe, not the U.S. Japan for one will most likely postpone expanding and supporting sanctions due to new opportunities and funding. Tokyo needs the LNG, and Russia will gladly provide it, but this requires Japanese (and others) cooperation and for Japan to not blindly follow the U.S.
Remember back in school when you did something bad you talked it out and apologized. Same rule applies to foreign policy, except we are not promoting diplomacy; we are flexing our muscles militarily, not promoting soft power such as investment in energy or education. Mr. Jones concludes that the U.S. will be the strongest global and coalitional power. I disagree, because this is not a uni-polar world anymore, this is a multi-polar world. The U.S. can have allies, but the U.S. needs to realize other countries such as Japan may not like to do business with our allies. We still have relations with China, even though they have open relations with North Korea. That does not necessarily mean we need to force them to agree with the U.S., until the U.S. is blue in the face. Can Japan solve the Ukrainian crisis? One news outlet says they could, but I doubt it. U.S. just recently passed a new defense bill that boosts money for the Japanese military and defense systems. Likely if Japan went against the U.S. on Ukraine, relations and money may turn a bit sour.
The U.S. may be a very strong power and have a lot of influence in foreign policy around the world; however they no longer are in a uni-polar world. Diplomacy is the best solution in the Ukrainian crisis that can not only save resources but also Ukrainian lives. Let’s face it – does the U.S. really care about Ukraine or concerned that Russia is becoming a stronger world power? Does Russia really care about Ukraine or more concerned about their pipelines for natural resources?
Russia does not want the U.S. in their backyard just like we would not want another world power in our backyard.
It is important to give a great deal of attention to the powers at hand in the west and east and compare the situation in Ukraine to other movements/revolutions around the world. After all it was not that long ago when the Arab spring rocked the Middle East and saw the violent overthrow of rulers in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In the case of Libya, NATO had lead a no-fly campaign and the US largely sponsored the rebels who eventually captured, tortured and violently killed Omar Gaddafi, leaving his dead body on the floor of a building where people would come and mock the deposed leader. These rebels were the freedom-fighters of the western news outlets. They had supposedly supported some kind of democracy, although it was not certain what kind. It’s arguable these revolutionaries were nothing more than Islamic fronts who deposed of a secular ruler with the help of Western money. Eventually the chicken’s hatched and on the anniversary of 9/11 we saw the absolutely despicable murder of the Ambassador of Libya as well as other, defenseless diplomats. This same money and support eventually struck down Mr. Mubarak in Egypt, causing a sensational revolution of what was reported to be freedom-loving democracy supporting college students and intellectuals – very far from the group that eventually took power and had the backing of the US – the Muslim Brotherhood headed by Morsi. It is not shocking to learn that the revolutionary government has since been banished once more and outlawed and put on trial for their mishandling of Egyptian affairs and the revolution. In each scenario we have had Western hands at play, and a more subtle and careful Eastern approach which verbally disapproved of outside meddling but nonetheless stayed out of the events.
The battle between the east and west was finally openly revealed to the world stage with Syria. Bashir Assad has been battling rebel Islamic groups in his country for a number of years now in what has become an open-armed rebellion against his rule. Originally the narrative in the west was the same, the usual references of democracy and liberty and cries of dictatorship. Assad was branded a dead man in the west, with Hillary Clinton openly stating it’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ Assad will be eventually overthrown. It went as far as Obama foolishly drawing a hypothetical ‘red line’ against Syria. After that red line was crossed the US had even begun talking up military invasion. This was all averted perhaps by one single power block other than the US left in the world in the likes of Russia & China. The Russians had finally flexed their political and diplomatic muscles and openly backed the Assad regime, stating that no military invasion of any kind will be tolerated. With the neutralizing effect in place, the Americans decided to back down resorting to threats, but the money still kept coming, funding what in a large porportion was discovered to be radical Islamic fronts. Press Secretary Carey during a typical press conference himself stated that only about 15-25% of the insurgency was “radicalized”, which in itself left many questions, predominately, how could the US support a movement that was a quarter radical and would have been branded as terrorists in typical US rhetoric during the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. Regardless of this, the US had other interests, and knit-picking the fine intricacies of US affairs was a moot point – on whom it bestows favor has favor, and whom it shuns shall be shunned, simply put. These examples are meant to show a brief history of US backed revolutions in the past few years which were also known to be democratic and independent, but turned out to be radical fronts supported by the west. Is this a war by proxy? Why keep spending money all over the world to topple leaders? Simply put, the tendency in US foreign policy is to use force to dispose of leaders hostile to US interests, and all of this can be tied down to the control of resources, geopolitical strategy, and power lust. US foreign policy has been imperialistic in nature. With a politically understandable invasion of Afghanistan, to a completely illegitimate invasion of Iraq, and threats against Iran, Syria and North Korea it is becoming a thing of nature to perceive that the US believes itself to be a uni-lateral superpower hellbent on forcing subjection to it’s national interests. It is my great belief that there is no benevolence in politics. Self-interest can be the only motive for actions taken by both the east and the west alike. I have only summarized all the overwhelming events that have befallen the Middle East and in no way want to simplify it to what I’ve explained here. There are many more factors, and I understand that. I’ve mentioned the important factors which apply to the situation in Ukraine.
And now the question of Ukraine is before us like never before. There is no real purpose to write extensive work on the history of Ukraine and all the preceding events which have happened on its territory. However it is important to look at recent history to draw our conclusions. We know that the beginning of the “EuroMaidan” camp was one predominant action – Yanakovich’s acceptance of a 15 billion dollar bailout from Russia instead of a previously expected European Agreement, the content of which has not been expressed publicly neither here nor in Russia or by the opposition. I suspect most of the opposition cannot point out the key aspects of the European Agreements, and I also do not expect Europe or the West to want it’s content to be widely presented either. However this one, visible and tangible action can be ascribed to the spark which began the first wave of protests. It cannot be doubted that Europe first and American second could not have been upset by this turn of events. A European Agreement was meant to further the sphere of influence of Ukraine into Western control. With a 15 billion dollar package from Russia, which comes with it’s own terms, this influence would be seriously limited. It is not to say that Ukrainians didn’t want the EU agreement, or that they didn’t know about it. It’s important to understand that there was ample support for the EU move within Ukraine. However, this support for further European influence is not shared equally throughout the country. And accepting a deal with Russia was also equally supported by a completely different segment of the population who prefer Russian influence over any Western/NATO bloc. This visible division has been blatantly ignored by Western media in an attempt to marginalize pro-Russian sentiments and make the appearance of one main pro-European movement in Ukraine. This couldn’t possibly be the case however as I will explain in just a bit.
Following the timeline of revolutions and uprising which the west has backed in previous examples it quickly became a serious question as to where the initial Ukrainian protests began. The timing and occasion could not have been better to lead the charge against a pro-Russian president in the likes of Yanakovich. It is also important to note that what at first was a response to not taking the European deal quickly became a general movement of protesters each with their own reasons. And the most level-headed view regarding the ‘EuroMaidan’ protests is that they too, were mostly genuine, which saw people from all different walks of life come out to protest against the government. Changes needed to be made, this was evident. Eventually visible and widely known leaders like Klitschko became largely obsolete as more radical and militant opposition movements/leaders, such as the Right Sector, set up barricades and progressed the the conflict to hostilities. It took 3 months of well-sponsored protesting to eventually lead to a breaking point. A key factor in these events is the fact that the opposition had broken all their own truces and agreements with the government. Even after the president had made all the concessions asked for, including the return of the 2004 constitution, giving opposition leaders key positions in government and granting a pardon for all protesters arrested it was decided that nothing short of a complete removal of Yanakovich would be accepted by the militant elements of the opposition, who happened to control it. Using the truce and peace agreements made on February 24th, the opposition, which had no clear public figures made their charges against the presidential offices. The chaos that unfolded left about 100 dead revolutionaries and nearly 500 injured as well as deaths within the anti-riot units, some who had died from gunshot wounds. Much speculation is still surrounding this unexpected bloodshed which saw Yanakovich flee the capital for fear of his own safety. The democratically elected leader of a sovereign country was overthrown by freedom loving European minded democrats. This rather numbing contradiction cannot go unnoticed. In fact, this scenario of revolutionaries is very akin to the western-backed movements in other countries.
It is becoming clear that Ukraine in itself is not the main object of interest for US national interest. What Ukraine can one day become is an asset to use against Russia in the Great Game. You can calculate western interest in Ukraine by the sheer amount of attention and narrative writing which is surrounding the events in Ukraine (what happened to the Venezuelan revolution happening at the same time?). It has become very important in this propaganda war to control the image of the revolution and to make it another “freedom movement”. My argument is that the objective is to use Ukraine as a front against Russia. What we have is an unprecedented move into the heart of Russian national conscience and history, revealing Kiev as a spiritual and physical capital of the Russian Empire and it’s Slavic bloodline. This is where Russian interest in Ukraine becomes aggravated and exponential. If the only way to keep out America and more importantly NATO from invading the borders of Russia, and hence creating a real threat to Russian national interests, they have no choice but to influence the situation in Ukraine for a positive outcome in Russia’s strategic national interest. Russia’s behavior in this regard is not only expected to be fully understood, but any serious political analytic could have predicted this to be an absolute. Had the West not become so involved in this revolution (as well as in 2004), Russia wouldn’t find the threat tangible. But with Western meddling in Ukraine, Russia now must also exert it’s own power to confront an increasing presence of non-friendly movements at it’s borders. This threat is quantified by the possible entry of Ukraine into NATO, an organization which was founded to fight against Soviet expansion, and has remained a military threat even after the Soviet Union fell apart. This threat is seriously taken in Russia and high on the national security agenda. If the Ukrainians allow this hostile threat to become a reality towards Russia, then what reaction can the West and Ukraine expect in return? The Ukrainians must ultimately take a realistic approach to their domestic and foreign policy and account the interests of Russia if their fragile new revolutionary government is to stand any chance of surviving.
In fact, the realization that a nationalist government has currently taken over the government in Ukraine, there can be no calm or hope that they will relinquish power. Two laws which really stuck out for this new government were, 1.) Not allowing Russian for official documents and 2.) Eliminating a law which prohibited fascist propaganda. Before we can even discuss the reality of these two laws, the first question that must come to mind, especially from a legal perspective is, how can this government pass laws legitimately without any representation from opposition leaders? These laws, nationalistic in nature, have progressed the splinter in Ukrainian society.
This has lead to what is being referred to now as the “Russian Spring” or the push by ex-Soviet citizens to return their lands back under Russian rule or create much sharper pro-Russian positions within their respective countries. This Russian Spring has boiled over especially in the autonomous republic of Crimea where a referendum is underway to declare Crimea either independent or return it to Russia as was before 1954. This also was clear in Donetsk where massive pro-Russian rallies and protests even lead to deaths as clashes occurred between rivaling groups. The will of the people to self-determination is becoming one of the biggest challenges to the current powers in Kiev. Without any vote, or process behind law making, citizens in regions that elected Yanakovich cannot help but feel that Kiev is illegitimate and is progressively seeking to pass legislation against Russian populations in Ukraine while they still maintain power. The fear people have is that this power grab may not eventually transform into a stable and elected government but may in fact spiral further into a power block meant to level politicans from Western Ukraine over their rivaling east and south officials.
Recommended Reading: http://jackmatlock.com/2014/03/ukraine-the-price-of-internal-division/#more-629
“Hello, you were asking what the opinion of people living in Crimea was (regarding the situation in Ukraine). I was born and raised in Crimea and can still remember it during the Soviet times as a thriving area. My city Kerch after the fall of the Soviet Union died. In the 90’s everyone was too busy trying to survive and very few were interested in political questions. However, only after a certain time did we begin to realize that – we are Ukraine. This fact was an unpleasant surprise. All these 23 years (after the fall of the Soviet Union) have seen a subtle, but very active Ukranization: The school curriculum, revisionist history, heavy focusing on Ukrainian achievements in all fields of science, creating one official language, having all shows and films in Ukrainian. No one asked even then our opinion. People in my age group and older were disenfranchised by all of this. Some wouldn’t even go to see films/movies because of Ukrainian translations.
During all these years many intelligent and hard-working people moved away from Crimea, mostly to Russia. Some simply didn’t want to be Ukrainizied, some simply got tired of the constant conflicts in the country that caused constant financial instability. However those who remained tried their best to explain to their children a realistic viewpoint without any nationalistic context, because Crimea is home to many nationalities and is very diverse. The political parties would use this diversity for their benefit, this potential conflict: from one side Russian-speakers and Russia, on the other side Ukrainians and Europe. And because there never were worthy politicians to lead, people would vote along these lines, and to the last moments would still believe that one day contradicting politics and views would stop ripping us apart and we would all finally live better. We believed in this before Maidan!!
We understood immediately that those protests were organized and sponsored very well. And we understood that many people who stood there did not fully comprehend what exactly was going on. It also became apparent that the president was not capable of dealing with these situations and that Europe was very interested in this unfolding situation. After the overthrow of the government the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine seized to exist for Ukraine. Everything and for everyone now was decided by “Maidan”. This became the last drop in our overflowing cup of patience. All the resulting decisions of the “government” were enacted to aggravate and escalate the situation.
Our friends from Kiev were telling us that we were misinformed and that all that had happened was for the best, forgetting that we were receiving information from the same Ukrainian channels that they were. In fact, from the first day of the Maidan the mass media outlets began their war against us. In the background of the flood of lies and twisting of our own attempt at speaking Russian the slogan “One Nation, One Ukraine” looked ever more cynical and with that made us even madder. Then we began public meetings with our own Ukrainian citizens carrying Russian and Georgievsky flags. These were not citizens of Russia, but our own people. This was the scream of despair. And I understand this is hard to understand, how citizens of one country can wave the flag of another country.[ezcol_1third] [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]
The Emperor Nikolay I, for exceptional actions, gave two ships the right to raise and fly the Georgievsky Flag.
Battleship ‘Azov’ – Was awarded the Georgievsky Flag on December 17, 1827 for showing courage and valor in attaining victory during the Battle of Navarino.
Battleship ‘Mercury’ – Was awarded the Georgievsky Flag on July 28, 1829 for victory in unfavorable circumstances in battle with two Turkish battleships.
These honors had become achievements to the highest degree, that all succeeding Emperors did not bestow this honor since. However, these honorary flags have been passed on to their newer updated ships, named after these two heroic ships: “Memory of Azov” and “Memory of Mercury”.
But when no one wants to hear us, and we begin to understand that behind the Maidan lies Europe, the US and NATO and that only simple Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine are for the East, that’s when we realize were just another problem for our own country, what would you say we do? Turn for help to the only country which like us is trying to speak the truth about us, just to yell out to everyone “hey people, we’re still here, we’re also people and we too want to decide at least something, at the least that which regards our own fate and our families!!!” Conclusion: Ukraine has not taken any steps to reach out to us, and in fact has done the opposite by trying by force and using all legal and illegal methods to crush all the attempts of our people to yell out SOS and defend ourselves. Ukrainian mass media continues to poison us against each other. The only entity which together with us is trying to resolve our regional conflict is Russia, and we are very thankful to it for that.”
What is the situation in Kerch right now? Will the city take part in the referendum?
All of Crimea will take part in this referendum. To be honest everyone is feeling rather different at the moment. For some it makes more sense to break away from Ukraine, some afraid to go against Kiev. After all you know how people are: they are very brave when it comes to words, but in action it is another matter. The City of Heroes, Kerch, during Soviet times was an industrial city and it had one of the biggest shipbuilding factories called “Gulf”. This factory employees most of the residents of Kerch, and this factory was built by the people themselves. With the fall of the Soviet Union, as with many other businesses, our factory became nonoperational. The male population left to make money in Russia. And since that time the situation has not changed.
Out of three possible outcomes; Remain a part of Ukraine, become a part of Russia or create your own independent state, which variation has the most ground support?
More than likely we would favor becoming a part of Russia. Our Ukrainian TV channels have since been turned off, and so the Ukrainian brainwashing is no longer operating against us. We still have Russian news, and it is much more lighter and isn’t quite as frightening. The prospect of having a completely independent government is not even being discussed. The fact that Ukraine is tightening it’s grip here (blocking accounts, blogs and websites) is not changing the minds of the people to it’s side. Almost everyone is very afraid that after the referendum (considering majority will vote to break-away) that war will break out. In all honestly, this is our greatest threat at the moment. Promises that are coming from the powers in Kiev, which has decided to somehow give in to us is not being received by the people here anymore, there is no more trust left.
What is the situation in Sevastopol at the moment?
The people in Sevastopol are calm, confident and uplifted. Everyone is getting ready for the referendum. Some world institutions do not want to recognize the referendum but the people are rejoicing, rejoicing indeed. Of course you can feel tension in the air, but today we are preparing for the holiday (March 8th – International Women’s Day), and everyone is buying gifts and flowers – tomorrow is Women’s Day. People are of course calm, just yesterday everyone was smiling and happy that there is a possibility of freeing ourselves from under Ukraine’s occupation. However people are not entirely believing this will be, because Crimea and Sevastopol will not be given away so easily. Currently we receive threats about sanctions from the EU, people are afraid of changes, but for now there is the intention to go all the way, no matter what. For businesses this means operating with rubles (Russian currency)…what awaits us in the future no one can know for sure. It’s just like a roller coaster – where it can turn the very next moment is a surprise. You won’t see any Russian soldiers anywhere, they were called “The Green People”, when they were still here. People would bring produce and food to them and feed them and would take pictures with them, people waved and smiled to them.
Right now the hottest question debated is the referendum, how will Sevastopol vote? And what about the Russian soldiers? Where did they go?
No one knows where they are now. They do not have any identifying insignia, are they marines or special forces? No one really knows what branch they belong too, they wear new uniforms and they carry new weapons, this at least is noticeable. They operated very quickly and within one night 300 fighters took over all command posts, airports and military installments with 20-30 people to each one. They did quick work, paralyzing the entire Ukrainian army [in Crimea] within a few hours.
Also, regarding the referendum to take place, ex-president Tymoshenko recently in Germany said that there can be no referendum under the barrel of a Kalashnikov. She was referring to the presence of Russian soldiers in Crimea. What is your reaction to these comments?
The people were very happy to see the soldiers. It made people more relaxed. Everyone was afraid of gangs coming down from Kiev. After all, there [Kiev] they openly walk with firearms, threaten the police, kill journalists (for example they killed a journalist from the channel VESTI). Radicals from Western Ukraine called “Right Sector” are very dangerous. They storm administrations, municipalities, and would handcuff governors, pouring water over them as they forced them on their knees to apologize to the people. They are the ones who yell “Knife the Moscovites”, carry weapons, and even threaten and attack the public prosecutors. The new authority does not put warrants out for these people in the meantime, which is likely to be because these people are being funded by the new authority itself and are covered by it (Yatsenyuk, Poroshenko). Therefore our newly elected authority by the people had to figure out a way to stop these radicals from making their way here. And hence you had these “Green People” appear. They are widely loved here, even though they are already gone. We have created self-defense forces from our population, which is done on a full volunteer basis without any pay. Tymoshenko is simply lying.
And yet, for the average resident of Sevastopol who is Tymoshenko and the current authority in Kiev?
We don’t like Tymoshenko. She stole a lot of money from the budget, in her negotiations for gas and does’t like Russians (I’m not sure why – her father is Armenian and her mother is Ukrainian, she herself was part of the People’s Party). She would say a lot of bad things about Russia. Her party members argue to turn off Russian television channels, turn Crimea into a regular region of Ukraine, and fine for the use of the Russian language. This new authority in Kiev for the average person appear to be fascists, akin to Hitler for example. This new authority was not selected by Crimea – they came to power by force. They ended up killing police which was standing without arms.
Can you briefly tell me about the important history of Crimea, and if it’s specific history has an impact on the people living there and their allegiances?
The history of Crimea is very extensive, it would be impossible to write all of it. In 1870 there was the Russo-Turkish war which ended with a Russian victory and Catherine (the German Empress) built mosques for the Turks who remained (they are the same Crimean Tatars), and there is about 200,000 of them here. More than half of them push more towards Turkey, or want to join the EU, and do not like Russia.
“I can’t imagine there are people in America who still do not know the truth about Ukraine? Are you just like the pro-Russian people who believe in some kind of normal Russian motives? Or were you just hired?”
“Everything is great and calm. Please tell the Americans that Crimea was not occupied, but saved, from Tatars starting bloodshed”
We will be happy to get in touch with anyone who may have interesting information or could provide us with information on the ground. Please contact us here.
We will continue our watch over the events in Crimea and Ukraine. The referendum to break away from Ukraine will take place March 16 and will be a historical moment for the entire region. Many people are worried about potential chaos that could break away at a succession attempt. It is still not clear how the major countries will engage each other over this disputed political dilemma.
In the meantime we pray for the safety of all people living in Ukraine and Russia and in between.
We here at The Great Revolutionary have kept a very close watch over the events surrounding the upheaval in the city of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Over the past 3 months opposition leaders and protesters had taken to the central square in Kiev also known as the “Maidan” to organize anti-government rallies, and had in the process created what was called by many sources a “city within a city”. This lead to bloodshed as government forces clashed with a militant style movement called the “Right Sector” which lead to about 100 deaths and over 500 injured with the eventual ousting of the democratically elected president of Ukraine Victor Yanakovich by force. It is important to understand that the narrative about the sequence of events, who shot first, and who was justified in whatever actions they took is up to interpretation, as it is difficult at this time to really understand unfolding and past events.
Over the past few months I have had the privilege to speak with a resident of the Western part of Ukraine, a person who is politically affluent and introduced me to the ‘Right Sectors’ own online page on a Russian social website akin to facebook. You can see the page itself here (may have been removed). It is useful to understand that in some cases I am using the ‘Right Sectors’ own material to help paint the picture of the events in Ukraine as well as other first-person references/sources.
I’d like to write a little bit about my conversation with my contact in Western Ukraine, who happens to be a supporter of the ‘Right Sector’ as most Western Ukrainians are. Below are a few snippets from our conversation translated from Russian into English. For easier reading I will name my contact “Ivan”.
Before Yanakovich was overthrown:
Ivan: The phones are being listened on. This is not a protest, this is a war. It is scary what’s happening their, but also a lot of pride for my nation.
Me: This is in Kiev?
Me: Do you think war is unavoidable?
Ivan: There is no way back. If we stop at this point all of us will either be in jail or killed.
Me: Is it impossible to negotiate and make a deal?
Ivan: These are not people who you make deals with (talking about the government).
Me: Who’s in charge? Klichko?
Ivan: The people. The opposition also cannot be trusted….Klichko does not control the opposition. Simply put there are nationalists who have joined up with Right Sector in the ‘Maidan’ (central square in Kiev). And they are not controlled by the opposition. They act. If it was not for them the protests would have been dismantled already and students with pensioners would have been simply beat up. They have become a living shield and go on the attack. The result – we have 20 thousand people in the barricades to whom the fate of the country is important. People who are ready to give up their lives for a brighter future.
Me: These are some frightening events, seems like real unrest.
Ivan: It’s frightening to bury people. But this unrest is better than the previous rest.
Me: What do you think? Who is the East and South supporting?
Ivan: They normal people too.
Me: I’m afraid the country can drift into civil war, what’s your take on this?
Ivan: There are zombinized people. They are speaking about things which are getting pretty unsettling. But I don’t think it will happen [civil war], however, anything is possible.
Me: I remember very peaceful and kind people during my time in your city. Tell me, honestly, is there propaganda against Russians?
Ivan: No. People are spreading rumors, but think who will benefit from it?
Me: I think a group like ‘Right Sector’ would be against Russians. Do you align yourself with Europe personally?
Ivan: Personally I am for Ukraine. I don’t want the European Union or anywhere else.
Me: What about your city [Western Ukraine], is there peace now?
Ivan: It’s relatively peaceful. People with automatic weapons roam the streets.
Me: Sounds pretty tense. Who is carrying gun’s in the streets? The police or just people?
Ivan: The Right Sector.
Me: What about the police or local government authorities?
Ivan: They probably still have hang guns and what not.
Me: I’m confused, why would people still walk the streets with guns like that then?
Ivan: To show off.
The event takes place every year and is unique in that it allows journalists to spend an entire evening asking the president of Russia any question they want. The press conference has been famous for seeing Putin answer very tough questions and take on all sorts of challenges from the press. You can watch the full press conference here on the Great Revolutionary.
The event lasted about 3 hours and included hot topics such as the current Russian economy, oil prices, Ukraine and Russian relations, Crimea and much more. Must watch for anyone who wants to keep up with Russian political thought and Russian current events.
Большая пресс-конференция Владимира Путина
Dear president Obama, we need to talk. Although I completely understand that addressing you directly makes no real sense, by doing so I feel as though it speaks to all those to whom my letter applies. I follow politics and am especially interested in foreign policy. America to me is a place of amazing opportunity, good, kind people, and a country of people who admire and respect truth. Lately however, it seems there has been a serious divorce between the nation and the people guiding it.
I follow what you say president, it means a lot, because you speak for all of us here to the rest of the world. With each speech however I find myself more confused and lost, seeking out a logical connection between what you say, and what our foreign policy does around the world. You would know that the world watches our every move, and many countries expect America to be the place of ideals and impossible realities becoming attainable dreams.
I had thought you to be a leader who is against rebellion, and against civil unrest, including revolutions. When Republicans tried to sabotage your widely hated Affordable Care Act you spoke out with such reverence to falling in line with your government, and in your words, to ‘win an election’ if you disagree with your government, but never to ‘break it’. I suppose that makes a lot of sense, considering that force and violence is the last resort of any conflict. And mostly, that violence does not solve the problems. When I heard you speak then, I thought you were against sabotage and against breaking government. Then I looked at who you supported around the world and I had to step back.
Why does your administration send moral and financial support to Syrian revolutionaries (rebels, terrorists, freedom fighters, and whatever have you)? There are many armed conflicts around the world, ones which do not involve Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters. Ones that are not civil wars which happen to be rather exclusively limited to the internal affairs of sovereign nations. How do you side with open armed rebellion against government? This strikes me rather hypocritical in fact, because the logical conclusion to the support of revolutionaries will eventually carry over to domestic affairs and policy. Must I ask you president if you would also support an open armed rebellion against your government? Would it be romantic and can we label the militias as freedom fighters? Why is it OK for Syrians to kill government workers, shoot at the police, and attack the presidential quarters but Americans must give up their guns completely?
There are senators in your party also who like to refer to Americans as “home-grown terrorists”. Do you agree with Senator Harry Reid in his use of the word “terrorist” to label activists and protesters? Does this align with your early Socialist upbringing in Chicago or your liberal curriculum at Harvard? Did you ever think we would get to the point where our very own citizens will be slandered by the government as terrorists because of their staunch anti-government positions? Mr. President, do not think we forgot you were one of the few wise men who stood against the war in Iraq. Many people called you a traitor and a coward. Should you have been a target for your solitary position on invading far away countries on “trumped up pretext”? Do you want to live in a country where the word terrorists can be thrown around like a piñata in any which direction? Then tell me, please, why do we label some people terrorists and others freedom-fighters?
When the Maidan protesters in Kiev, Ukraine were rebelling against their government for 3 months you said they were ideal democrats. When Ukrainians in Western Ukraine walked in city council meetings with Ak-47’s, when the prosecutors were humiliated and attacked, when mayors were kicked out of their buildings and put on their knees you said this was a democratic process. You supported one side of the political struggle in Ukraine, you made it clear, that protesting against the government is an American ideal. So please explain to me how protestors in Eastern Ukraine became terrorists overnight for protesting against the criminal behavior of the new Western Ukraine revolutionaries. I thought you supported people picking up arms in Syria, why is Ukraine any different? How then do you say it is OK to send an army against citizens of one’s nation? President, are you telling me you would have no problem sending tanks against Americans in the US? It used to be that diplomacy was a cherished art.
I understand America has its national interests. I do not think it is beyond anyone that there are moments when hard decisions have to be made. As a citizen of the US however I am lost as to what our government believes in, to what our ideals are anymore. Are we against revolutions or are we for overthrowing governments? We supported the removal of Gaddafi, why? He was brutalized and murdered without a trial by rebels, his body put on the floor of a building for people to go and look at. Is this barbarism something we promote; is this what the American people stand behind? In our country no one has the right to take the law into their own hands and administer it. This is because even those who are suspected of the most heinous crimes must be represented before the courts, they must have representation. This makes our country beautiful, yet painful at times. But that pain makes us stronger as we develop more knowledge on how to administer justice properly. How can we send money to people who execute others on the streets? Groups who execute heads of state with no remorse? It seems our foreign policy has lost all control over its mission statement, over the ideals that Americans stand behind.
You cannot represent us Mr. President, because your positions stand at odds with the ideals on which this country was founded. Americans want peace, and we also want to be respected around the world again, for bringing good things, for promoting justice and liberty. I’ll still be waiting for answers, searching out your words and actions, in hopes of finding the glow of a moral leader, with a clear position, that does not pick and choose between good and evil and is equal in its standard around the world. Send the American people a clear message. When can the American people too, finally, join your wife, in saying we are proud to be Americans again?
If you’re an “entrepreneur” you’ve been there. Sitting at a dicey coffee shop with overrated tacky coffee paraphernalia on the walls and very committed hippies/hipsters with their apples, sun-glasses, and checkered scarfs. You most likely ordered something ‘interesting’ to not make it seem like you’re using the café only for a neutral meet-up location; the drink is your legitimacy. Your purpose for being there of course is focused on developing a business plan with your potential partners or investors. The conversations range in velocity and intensity fluctuating simultaneously with the surges in caffeine rushing around your bodies. Some in your small group have all the answers, others have all the questions, and someone there, either in part, or partly in everyone, is the ‘no-man’. Technically this is the person who will find every reason why something will not work. You, however, just want to see some type of progress. You’re beyond the grand scale of imaginations and are focused on practical applications of every idea.
– You say you want to manufacture furniture? Great, who do we have who is connected to manufacturers so we can get some consulting? – That type of stuff.
Instead, you quickly see another anticipated breakthrough sink into the embryonic stage. The stage where you talk about the great things you will do before the process of actually giving ‘birth’ (essentially, when talk becomes cheap and money is the only solution). Real world environment requires you to be well-dressed, well-fed, well-educated and well-equipped. Words cannot accomplish this, especially if this is your 100th weekly meeting at that tacky coffee shop.
The problem with grand thinkers, notice I did not say ‘great’ thinkers, but grand thinkers, is that they quickly unwind and lose touch with reality. Business is a field of action. If you sleep in, you lose a sale. If you spend too much today, you’re bankrupt tomorrow. There is no yellow brick road leading you home. It’s more like trying to walk on water, essentially because a lot of development can only occur after initial interactions occurs between your service or product and the market.
A Quick Note: this is also why traditional product development cycles are not entirely efficient, where months go into developing and research only to hope that the final stage, testing, shows something positive (a secondary side note: you can check out Atrium and Scrum systems being used in full force for software development projects).
You can literally waste years developing only to realize that your entire premise was flawed. And for some, finding that flaw could happen within the first transaction. The knowledge you gain from the real world environment trumps the knowledge you get from theoretical applications, as much as it’s convenient to sit in Starbucks and sip expensive coffee as though you have already made it (you know who you are).
However I only mentioned a symptom of sorts. Real world experience is the result of another, core function of business: SALES. This is where grand thinkers quickly shrivel up and disappear, becoming philosophers for life. Sales is a word that for some, strikes genuine fear, because it is the process where everything you had assumed about your idea and product is going to be shown for what it is. It’s important to understand that sales is a rather large field, so I wouldn’t limit your paradigm to see sales as a typical associate standing next to an over-sized TV hoping he can break commission. Sales is a relationship built on trust and expectations. Before you sell a product, you must build a relationship. This means that you may let people down and fail to deliver on your promises, dealing with the aftermath of angry clients and a shattered concept of self-worth. This herein lays the biggest crucible for those who want to start their business and achieve their goals.
This isn’t something that is visible during that typical coffee meeting, who can actually go and sell the idea. Who can get money to flow in your direction? And money decides everything. Another big mistake by beginning entrepreneurs is discounting the necessity to make profit because your idea is great on its own and will naturally blow up (if you mean like the Hindenburg then sure).
Therefore, my belief is that before ‘grand’ ideas are developed, you must go out and get your feet wet, beat up, shattered, erased, and rebuilt to create ‘great’ ideas. Next time you find your conversations drifting towards streets of gold and yachts, stop wasting your time. Refocus on the practical side of things, who do we go to to sell, today. Who can I call, right now. How much money can I spend on getting a few steps accomplished this week? Start your conversations with real names, real numbers, and real actions. You will quickly see how your ideas and concepts change and your focus becomes clearer. You will also see how ‘grand’ thinkers will not deliver on their own ideas when it comes to following through.
The ability to make sales is what generates great ideas, and great ideas lead to sales, until this cycle runs on its own inertia and momentum.
‘The first genocide of the 20st century’, a sober and heavy synopsis for the events that occurred to the Armenian population in the former Ottoman Empire during World War 1. At the onset of technological improvements and scientific breakthroughs which gave us the modern man an entire nation was being swallowed up by the deserts of Syria and the sharp edges of barbaric ideology. It was the intended death, regrettably through humiliation and suffering, of 1.5 million Armenians which caught the attention of then ambassadors and travelers which sparked the light of protest against the governments which played a role in its implementation. Indeed this one dark chapter of human history would carry itself much further into the future, helping shape the policies and ideologies of future events. It can be said that there was a people who at one time would take the reality of human natures evil and show the world its horror. A horror great enough it would be remembered with great sobriety after the world witnessed the reality of the Holocaust. Even a hundred years later the wealthiest nation in the world, the beacon of democracy and freedom, the U.S, would face its weathered consequences and have to make an ideological stand in its respect. Yet the genocide is a very complicated matter which has many names and ideas to speak of. It came at a turbulent time, where death and misfortune had occupied the world and in which climate it would become easy to deny great wrongs. Yet even during those times a great attention would be turned towards the Turkish governments blind-eye and ideological indifference to the organized mass exile of non-combatant ethnic minorities. There was no way to deny genocidal activity then, just as it is insincere and politically cynical to deny it now. The historic event known as the ‘Armenian Genocide’ could be explained by many factors which I will do so now.
Armenia is a nation with a long and progressive history that dates back to antiquity. The first notions of a unified Armenia are recorded to have come at around 1200-1000 BC. Even earlier than that groups of tribes and nation states had lived in the region of modern Armenia who claimed a common ancestor, Hayk, who was the patriarch of the Armenian nation. The collectivism of the Armenian people had served to preserve their identity in a very tumultuous region of the world. Armenia had seen short spans of complete independence and prosperity as a nation from its on set, galvanizing its strength under the king Argishti I who built the modern capital of Yerevan in 782 BC and successfully protected the state from foreign influences. The kingdom of Armenia, as an official political state came later in the year 190 BC under ‘Tigranes the Great’. During another short period this small nation state became the strongest state east of the Roman Republic growing into an empire and attaining hegemony of the entire trans-Caucasus region. However the region was dangerously competitive and the powers of the kingdom would again sway under Roman rule. In this process many nation states had come and went, and great nations alike had disappeared. Yet the Armenian population held steadfast to what they considered their ancestral lands and the mountain on which Noah and eventually his offspring Hayk had landed, Ararat. Mt. Ararat had become a symbol of the Armenian nation, and in 301 Armenia became the first sovereign nation to accept Christianity as a state religion. The cultural heritage of Armenians therefore reaches into the origins of civilization geographically and religiously as Armenians would hold steadfast to their faith. Christianity would continue to shape Armenia, giving them the unity and power to preserve themselves against Islamic Seljuk conquests. It continued to be invaded by various forces which arose in the region, surrounded by Roman, Persian, Russian and Ottoman powers. Yerevan itself had changed fourteen times between the Turks and Persians between 1513 and 1737. This region had matured greatly and many socio-ethnic forces were established. By the 18th century Armenia had become a country with an extensive and proud history, cemented into the Caucasus region of its ancestors and professed the historical faith of Christianity.
One may begin the study of the Armenian Genocide by looking at the 19th century Ottoman Empire. The world was beginning to open up and foreign policy had become a key science to attaining great power. The conquests of the British left the sun always shining on them. Europe was becoming more centralized as nation states developed and gave power to a few prominent leaders. The United States had formed as a nation which left most of the globe explored and the Asian territories with it became more open. Religion had also followed geography creating a Christian north and a Muslim south. Russia was having its golden era with continuous military victories and an explosion in art and literature. In short great powers were formed in the world who had centralized most of the disorganized conquering of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Ottoman Empire was perhaps the last power remaining from that specific era of conquest. The Ottomans indeed had achieved a great feat. Under powerful leadership they conquered Jerusalem and the Byzantine Empire converting the Orthodox Christian capital of Constantinople into an Islamic Caliphate. It had even stretched itself as far as Austria and had dominion over modern day Serbia and Bulgaria. Their territories even included Egypt and the north African Mediterranean coastline. And most of the modern day middle east was under its rule. The Ottoman Empire was given special treatment due to its position and had political ties with the Great Powers (Russia, England, France). The Ottomans had imposed Islamic rule on their territories, a law which treated the Christians and Jews as second-class citizens. Christians in turn were oppressed heavily by this. Since a great number of historically Christian lands lay under Ottoman rule, resentment had grown in those territories to these practices. Russia had accepted Orthodoxy around 1000 AD and had special interests in the city of Constantinople and considered itself the third Rome, and protector of all Orthodox and Slavic Christians living in Ottoman territories also known as the pan-slavic movement. The English and French were interested in using Turkish ports and lands, and as a buffer to keep Russia in check. The Great Powers however did turn their attention to the treatment of minorities in Ottoman lands, petitioning on behalf of Christians and demanding that the Ottomans reform. Reformation was not entirely possible as social forces opposed it and the economical state of the empire was beginning to fall apart. Armenians had also followed the modern cosmopolitan ideals which spoke in defense of better conditions for them and demanded that the mid-evil policies of the past be amended. The weakening of the Ottoman Empire, influences from European countries and the mis-treatment that ethnic minorities experienced had lead to various independence movements, notably in the Balkans which were brutally suppressed. Armenians in turn flirted with the possibility of independence however spoke out in favor of autonomy instead.
The Russo-Turkish wars had seen the Ottoman Empire, aided by England and France defeated and created a platform on which independence was achieved for Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro. For many years the issue of ethnic Christian abuses was ignored, and Russia as the protector had lead the charge to liberate these territories. This became a great accomplishment for minorities in the Balkans. The Russians thus become favored by Armenians, and they saw their own independence a possibility with such an ally. However with the Balkans now independent the Ottomans were left with the ‘Armenian Question’. In 1876 Sultan Abdul Hamid II had assumed control of the Ottoman Empire. His eventual rise to power would lead disastrous for Armenians. Abdul Hamid II was a hardliner and did not tolerate any petitions by ethnic minorities. His creation of the ‘Hamidiye’, a paramilitary group, lead to the continuing oppression of ethnic Armenians. It was under Sultan Abdul Hamid that Armenians would suffer their first of many violent episodes called the “Hamidian Massacres” which had killed from 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians. The strains of the empire were being shown and any appeals by the modernized European governments had fallen on deaf ears. These massacres could have been avoided had the Great Powers not meddled against each other during the Russo-Turkish war peace process. Originally Russia had vowed to stay in Ottoman lands that housed a majority of ethnic minorities until the reformation process had taken place and initialized. Yet the British powers did not desire to see Russia spread its influence on a territory that they were trying to control. The treaty of Berlin therefore, meant to protect the minorities left them without a protector. The Sultan instead took advantage of this and sent a clear message to the Armenians, that they should not expect any reformation to occur and hoped that this would destroy the willpower of Armenians to fend for themselves. The massacres had occurred tactfully and were the first genocidal policy of the Ottoman Empire. This ugly development had created a vacuum in which ethnic minorities would be abused, mis-treated and killed, many times with the assistance of the government. It proved to be true once again during the “Adana Massacre” of 1909 where pogroms against Armenians had ensured after an initial uprising began targeting the revolutionary Young Turk government which had no relation to the Armenians. This uprising cost 15,000-30,000 Armenian lives and showed that Armenians were paying with their lives for any turbulence that the country experienced, eventually making them an easy scapegoat and making them targets of Ottoman aggression.
What followed those events was the eventual power shift to the Young Turks, ex-officers in the army who had restored the country back to a constitutional monarchy. Their new visions had given Armenians hope in the future. However the tragic events known to the Armenians as ‘the great calamity’ would happen under their ruler-ship. The Young Turks had inherited a world war with their new power. Early off the Ottomans suffered crushing defeats on the Eastern front. Enver Pasha, one of the rulers of the government had taken the opportunity to blame Armenians in the military defeats. To him the Armenians had sided with the Russians, and this lead to the defeat of the Ottoman army. Indeed rebellions had sprung up on the Eastern territories and Armenians had come to clash with Ottoman authorities. The Ottomans were losing control over their ethnic minorities and the lands they lived on. To counter the ‘Armenian Question’, Armenian soldiers were converted to laborers, who eventually would simply be killed off. On April 24, 1915 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople were arrested and eventually killed, an event known as Red Sunday. This could have quite been the first open government position concerning Armenians and which supported genocidal results. These events had revealed the cooperation of the Turkish government to take action into its hands and speed up the process of eliminating Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. On May 27, 1915 the ‘Tehcir Law’ was passed which basically had demanded that Armenians be deported from their lands. This was a temporary law and was named “regulation of the settlement of Armenians relocated to other places because of war conditions and emergency political requirements”. Questions remain about the end all purpose of these laws and if their main goal was to destroy the Armenian population, yet it is widely held still that the government had simply become complacent in dealing with Armenians and carrying out a systematic plan to destroy them. These massive deportations were to blame for the amazingly high number of deaths during the ‘death marches’. It is during these deportations that the brutalizing deaths and humiliations had occurred. Death had come in various forms, from straight forward massacres to simply exhausting and starving the Armenian refugees. The man responsible for that law was Talaat Pasha. He had never denied the atrocities reported, which is a very interesting position and had simply said that the Armenians deserved it. They ‘brought it’ upon themselves he would later argue. This testifies to the fact that to deny the genocide after it happened was even impossible for the leaders. This law was later supplemented with the “Tehjir Law” which directly gave the government the right to deport anyone it deemed a threat. Armenians were now being deported with great numbers, and there belongings simply taken. It was later believed that around 25 major concentration camps were also created. The total annihilation of the Armenians was under way. Ottoman rulers had not even denied these brutal acts while they were happening by defending their decisions as a war against Russian backed insurrection.
The Armenian Genocide was a very well documented event in history. A famous name in this respect was American Ambassador Morgenthau who wrote numerous reports and memoirs of what he was witnessing on a personal level. He had also used the term “race extermination” to describe the events that were unfolding. He was one of many ambassadors who had reported back to their embassies calling the situation quite awful and accused the government of a racial extermination. The British consulate James Morgan has written that there was an order for Armenians to leave the country within a month following the “pursuance of the policy that no Christians are to be allowed to stay in Turkey”. The French, British and Russian embassies had tried in fact to sway the Turkish government. Hitler had famously said once before leading another military campaign, “who today remembers the Armenians??” to justify his officers to do what they wished with the local populations. The Nazi’s had used many of the same tactics the Turks used against the Armenians. Everyone was killed merciless including women and children. The number of dead is estimated at 1.5 million. Most of the leaders of the Young Turks were assassinated in different countries by an alleged Armenian hit squad.
To this day Armenians hold on tightly to the memories of the injustice they suffered as this issue continues to shape modern politics. 20 countries have accepted legislation that views the events as genocide. However the United States was not able to unify both House and Senate in declaring the same. Turkey as a strong ally has great influence on its partner countries and therefore it becomes completely inappropriate to ruin that relationship over ‘history’. This event has created animosity between the Turks and Armenians and it will probably continue to be so for a long time, possibility forever. It is easily foreseeable that this unresolved issue will continue to influence events and that perhaps it will ultimately affect the world one way or another.
To date the continual denial of the genocide by Turkey, as well as the United States is a direct insult to all of our modern international organizations seeking a just and accountable world, especially the UN. When morality is second to military bases, the ethos of diplomacy and world politics is blemished to the core opening a Pandora’s box of acceptable behavior and hypocrisy. It is with great humility that we remember another anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and seek to offer closure to many who are seeking it, as well as provide context for those still exploring. The tense political standoff regarding the acceptance of the genocide is a great opportunity for those who love international politics and relations to find their place in understanding history and what it means to our current generations.
Regardless what position you stand upon, we call for peace and a moment of reflection on this solemn day of resemblance.
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