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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/15/15

Samantha Power: Liberal War Hawk

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"As is often the case, these myths reveal more about the myth makers than they do about the truth. Moscow's fable was designed to airbrush the Ukrainian people -- and their genuine aspirations and demands -- out of the Maidan, by claiming the movement was fueled by outsiders.

"Yet, as you all know by living through it -- and as was clear even to those of us watching your courageous stand from afar -- the Maidan was made in Ukraine. A Ukraine of university students and veterans of the Afghan war. Of Ukrainian, Russian, and Tatar speakers. Of Christians, Muslims, and Jews..."

Power went on with her rhapsodic version of events:

"Given the powerful interests that benefited from the corrupt system, achieving a full transformation was always going to be an uphill battle. And that was before Russian troops occupied Crimea, something the Kremlin denied at the time, but has since admitted; and it was before Russia began training, arming, bankrolling, and fighting alongside its separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine, something the Kremlin continues to deny.

"Suddenly, the Ukrainian people faced a battle on two fronts: combating corruption and overhauling broken institutions on the inside; while simultaneously defending against aggression and destabilization from the outside.

"I don't have to tell you the immense strain that these battles have placed upon you. You feel it in the young men and women, including some of your family members and friends, who have volunteered or been drafted into the military -- people who could be helping build up their nation, but instead are risking their lives to defend it against Russian aggression. ...

"You feel it in the conflict's impact on your country's economy -- as instability makes it harder for Ukrainian businesses to attract foreign investment, deepens inflation, and depresses families' wages. ... It is felt in the undercurrent of fear in cities like Kharkiv -- where citizens have been the victims of multiple bomb attacks, the most lethal of which killed four people, including two teenage boys, at a rally celebrating the first anniversary of Euromaidan.

"And the impact is felt most directly by the people living in the conflict zone. According to the UN, at least 6,350 people have been killed in the violence driven by Russia and the separatists -- including 625 women and children -- and an additional 1,460 people are missing; 15,775 people have been wounded. And an estimated 2 million people have been displaced by this conflict. And the real numbers of killed, missing, wounded, and displaced are likely higher, according to the UN, due to its limited access to areas controlled by the separatists."

One-Sided Account

Pretty much everything in Power's propaganda speech was blamed on the Russians -- along with the ethnic Russians and other Ukrainians resisting the imposition of the new U.S.-backed order. She also ignored the will of the people of Crimea who voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

The closest she came to criticizing the current regime in Kiev was to note that "investigations into serious crimes such as the violence in the Maidan and in Odessa have been sluggish, opaque, and marred by serious errors -- suggesting not only a lack of competence, but also a lack of will to hold the perpetrators accountable."

Yet, even there, Power failed to note the growing evidence that the neo-Nazis were likely behind the crucial sniper attacks on Feb. 20, 2014, that killed both police and protesters and touched off the chaos that led to the coup two days later. [A worthwhile documentary on this mystery is "Maidan Massacre."]

Nor, did Power spell out that neo-Nazis from the Maidan set fire to the Trade Union Building in Odessa on May 2, 2014, burning alive scores of ethnic Russians while spray-painting the building with pro-Nazi graffiti, including hailing the "Galician SS," the Ukrainian auxiliary that helped Adolf Hitler's SS carry out the Holocaust in Ukraine.

Listening to Power's speech you might not even have picked up that she was obliquely criticizing the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev.

Also, by citing a few touching stories of pro-coup Ukrainians who had died in the conflict, Power implicitly dehumanized the far larger number of ethnic Russians who opposed the overthrow of their elected president and have been killed by Kiev's brutal "anti-terrorism operation."

Use of Propaganda

In my nearly four decades covering Washington, I have listened to and read many speeches like the one delivered by Samantha Power. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan would give similar propaganda speeches justifying the slaughter of peasants and workers in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, where the massacres of Mayan Indians were later deemed a "genocide." [See Consortiumnews.com's "How Reagan Promoted Genocide."]

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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