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Farcical 'elections' in Ukraine
provide possible staging ground for 
enormous escalation in conflict, hostilities

Alternative title: Orwell and Kafka had a baby, and named it Petr Poroshenko!

5/25/2014

It was a classic circus, as much of a fairy tale 'election' as one might expect from oligarchical fascists backed by the most murderous empire in human history. Burning down offices of opposition parties, outlawing them, shooting, torturing and killing opponents... mobilizing the military power of the state to conduct a massive terror campaign against nearly half the country.. not to mention the only candidate who might appeal to the disaffected southeast of the country, Oleg Tsarov, beaten to a pulp by a fascist mob while police watched and did nothing--who later has his house burned down by more fascists.. the list goes on. 

On election day neatly stacked blocks of ballots appeared at the bottom of lucite ballot boxes, and the pre-determined and US chosen winner was duly announced from election commissions guarded by Right Sector thugs. Within a couple hours of voting, miracle working counters tallied millions of paper ballots and announced-- ta da--a 55% or 57% victory for billionaire oligarch and chocolate magnate--dubbed Willy Wonka by cynical Ukrainians, thereby equally miraculously circumventing the need for a messy second round. A Czech source quoted at 17.52% turnout--the junta claimed, at one point, 38%. No matter. As one friend in Kharkov exclaimed in frustration, "I wouldn't look for too much accuracy or accountability in numbers. Fascists don't know or care. That's how fascism works."

The western press will collude in rubber stamping this fiction, and the Kiev regime's legitimacy will be further tarnished everywhere but inside the echo chamber. A larger question lays bare the absurdity of this process: after a "revolution," isn't it a logical first step to agree on a new governing framework--a constitution, a basic law to replace the order the people have supposedly rejected. In this sense, exactly what office is Willy Wonka assuming. Over what, exactly, is he presumed to "preside?" The answer, of course, is that he is merely the new face of oligarchic rule in Ukraine, hand-pre-picked by the US to have a fig leaf to cover the devolving train wreck that is their disastrous and reckless policy in the country."

The real news, of course, is what happens now. Willy Wonka made some incredible promises during his 'campaign,' which, if he meant them seriously, are incredibly alarming. Apparently the real mistake made by the junta was that they were too cheap. Poroshenko pledges to correct this error by drastically raising the pay for those he still expects to send to murder their brothers in the east. Not, of course, the thousands of regular army, special forces and local police who have refused to do so. He probably means selected fascist mercenaries who will 'do it right,' and do not need to be summarily executed for disobeying orders to engage in ethnic cleansing.

Perhaps even more alarmingly, one of his first declarations after the "elections" was that his first visit will be to Donbass, or Novorossiya in the restive east, and even that he intends to hold his infraudulation ceremony there as the new face of oligarchic control. Nothing could be more of a provocation and a declaration of war against the people of the east. In order to hold an 'orderly' inauguration, the east would have to be 'pacified.' This is a clear a signal as any that there can be no negotiating, no reconciliation, no recognition of the legitimate aspirations of almost half the country. It is an aggressive declaration that the only way forward will be military confrontation. This man is a dangerous fascist, like all oligarchs.

Right when casting his ballot, Poroshenko recited the Banderite slogan "Slava Ukraine! Geroiam slava!" The clear message is that Banderism--Ukrainian ultra nationalism--is the ongoing state ideology that excludes and vilifies citizens, a huge section of the country. His 'victory speech' only added salt to this endless wound, confirming that he, too, sees citizens resisting the junta's authority in the east as 'terrorists,' only a step above the 'insects' (Colorado beetles) which is the favorite dehumanizing term used by the nazis of the Right Sector. He even went so far as to pledge to "cleanse" these terrorists from streets and towns of the region and posited himself as a 'liberator' of Crimea, whose inhabitants have shown no desire for such liberation.

These are extremely alarming developments. The US will scream and bellow that, an election having been held, he will have every right to take such actions--which by sheer coincidence dovetail with the US' own agenda. An 'elected president' can quite legitimately (according to those who accept him as such) order the suppression of rebellion on his country's territory. He can have deserters and traitors shot and imprisoned, and consolidate and focus military force as he deems fit. Regular army soldiers have already been summarily executed for refusing to shell cities and kill civilians, so this is just ratcheting up the terror. Moreover, he appears quite willing to take advantage of a 'honeymoon period' when some confusion will make many people go along with his legitimacy. This is, to be blunt, some scary shit.

The rhetoric of resistance, which has always been very compelling, was that the junta had no authority. Troop defections were massive under this line of reasoning, and have been getting bolder--hence the summary executions. But Willy Wonka--deemed a 'legitimate' leader--will appoint ministers, dutifully rubber stamped by the Rada; Russia will recognize the election while condemning the new government's actions, etc etc etc. Large numbers of Ukrainians, while still not wanting their sons to fight, of course, will be fine with paying thousands of nazis and psychotic killers to do the work, convincing themselves that they have now 'turned a corner' with peaceful elections. Russia will still refuse to step in, leaving Donbass to rely on its ragtag army of self-defenders against an increasingly vicious and increasingly well-armed (by NATO/CIA) group of fanatics... It is a complete nightmare..

My fear--I hesitate but will say it openly--is that Putin may have miscalculated by seeming to play along with this election farce. By giving hints that he will recognize the winner, he has been party to what will be an enormous escalation of violence and attacks on Donbass. He may not like the increasingly class character of those rebellions, but their fate is also his. While I am not privy to the Russian game plan, I am certain that they realize that this is a severe existential threat to the Russian state itself, and has been designed as such. The west makes no similar mistake in vilifying the Syrian election two months before they happen. They have *never* wavered for a second in their promise that they will not only not recognize the results, but will continue and escalate their bloody and illegal assault on Syrian sovereignty. Fascists (and the oligarchic capitalists with whom they are closely aligned) want to *kill* anyone who dares to resist. There is no deal to be worked out, or any rhetorical or political avenue that isn't a trap. Not one.

Without wanting to end with a cliffhanger, there is very little except for the above that is clear at this point. But the reason I rush to write it is that the information war is emerging as perhaps one of the most important fronts in the attempt to resist and push back against this push to globalize IMF austerity using outright fascist allies as the witting or unwitting shock troops in this campaign. The empire is angry and threatened by losing any control of the narrative at all, and is fighting back with a vengeance. Just on the eve of the election farce in Ukraine, a particularly bold attack destroyed thousands of files posted on YouTube by Anna-news, an emerging resistance outlet which has quickly become one of the most popular and reliable sources of information for those resisting empire in Syria and Ukraine. "We have learned an important lesson from this: the truth is the means for victory." 

Many of us who consider ourselves to be part of this information resistance will redouble our efforts. As a certain philosopher once said, we have nothing to lose but our chains, and we have a world to win. Make no mistake, however. While it is also a war of words, and words are crucial, this is now a hot war, and the forces of evil--at this moment in the hot spot of Ukraine--have made open military conflict a necessity and an inevitability. It is a scary and dangerous time.

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(c) 2014 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to danielpwelch.com. Political analyst, writer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School. Welch has also appeared in numerous television and radio interviews, and can be available for comment and analysis as his day job permits. 

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