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The Ukraine Swindle
Canada is lending millions of dollars to Ukraine without any apparent oversight
It’s difficult to write about geopolitics when events are constantly in flux and the media transmits conflicting reports about developments on the ground, often from people who aren’t there.
Nowhere is this more evident than the standoff on the Russia-Ukraine border, where we’ve been told for the past week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is just days away from launching a full-scale invasion of his westerly neighbour amid contradictory accounts of Russian troop movements.
But regardless of how many troops Russia has on its border with Ukraine, Canada is getting ripped off by pouring money into perpetuating a conflict that can only end in bloodshed and mass displacement.
On Monday, Canada announced a Valentine’s Day gift to Ukraine in the form of a $500-million loan and $7.8 million worth of military hardware, including machine guns, pistols, carbines, 1.5 million rounds of ammunition, sniper rifles and other related equipment, in addition to a $120-million loan pledged last month.
Naturally, there were no safeguards in place to ensure the military equipment, or any of the loaned funds, doesn’t get into the hands of the far-right extremists who have boasted of receiving Canadian training.
“On the eve of an anticipated Russian invasion of Ukraine, Canada's Liberal government has — perhaps somewhat belatedly — decided to ship the embattled eastern European country a handful of lethal weapons [emphasis mine],” CBC News’s foreign affairs reporter Murray Brewster editorialized, suggesting an appetite for further weapons shipments in the corridors of power.
That anticipated invasion never occurred.
In fact, a day later Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Agence France Press diplomacy was working to stave off a feared Russian invasion amid reports that Russia began withdrawing troops from the border.
This is in line with President Volodymyr Zelensky’s urging of caution while demanding the United States provide evidence of an imminent Russian invasion.
No such evidence has been forthcoming, but that hasn’t stopped Ukrainian military officials from demanding more aid.
Like a millenarian cult, when the date set for a Russian invasion doesn’t occur, it simply gets pushed into the future.
The U.S. maintains, as of yesterday, Russia will invade Ukraine within “the next several days,” alongside a crackpot theory that Russia is about to stage a “false flag operation to have an excuse to go in,” which a U.S. State Department could provide no evidence of when questioned by Associated Press reporter Matt Lee in a revealing exchange.
Anyone who questions the constantly-shifting narrative that Russia is planning on invading Ukraine any day now is tarred as a Putin lover and appeaser.
But one doesn’t need to be an admirer of Putin, a profoundly conservative nationalist figure, to question whether Canada’s $628 million in loans and weapons could be better spent at home — public transit, pharmacare and affordable housing immediately come to mind.
Nor does one need to be a Putin lover to acknowledge the provocative nature of NATO’s constant eastward expansion into territory Russia regards as its sphere of influence.
And one certainly doesn’t need to be a Putin enthusiast to argue against pouring aid into Ukraine without any checks or balances to ensure money doesn’t get into the hands of far-right forces who think the wrong side won the Second World War.
Zelensky, a liberal Jewish comedian from Russian-majority eastern Ukraine who defeated his U.S. lackey predecessor Petro Poroshenko on a platform of making peace with Russia with 73% of the vote, is likely uncomfortable unleashing ultranationalist forces of the Ukrainian military in the event of war. But he also doesn’t want to be deposed by these forces.
Canada’s influential Ukrainian lobby, which has a disturbing tendency to venerate Nazi war criminals from the Second World War while accusing anyone who criticizes them for it of being a Russian propagandist, faces no such dilemma. They can advocate for Canada to continue arming Ukraine without having to suffer the consequences of an escalation.
And they have a powerful ally in Deputy Prime Minister, and former global affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, whose own history whitewashing the Ukrainian far-right has been extensively documented elsewhere.
Freeland, the Globe and Mail reported, personally intervened to have treason and financing terrorism charges dropped against Poroshenko in the name of “national unity [in the face of] the threat of Russian aggression,” as the Globe, her former employer, put it.
Interestingly, the charges against Poroshenko stem from his government’s alleged purchase of coal from Russia-backed insurgents in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
The only conclusion one can draw from this is the Canadian government would prefer an extra-judicial solution to Russian-Ukrainian tensions, one involving Canada sending millions of dollars to Ukraine without clear indication of where those funds will go.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has only said the funds are intended to “deter further Russian aggression,” which conveniently leaves the door open to more funds once doomsday is inevitably rescheduled again.
In other news …
While the Canadian government enables far-right activity abroad, it will be making its case for the inaugural invocation of the 1988 Emergencies Act to stymie the far-right blockades which have paralyzed downtown Ottawa and elsewhere for the past few weeks.
The legislation would deem certain forms of protest illegal and prohibit minors and foreign nationals from participating in them, give the RCMP the power to enforce provincial and municipal law, and banks and insurance companies the ability to freeze the accounts of those who participate in illegal demonstrations.
The Bloc Quebecois and Conservatives have indicated they’ll vote against the motion, which means the Liberals need NDP support in the minority parliament to pass the legislation, for which NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has offered his tentative support while acknowledging the dangerous precedent of declaring certain forms of protest off-limits.
From Nietzsche: “Whoever battles monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself. And when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
Edited by Scott Schmidt
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