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The Ousting of Presidents

category international | eu | opinion/analysis author Friday February 28, 2014 17:52author by Albert Collins Report this post to the editors

Letter to THE IRISH TIMES from Albert Collins, Wednesday 26 / 2 / 14

"Sir,

In recent times we have witnessed the ousting of two democratically elected presidents. The Egyptian president Morsi was deposed in an army coup, which, strangely, was not regarded elsewhere as a coup. Pro-Morsi demonstrators suffered about 800 casualties at the hands of the police and army. Little outside sympathy was shown towards the massacred and their families.

The Ukrainian president Yanukovich was deposed as an outcome of anti-Yanukovich demonstrators. Approximately 80 demonstrators were killed by the police. In this case, great publicity and sympathy has been shown towards the dead and their families.

Neither of the presidents would seem to be very attractive individuals . . . However, if people elect unsavoury individuals in democratic elections then they should be free to dispose of them in subsequent elections.

Finally the US has now warned Russia not to intervene militarily. This is almost amusingly ironic given the long list of American military interventions since 1945 whenever there has been a perception of American political, economic or strategic interests being at stake. In a parallel to that of Russia and its neighbour Ukraine, one would not bet on American non-intervention."

__

P.S. A lot of the coverage of last week's anti-Yanukovich demonstrations in Kiev glosses lightly over the 11 fatalities among the police. Such a high number shows the level of violence perpetrated by the very people Westerners are encouraged to identify with!

author by concernedpublication date Fri Feb 28, 2014 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Crimea is the part of the stage to watch in this unfolding saga. It’s a given that Russia will hang onto this strategic peninsula if Ukrainian politics and society drifts in a pro-Western direction.

Tension over Crimea could lead to an open contest. What way that could develop is anyone’s guess.

The prospect of a military conflict over Crimea is especially likely given that Russia will probably lose their other warm-water port in Tartus in Syria with expected “regime change” there in the near future.

Of course it’s not the first time that a war has been fought over this region. In 1853 – 1856 there was the Crimean War, which was part of a series of flashpoints that exploded into all out war. A little like today, potentially. The 1850’s Crimea War was an incorrect name because the conflict was fought on six fronts: Crimea, the Caucasus, the lower Danube, the Baltic and White Seas, and the North-West Pacific.

German historian Winfried Baumgart argues in his The Crimean War- 1853 – 1856 (London; 1999) it had the potential to become a World War sixty years before 1914.

I hope the ratcheting up of international tension does not lead to another World War 100 years on.

author by Tpublication date Fri Feb 28, 2014 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Added to the list of recent coup d'etats should be the Honduras coup on June 28th 2009 that saw the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya had close ties with Hugo Chavez the former president of Venuezuela who died of cancer last year and strongly believed and said in public that he was absolutely sure that the CIA had used some kind of biological weapon to give him the fatal cancer.

 
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