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Ukraine Crisis And Self-Determination

Politics / Ukraine Civil War Sep 11, 2014 - 03:03 PM GMT

By: Raul_I_Meijer

Politics

What do you think the situation in Scotland would be like if an army acting on behalf of the London government had just killed thousands of Scots in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the past 6 months and destroyed their streets and homes and water and electricity grids, and if moreover that government had seized power after a violent coup and essentially been handpicked by Washington?


If you’re awake a little, one of the first things you would think is wow, those Scots must really have something those guys in London and Washington want, and badly too. And you would be right. Scotland has quite a bit of oil, for one thing. You would obviously also think: this doesn’t feel right.

In the same exact way Ukraine has a lot going for it economically. But it also has the added quality of bordering on Russia, which really has a lot of resources. And ‘our side’ wants them, and has figured that occupying Ukraine would be a great way to get closer to them.

So ‘we’ did when we saw our chance in the Maidan protests. But then there were a few million who won’t co-operate, so we started bombing and shelling them. Not out in the open, we had someone else do it for us. So they would get the blame, or, even better, the other side would. And we threw Russia into the blame game as the main perpetrator. It’s all just about media control, and our own media only. Who reads Russian media? That’s all just propaganda anyway, right?

We can start here: what the US and EU did in Kiev during Maidan (and well before) violates the principle of self-determination, as agreed in the Atlantic Charter, signed by FDR and Churchill in 1941 and subsequently adopted after WWII by the UN. The fact that this kind of meddling is as widespread and common as measles doesn’t change that. Wikipedia:

The right of nations to self-determination, or in short form, the right to self-determination, is a cardinal principle in modern international law (jus cogens), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms. It states that nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference [..]

Especially that last bit seems clear enough. How we define ‘nations’ is less obvious. 1941 being the age of the last great colonial powers, it should be no wonder that the terminology was kept opaque to an extent. Like so:

The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, or what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, federation, protection, some form of autonomy or even full assimilation. Neither does it state what the delimitation between nations should be — or even what constitutes a nation. In fact, there are conflicting definitions and legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination.

There were two intentions in the day: phrase a principle, a charter, a law that many voices clamored for, but at the same time insert enough loopholes for ‘our’ boys to jump through with impunity.

The Atlantic Charter wasn’t the first attempt. As early as 1918, Woodrow Wilson said:

“National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action. . . . “

But that still leaves the term ‘nation’ as part of the definition, without defining the term itself.

In 1960, the UN went further in its Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Now we have ‘peoples’, not just ‘nations’

But you just go ask entire scores of indigenous peoples how over the past 54 years UN member nations have ‘interpreted’ the principles they have signed up to. Not a great story. The reason why lies always in what resources are present on, and underneath, the land these peoples inhabit.

After the right to self-determination had been defined and chartered by the UN, it has been violated and ignored more often than it has been honored. But it’s still there. All we need to do is make sure it’s respected, always.

That means the Scots can have a referendum about independence from the UK. Though the feeling is there that they were granted it only because London thought it would fail, it is there. No such luck for the Catalans, who are simply refused the right to a vote by Madrid. The Basque have that right too, says the UN: ‘All peoples have the right to self-determination’. The Venetians. And countless others. The Cree and so many other First Nations in Canada. The list goes on.

Ukraine separated from the Soviet Union 25-odd years ago, as did many other parts of the failed empire. And now, if they want to, East Ukrainians should have the right to do the same. And present day Russia, i.e. what’s left of the Soviet Union, should have the right to be left alone by the US, EU and NATO, and not have missiles installed right outside its borders, the same way America wouldn’t accept those in Canada or Mexico.

The world needs a bigger and better and meaner definition of the right to self-determination, or just for all nations to adhere to the present one. It needs that because there are a lot of self-determination cases coming up as energy and credit crises will make the world a smaller and poorer place. With much less need or desire for centralized power.

While at the same time the centralized powers will scramble for more resources, not less. Just like once the Romans did.

As ultra cheap energy and ultra cheap credit run out, and they inevitably will, more people(s) will want to become master of their own domain. The UN says they have that right. But if we don’t make sure that right is generally accepted, that’s going to lead to 1001 ugly war theaters.

The world will decentralize. Sure, oil prices are low right now, but we all know oil is not in endless supply, and we also know it’s indispensable to our present economic models. So we’ll have to scale down. But that doesn’t have to be so bad if we prepare for it, starting with defining easy and non-violent ways for people to choose their own government on their own land. It’ll still take plenty adapting, but it doesn’t have to involve shelling and bloodshed.

The same goes for debt and credit. We’re way overstretched, and we’re never going to go back to the growth we once had. But so what, we’re over bloated as we are. The thing is to prevent people from fighting over it.

I know, it’s a tall order. But if saner minds take over than the ones we have in charge today, it can be done for most cases, most countries, most peoples. It’s where we can show we’re not just another spineless species.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer
Website: http://theautomaticearth.com (provides unique analysis of economics, finance, politics and social dynamics in the context of Complexity Theory)

© 2014 Copyright Raul I Meijer - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.
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