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About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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30 Responses

  1. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler
    March 19, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Wow, Annie: Thanks. I like it and you.

  2. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    March 19, 2014, 9:46 pm

    Yea for the Finns. I approve this message.

  3. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    March 19, 2014, 10:27 pm

    Way off topic but: For probably sound editorial reasons MW has avoided opening threads on the Ukraine. That discussion can open a real can or worms. However, for a site that spends much of its effort discussing Western Jewish attitudes towards problems in the ME, it does seem that what is happening in Ukraine is relevant.

    I do not think Israel is part of the problem in Ukraine nor do I think Zionist are particularly important players in this crisis. What is relevant is that the provisional government of Ukraine today is heavily influenced by neofascist and antisemitic elements. Twenty five per cent of the ministries of that government is controlled by the Svodoba Party and the Right Sector. These guys are without doubt fascists and old fashioned antisemites. Many Jewish immigrants over the last century have harrowing tales about the Ukrainian antisemites. Without going into the history this is one little anecdote that illustrates the issue: in September, 1941 just outside Kiev in a gully called Babi Yar, the Germans killed in one day 40,000 Jews. There were 300-500 Ukrainian Auxilaries that helped carry out that massacre. This was the precursor force that became part of the Bandolera brigades which are now worshiped by the current neofascists parties in Ukraine. Somehow I think this should be relevant to a site that spends so much time discussing the Jewish diaspora.

    • Real Jew
      Real Jew
      March 19, 2014, 10:56 pm

      Way off topic indeed. The reason why MW hasn’t touched this subject is because MW is a self described website for “the war of ideas in the middle east”. Therefore the Ukraine has no direct link to the middle east regardless of antisemitism.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      March 19, 2014, 11:24 pm

      @ ToivoS,

      As long as you keep excluding all those who’re entitled to their respective claims of being a ‘Semite,’ they[Ukrainians] are ‘anti-Jewish’ [for the time being, until all the wrongs have been…, nah, forget about it].

      Luckily the ‘new’ Ukrainian PM is Jewish so he’ll take care of any anti-Jewish feelings ASAP, don’t you think?

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        March 20, 2014, 1:58 am

        Nope Yats was appointed by the neocon US state department Victoria Nuland. Does’t make much difference since the current government does not have control over the recent internal police and defense ministries. Basically, the current government does not control the street.

      • March 20, 2014, 2:26 pm

        the ukraine operation is a neocon coup detat deceptively masqueraded as a freedom push for the ukrainians.
        ukraine and russia share an historical connection. kiev was the historical capital of the ancient rus empire, the present day russia.

      • annie
        annie
        March 21, 2014, 8:12 am

        Does’t make much difference since the current government does not have control over the recent internal police and defense ministries

        but as far as the west is concerned, they got the job done didn’t they? so that makes all the difference in the world. http://en.itar-tass.com/world/724755

        Ukraine-EU association agreement signed

        The association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and the member states was originally planned to be concluded at the Eastern Partnership summit on November 28-29, 2013

        less than 4 months, not a bad turn around, give nuland a raise. here’s how haaretz covers it: http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.581148

        EU, Ukraine sign landmark association agreement
        Parties commit to same deal former president Viktor Yanukovich rejected last November, a move which led to his overthrow.

        now, do you really think those who staged this coup care if the gov has control over police or any ministries if they can pull this off? this is about the missile defense shield surrounding russia, the one the west claims is for iran yada yada when everyone knows what ptb have been trying to do, same thing in georgia.

      • annie
        annie
        March 21, 2014, 8:30 am

        here’s more, i just googled ukraine/russia missile defense shield and it popped right up. http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_20/US-using-missile-defense-system-in-Europe-to-make-Russia-change-its-Ukraine-policies-0975/

        Western politicians have so often repeated that there is no reason whatsoever for Russia to worry about US missile defense bases in Europe. Yet, as soon as any differences emerged between Moscow and the West, missile defense immediately moved to the foreground, creeping closer to the Russian border.

        “Missile defense is a long-standing problem. The sides – the US, NATO and Russia – have, up to now, failed to come to agreement. Russia demands legally binding guarantees that this system is not directed against its strategic potential. The West refuses to provide such guarantees. Tensions in Ukraine have aggravated the situation around missile defense. Differences between Russia and NATO on missile defense are really very acute. In a situation where the West needs tools to exert pressure on Russia, missile defense is again being pushed to the foreground. It’s kind of political gambling,” Ivan Konovalov, Director of the Center for Strategic Conjuncture, told the Voice of Russia.

        The so-called Iranian threat served as the formal pretext for unfolding a US anti-missile defense umbrella over Europe. But despite progress at nuclear talks with Iran, the missile defense plans have not been scaled back.

        Basically, the current government does not control the street.

        basically, the street is meaningless. ukraine could turn into another bloodbath as far as US is concerned, as long as we get what we want. so yats delivered didn’t he?

        and here’s more from that haaretz link:

        Yanukovich turned his back on signing the EU agreement last November in favour of closer ties with Moscow, prompting months of street protests that eventually led to his fleeing the country. Soon afterwards, Russian forces occupied Crimea, drawing outrage and sanctions from the United States and EU.

        yada yada not a peep about western intervention, and then all about removing customs duties on a wide range of agricultural goods, textiles and other imports…..move ahead with signing a free-trade agreement …. unfettered access to the EU’s market of 500 million consumers.

        not a word about missile defense or the “European Atomic Energy Community”….

      • annie
        annie
        March 21, 2014, 8:46 am

        and one more thing toivo, what to make of this?

        nor do I think Zionist are particularly important players in this crisis.

        like they were not important in the cold war? like zionists are not particularly concerned about russia? please do elaborate.

        What is relevant is that the provisional government of Ukraine today is heavily influenced by neofascist and antisemitic elements.

        what i said earlier still stands ukraine could turn into another bloodbath as far as US is concerned, as long as we get what we want. so yats delivered didn’t he?

        who cares about fascists if they get the job done. and “antisemitic elements”? you think they care? the way they cozy up to hagee and the rapture crowd? “antisemitic elements” can be very useful tools for the neocons. or haven’t you noticed.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        March 21, 2014, 11:04 pm

        Well Annie, what I am saying is that it is not in Israel’s interest to take a side in this Ukraine business. This crises is not the result of some Zionist conspiracy. What we are seeing is that many of the neocons have entered this fight. They are not doing it on behalf of Israel. These are people that were initially anti Soviet and today are anti Russian. If you remember your neocon history, this was a group whose roots go back to the Troskyites more that a half century ago. Their anti-Russian ideology is aligned with Brzezensky. This is the big picture.

        Please keep in mind that the neocons sharpened their teeth during the cold war against the Soviet Union. Some of them are now returning to their roots. There is no way that they are being encouraged by Israel. So far I have not seen any efforts by AIPAC on this Ukraine issue. In fact what I have seen is that some of the organizations that are part of AIPAC, (the World Jewish Congress being an example) are totally appalled by the recent emergence of the anti-semitic neofascists groups that have gained so much power in the current Kiev regime.

        I remain puzzled why MW has avoided this issue. There is no question that the Zionists have been using antisemitism in Europe (which usually turns out to be ME Muslim opposition to Israel) to further Israel’s interests. Why do we avoid this obvious example of European antisemitsm in Ukraine that is being promoted by their nationalist parties. This issue is being ignored in the Western press.

        Why does MW ignore it?

      • annie
        annie
        March 22, 2014, 12:19 am

        what I am saying is that it is not in Israel’s interest to take a side in this Ukraine business…..They are not doing it on behalf of Israel.

        well just say that then, but don’t make some allegation that “nor do I think Zionist are particularly important players in this crisis,” when, by your own account ” neocons sharpened their teeth during the cold war against the Soviet Union. Some of them are now returning to their roots. ”

        There is no way that they are being encouraged by Israel.

        why, because there are no israeli-russian politicians who might be of the same mind as the american neocons? i mean really, how can you speak w/such confidence? and a good question to ask is ‘why wouldn’t israel have an opinion and why wouldn’t israel try to influence the situation. their cronies certainly (i know i know the players are not wearing t shirts w/”israel” blazoned across the front in blue and white) had their mits all over georgia and as i recall their military was training them. israel has a lot of interests in balkanizing many areas of the ME. they are not a one trick pony.

        This issue is being ignored in the Western press.

        Why does MW ignore it?

        i don’t know that anyone here is ignoring it. i don’t ignore the ukraine, i read [email protected] of alabama every single day. why don’t you write something about it and send it in as a submission. we have not had any ukraine posts here so it would take a bit of background. just do it yourself. i could ask you the same question, why haven’t you written anything about it? another aspect of this is i don’t always agree with phil and adam on all political issues. so if i were going to write about what was going on there, because i am on staff, i would have to do a fair amount of sourcing.

        and i’m not really interested in doing that. if i write something, i want it to reflect my opinion. and my opinions are not always print worthy for the front page. and even then, because my opinions would reflect on the site, it would probably go thru some editing process where i wouldn’t know how much of it would make the grade. why should i waste my time on it when it’s really not in the purview of topics we cover at this site.

        as i mentioned earlier, my opinions (like my comments above this one) ..well i can’t always just editorialize about whatever i want. and what i said earlier (“basically, the street is meaningless. ukraine could turn into another bloodbath as far as US is concerned, as long as we get what we want. so yats delivered didn’t he?”)…this is basically the same opinion i have wrt the anti semitism there. you don’t think nuland knows these guys are fascists? you don’t think they know there are raving anti semites on our coup team there? since when did a bunch of antisemites get in their way if it achieves their goals?

        i am sorry, but i don’t think ending anti semitism in the world is any kind of priority on israel’s list. not the way they milk it to serve immigration,”security” the constant victim status, territorial expansion, etc etc, they use it like a gold mine. if they didn’t like what was going on in the ikraine, and it wasn’t serving their agenda, and the anti semites were on the other team, you can believe me they’d be screaming bloody murder. but they are not. why? and you have so much certainty this is not a neocon conspiracy, albeit practically every thing neocons do they lie about and conspire, so where do you come up w/these theories that they just don’t give a fig about the ukraine and wouldn’t meddle there…i don’t know if i agree. and why would i want to write about something where all my opinion are just conjuncture, or opinion, or ‘hunch’ that may be left out of the final draft due to editorial concerns?

        i had exactly the same opinion as b on syria when this whole thing burst out, and phil (back then) was loving this ‘homegrown’ resistance just like he loved libya. i don’t even know what adam thought and there’s a good chance allison and alex and i don’t agree on everything either.

        i think my government, and israel, use fascists to carry out their agendas whenever it’s most expedient. that’s my personal opinion. but is it newsworthy? let someone else do it. maybe it’s just not on the front page here because no one wants to write about it.

        btw, great take down by abbey martin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGObsyDziBc

    • Susie Kneedler
      Susie Kneedler
      March 19, 2014, 11:25 pm

      [OT: Hi ToivoS,
      Neoconservatives may again be exposing their lack of principle and willingness to cause untold harm in the world: Neocon Victoria Nuland (married to Robert Kagan, Co-founder of the Project for a New American Century) encouraged the coup, apparently knowing that she was supporting “neo-Nazi” fascists. Some brave thinkers report what the dominant media obscure–here are a few recent essays:

      http://www.thenation.com/article/178344/distorting-russia
      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/17-2
      http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22542-paul-craig-roberts-on-crimea-us-foreign-policy-and-the-transformation-of-mainstream-media ].

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        March 19, 2014, 11:39 pm

        Yep Susie I do know that there were some neocons that brought this mess on in the Ukraine. They were acting out of a tradition that was outside of the many Jews who came to this country from Eastern Europe and Russian. Those neocons came from a different tradition.

      • John Douglas
        John Douglas
        March 20, 2014, 1:21 am

        One area of relevance of the Ukraine/Crimea/Putin flap to the ME is that if it poisons the U.S./Russia relationship much further then Russian cooperation on Syria and Iran might disappear. We could be back to Obama’s red lines in the sand and other foolishness.
        For what it’s worth I can’t see that the U.S. has any dog in this fight except to create yet another fake Hitler-like threat (see, Saddam Hussein, Quadaffi, Iran, Chavez, international terrorism, falling dominoes, etc., and now Putin the Terrible) to justify throwing more defense/security spending down the drain. Stephen Cohen from NYU has been talking sense about the West’s sabre rattling but few others.

      • kma
        kma
        March 20, 2014, 2:13 pm

        John Douglas,
        absolutely! when all this came down in Kiev, I thought it was obvious that the neo-con US state dept was gunning for Syria and Iran, just like they did with Iraq. whose interest is that? only Israel’s.
        this whole thing about there being anti-semites involved is about as surprising as US support for Syrian rebel groups. (as if we didn’t support bin Laden BEFORE, as well…) why would “Yats” give a rat’s ass what flavor of racism his goons list on their resume? they all hate Russia and would like nothing more than to see a bunch of ignorant Americans proudly marching to their deaths… again. and hurry up, because the 2SS is dying, BDS is here, and those pesky Palestinians still exist.
        I thought this was glaringly obvious. now I think some people might be pretending it isn’t true. ?

      • annie
        annie
        March 20, 2014, 10:26 pm

        They were acting out of a tradition that was outside of the many Jews who came to this country

        so what? you said nor do I think Zionist are particularly important players in this crisis.…i’d posit very important players(like nuland) are extreme zionists.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 20, 2014, 5:12 am

      @ ToivoS
      “There were 300-500 Ukrainian Auxilaries that helped carry out that massacre.”
      Many Ukrainians welcomed the Germans, supported them, because they and their families experienced the Soviet-induced famine, starving to death in great numbers, and as well, the Soviets murdered the cream of their intellectuals.

    • American
      American
      March 20, 2014, 3:07 pm

      Why are you worried about the Jews in the Ukraine?

      Israel claims that its existence ‘protects and guarantees’ the safety of All Jews worldwide—-so its Israel’s problem isn’t it?

  4. BillHaywood96
    BillHaywood96
    March 19, 2014, 10:46 pm

    Cheaper alternative to Sodastream with occupation jokes.

  5. alfa
    alfa
    March 19, 2014, 11:07 pm

    ToivoS. I believe you have established a benchmark.

  6. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    March 19, 2014, 11:25 pm

    @ Annie

    Forgot to give you and Medea a

    +[:[]:

    +[:[]:

    big hug.

  7. Sumud
    Sumud
    March 20, 2014, 4:18 am

    Brilliant, except I wish they had added to the water a nice deep blood-red flavour capsule to really drive home the idea of complicity.

    • smithgp
      smithgp
      March 20, 2014, 5:03 am

      And stolen the water from a neighbor’s sink.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      March 20, 2014, 7:13 am

      It’s a great video. I agree with Sumud that a blood-red flavour would have made it even better.

  8. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    March 20, 2014, 7:24 am

    Chris Hayes will take viewer questions today. Let’s use the opportunity to ask him about Palestinian rights: http://www.msnbc.com/all/chris-hayes-taking-your-questions

  9. Chu
    Chu
    March 20, 2014, 11:10 am

    smart spoof. Well done.

    I saw a young white college student at NYU the other day.
    Her T shirt read –

    ‘Hip Hop is Bigger than the Occupation’

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