Questions need to asked about the real role of the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
With her demeanor of quiet diplomacy and down-to-earth style, some may see her as a fixer of diplomatic solutions. But, increasingly, it seems that the British appointed European bureaucrat is playing a more sinister role of finessing regime change on behalf of Washington and its NATO allies.
Ashton – whose official British title is “Lady Ashton” – was made a member of the House of Lords under Britain’s archaic and undemocratic honors system back in 1999. She has never been elected by a popular vote, yet she has risen by political patronage to become Europe’s top diplomat deciding the fate of foreign states and millions of lives.
Up to now, Ashton has enjoyed something of a benevolent image akin to a “well-meaning auntie figure”. Mild-mannered and modest, she might be seen as an honest broker. For example, she is credited with helping to broker the P5+1 interim nuclear deal with Iran last November.
However, the covert involvement of Western governments in orchestrating the coup d’état in Ukraine and Ashton’s de facto participation in this regime-change operation makes her much less a lady and more a cynical operator who is far from an honest broker.
When the street protests sparked off in Kiev at the end of November, allegedly as a result of incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a EU trade pact, Ashton was among the trail of top Western political figures who took it upon themselves to “mediate” in the ensuing political crisis.
While Ashton appeared to be mediating between the Ukrainian government and protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square, she was nevertheless all the while stirring up the street demonstrations. She was photographed with protest leaders, including Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is now the self-styled prime minister of Ukraine, even though these agitators were urging neo-Nazi violence and widespread law breaking.
The EU foreign policy chief was thus instrumental in lending credibility and legitimacy to what can only be described as a violent seizure of government. The criminal involvement of the American CIA and its various non-governmental incarnations in fomenting this coup is well documented. That makes Ashton a CIA collaborator.
Ashton deserves further scrutiny because more evidence is emerging that the street massacre in Kiev last month precipitating the seizure of Ukraine’s government was carried out by snipers working for the Western-backed coup plotters.
The latest revelations from Ukraine’s former security chief confirm that the shootings were orchestrated by members of the Western-backed coalition – the coalition that has since taken political power in Kiev. Aleksandr Yakimenko told Russian media this week that the building from where the snipers fired fatal shots at police and protesters on February 20 was under the full control of the organizers of the Maidan demonstrations. In particular, Andriy Parubiy, who has since been appointed by the Kiev junta as head of the National Security and Defense Council, prevented any measures at the time of the shootings to arrest the snipers, says Yakimenko.
Yet, Ashton, along with other European and American leaders, has said little about what appears to be a huge crime. Indeed, she has endorsed the ruling administration in Kiev as the “interim government of Ukraine” even though the evidence points to the new political office holders in Kiev as being an unelected junta that came to power through acts of terrorism.
A phone call leaked last week showed that the EU foreign policy chief knew about allegations of the massacre from as early as February 26 when Ashton was told by Estonia’s top diplomat Urmas Paet about the snipers working for the Ukrainian opposition. Up to 100 people, including civilians and police were killed in the gunfire on February 20.
When Ashton was told of this sinister covert action, all she replied to Paet was: “Gosh, we must investigate that….”
Well, since then, Ashton has kept a conspicuous silence on what appears to be an act of mass murder by the Western-backed opposition. Former Ukrainian security chief Yakimenko says evidence points to the involvement of US Special Forces. He says the agitators worked closely with the US embassy in Kiev.
Considering the grave criminal implications, it is revealing that Ashton had so little to say in response to the initial news over the phone from the Estonian foreign minister. That suggests that Ashton already knew of the criminal conspiracy to use terrorism in order to grab power, or she is now choosing to cover up.
Either way, Ashton’s silence on the sinister events in Kiev is damning and especially so as more incriminating evidence emerges about the incident being a Western state-sponsored act of terrorism. Russia is calling for an international inquiry, but Aston and her Western allies are saying nothing. What has become of the supposed honest broker?
Last weekend, the Lady was in Tehran on what was hailed as a landmark visit. It was her first visit to Iran since she became EU foreign policy chief in 2009.
Rather mischievously, she announced in Tehran that there was “no guarantee” that a comprehensive agreement to the P5+1 nuclear negotiations would be achieved. Ashton then offended the Iranian government when she embarked on “unsanctioned” meetings with various political dissident groups while in Tehran – unrelated to the nuclear issue. Some Iranian parliamentarians accused her of interfering in Iranian internal affairs. Was that Ashton’s calling card for more such agitation in Iran, just like in Ukraine?
This week, US president Barack Obama signed off on a continuation of American sanctions against Iran for another year, which does not bode well for a comprehensive settlement to the decade-old nuclear dispute and for the lifting of Western sanctions punishing the Iranian people.
Given her role in facilitating Western regime change in Ukraine, which has since led to a dangerous escalation of tensions between Washington, its European allies and Russia, Lady Ashton is showing herself to be someone who cannot be trusted. Not so much Lady Ashton, more like Shady Ashton.