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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

That's about it, isn't it?

Salon correctly notes that Ukraine has fallen out of the news because "our policy failed."
The moment of truth was the cease-fire accord the Kiev government, Moscow and the two republics declared in eastern Ukraine signed in Minsk on September 5. With that document, Vladimir Putin succeeded in putting a stop to the preposterous charade wherein Ukraine was supposed to swerve smoothly into the Euro-American camp, so rolling out the neoliberal agenda like linoleum straight up to Russia’s borders.

Nice try, Victoria Nuland and all other “new world order” idolators. Actually, it was a very horrific try, costing several thousand lives and wrecking cities and vast parts of eastern Ukraine’s productive infrastructure. All this for the sake of deregulated capital and “free markets.”
If you're still confused, don't be. I know a guy who can help.

From time to time, I've directed your attention to Lobster, the oddly-named political journal published by a brilliant British writer named Robin Ramsay. His "A View From the Bridge" column (a semi-blog in pdf form) includes a summary of why and how we tried to steal Ukraine. I hope he won't feel that I've burgled an excessive number of his words, because what you're about to read should be considered mandatory. (I've turned the footnotes into hyperlinks.)
Recent events in Ukraine illustrate the gap between the mainstream media’s version of events and what we can find out for ourselves. The American-EU attempt to detach the Ukraine from the Russia orbit is stupid and dangerous. A comparison might be made to the Russians seeking to sign Mexico or Canada into an economic and military alliance. But the standard moves were made: the IMF offered a big loan to Ukraine with the usual conditions, ‘restructuring’ – i.e. unemployment and economic devastation. Unless the IMF analysts are incredibly stupid and completely misread the economic data on Ukraine, the real plan was that Ukraine would be unable to repay the loan and thus would have to repay in kind. This would entail giving large chunks of Ukraine to the American agri-chemical giant Monsanto, to seed the Ukrainian plains with its GM wheat; and so, when Ukraine eventually joined the EU, an end run would have been made around the widespread objection to GM crops within the union: GM wheat would already be growing there.

That was the plan but the Russians initially topped it with a better offer than the IMF/EU deal. So the Americans overthrew the Ukrainian government and installed one of their people.

That’s about it, isn’t it?
Yep. Pretty much.
And how much of this has made it into the British mainstream media?
Or the American mainstream media. Or anyone else's.
The IMF loan has since been made but Ukrainian politics is so corrupt the loan is probably long gone into off-shore accounts, it won’t be repaid and Monsanto will duly get their hands on what used to known as ‘the breadbasket of Europe’.

Despite the presence in Russia of a kleptocracy not dissimilar to that running the US, the American weapons lobby wants Russia as an enemy and Obama’s people cannot cannot think of a way to resist this.
That last bit is the only claim my readers might question. Where's the evidence that Obama's people have "resisted" anything? I'm not convinced that "the West" will win this one.

If any of you ever get the chance to run into John Kerry, ask him this question: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for Monsanto?"

Jack Frost will settle the matter. Moon of Alabama explains what is happening in Ukraine right now, and what (in all likelihood) will happen.
The Minsk ceasefire is largely holding even as daily battles occurs at the Donetsk airport. There coup-government troops are holed up in the nuclear bunkers beneath the airport and resist all attacks from the federalists while other government units indiscriminately shell the city every day.

But that fight is a bit of a sideshow. The government troops have lost too much material to go on a large offense and the federalists currently lack resupplies from Russia and are thereby restricted to generally defensive positions.

Russia is for now happy with the situation. It sits comfortable and waits for its largest traditional ally, Jack Frost, to come and to squeeze the Ukrainian government into further concessions.
The Ukrainian ultra-nationalists may feel a lot less "ultra" once the shivers set in -- which will happen if Kiev and Russia can't negotiate a deal. Russia has the gas and they don't.

That's about it, isn't it?

Troubling signs. Victoria Nuland is in Ukraine right now, stirring up trouble, as is her Machiavellian wont. University of Illinois professor Francis Boyle has some interesting insights into the visit:
"Nuland certainly is not over there to promote democracy: there are elections coming up in Ukraine toward the end of the month, but clearly these are "Potemkin's village" elections simply to enable the Obama administration to say there is a democratically elected government and parliament, while no one in Donbas is voting and there's already been lustration applied to prevent any of the opposition to vote.

"Nuland, who is responsible for the coup d'état against former president Yanukovich and for bringing Petro Poroshenko in power, is not interested in establishing democracy in Ukraine, but instead in making Ukraine at least de facto member of NATO and using this as a jumping off point for destabilization of the Russian Federation."
"Lustration" is defined (and rationalized) here.

Europe is sending spy drones to Peter Puppetshenko. Will armed drones follow?
The fact that Ukraine has dropped out of the news demonstrates that the United States started this war, and that western media is an obedient lapdog, parroting whatever the CIA tells it to say. So the fascist Ukrainian coup government lost the civil war, and settled under a Putin sponsored peace plan. Were this war an actual result of Russian aggression, then the failure of the Kiev forces would have resulted in a rout, and resulting social and political changes that the western media would be all over like flies on shit. But Ukraine is licking its wounds and peacefully settling in for winter, and the media went silent and Ukraine went off the TV screens to be replaced by ISIS and Ebola. Just like the shoot down of Malaysian flight 117. It didn't work out like planned so it isn't newsworthy anymore... down the memory hole.

"Leading German Journalist Admits CIA 'Bribed' Him and Other Leaders of the Western 'Press'"
There's an excellent discussion in comments over at Ian's place appended to his premature dismissal of the Donetsk rebels. It should be noted that there is in fact SOME popular support for the coup government in Kiev, though there is also some concern that what the the Ultras have made, they may choose to unmake. Ms. Nuland et al may have fanned the flames $5 billion worth, but the nationalist, anti-Russian spark was certainly there already. The view from Prague is that the the specter of Russia in an aggressive mood has generals throughout the former Warsaw Pact changing their underwear.
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Thanks guys. I do understand that the Americans had material to work with in Ukraine -- legitimate grievances with the former government, plus less-legitimate hyper-nationalist ambitions.

There is ALWAYS material to work with, if you are out to subvert a country from without.

By the way, can anyone name the film which provided the image included in this story? It's considered a classic in eastern Europe. I saw it when I was very young (it had a brief US release with awful dubbing) and still have very fond memories of it.
Here's some good commentary on "the free market" of neo-liberalism designed to poison
Culture (whether Russian or any other.)

"The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is also focused on the question of dependency, and looks to Russia and the Eurasian Union to remove itself from the moribund EU. Only about 30% of Ukrainian trade is with the EU, while 50% is with the CIS. The EU trade is mostly primary products, while trade with the CIS is high value added. Independence really meant the looting of Ukraine; the crisis, beginning in 2007, was created by speculation and usury. It is clear that the modern economy is destroying itself, as most of the world’s wealth is in the hands of banks and speculators. In Ukraine, 80% live below the poverty line, and as a result, about 20% want reunification with Russia and 81% want a strong customs union with Eurasia. This is about 65-70% in western Ukraine.

PN Symmonenko, part of the National Communist movement, accepts a Titoist approach to socialism. He sees any turn to the west in Ukrainian history to have been a disaster. Today, Ukraine offers little to the west, but would be integral to Eurasia. Ukraine has immense economic potential, but the IMF, insisting on primary exports, is already dismantling what is left of Ukraine. Small and medium firms are to be left in private hands. Oligarchy is the enemy of mankind and any allies are accepted against them. Ukrainian capitalists are not part of the nation, but seek short term profit at the behest of the EU, seeking only cheap labor and raw materials. Production based largely on credit cannot last. This is the nature of the western crisis.

Both Vitrenko and Symmonenko argue that capitalism is oligarchy. It is less efficient than central planning and less just. Capitalism is immoral both in its foundations and its psychological effects. National Communism sees a strongly pan-Slavic nationalism, Eurasian integration and a clear rejection of the west, that is incapable of stopping its own decline. Capitalism is separating the economy from any other values. It stresses short term profits at the expense of the common good. It’s view of private property amounts to oligarchy, since most property is in the hands of the few. Ethnic unity, the non aligned movement, withdraw from the IMF and a focus on domestic production, corporate organization and a basic equity is the path to recovery."

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