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An analysis of the US strategy and role in the Ukraine conflict
international | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis Sunday September 07, 2014 13:53 by fred
Why is the current situation in Ukraine happening? Why are the US funding and driving this insane provocative campaign on Russia's doorstep at this time? Why are European leaders shooting themselves in the foot by supporting this instead of building closer economic tioes with Russia? Why are the media in lockstep demonising Putin and Russia. Who benefitted from the downing of MH17 and how? This is an analysis of some of the events in Ukraine and their possible motivations from the lens of US hegemony over Europe,maintaining their position as world reserve currency, and controlling the world's major oil and gas reserves
The US is using Ukraine to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia in order to maintain it's hegemony over Europe. This is what is really going on in Ukraine. Closer economic ties between Germany / Russia, Russia / China and Germany / China are alarming to the US. Potentially these countries could form an increasingly strong trading bloc dispensing with the need to use the dollar, thus helping them to more easily resist being strongarmed into corporate wetdream trade deals such as the TTIP
which undermine pre existing trading standards in the EU, enable the sale of substandard US food laced with GMOs and pesticides and other such less regulated goods into European markets, and give unprecedented powers to corporations to sue countries in undemocratic extra judicial courts for "potential lost profits" if those states dare to enact laws to protect their citizens which could potentially impact corporate profits by forcing them to have stronger environmental protections in their production processes etc.
But the vicious Kiev government has little regard for it's own population, judging by how it treated it's own soldiers, the Maidan protesters who still remain in Kiev, and the murderous bombardment of all of the unfortunate other Ukranian citizens living in the east of Ukraine and where thousands have already been killed plus the thousands of killings which are known to have taken place against anyone within Ukraine who has dared oppose the fascists. Where is the outcry for the deaths of all these people? All of this is part of Washington's cynical agenda. These people are not afraid of blood for they are accountable for the deaths of well over a million Iraqis, in the region of 100,000s of Afghanis, and similar numbers in both Libya and Syria where in the latter the so called "Free Syrian Army" has disappeared from our screens because it became to blatantly obvious they were crazy jihadists supported by the West and Gulf monarchies and have now morphed into ISIS. And while the Western propaganda machine known as the press is so keen on telling us the Kiev fascists and oligarches are democracts then why have they been shelling their own citizens in the East of the country and destroying infrastructure since last May and continue to do so?
Western powers, under instruction from Washington and clearly against the interests of their own populations, have even tried to undermine the building of the Southstream pipeline which is intended to bring cheap gas to Europe, bypassing Washington's captive Kiev puppet regime in Ukraine by transiting gas through Bulgaria. Bear in mind that Europe depends on Russia for it's supply of cheap gas, Ukraine are threatening to turn off the gas transiting through their territory and winter is approaching. You might be forgiven for wondering what kind of self destructive energy strategy are EU leaders following here??
Clearly EU governments are blindly serving the interests of the US completely against their own economic and military interests in all this. Because, wheras the US has little to lose in imposing sanctions on Russia, many EU countries rely on Russia for many goods and services and much of it's natural gas. Even the Irish government has been in lockstep with the EU in undermining relations with Russia using flaky US propaganda as it's justification. Ireland depends for 35% of it's electricity generation on gas and should gas prices rise because of European regional shortage then we will pay a lot more. Our exports to Russia are worth €640 million a year and most likely as the West ratchets up sanctions so will Russia too in retaliation. How much do we want to pay for this lunacy? Has everyone just gone completely crazy?
For example, Crimea was the result of a vote taken amongst a mostly ethnic Russian population who were horrified at the coup in Kiev and the presence of far right russophobic nazi sympathisers from Svoboda party and Right sector, who proceeded to remove Russian as an official language in Ukraine. The people there wanted nothing to do with these thugs and over 90% voted in favour of leaving Ukraine and returning to Russia. And of course Russia could not just stand by while it's only warm water military port in Crimea was taken away. Besides the naval port was there by international agreement in the same way the US has an international agreement with Cuba for its naval and torture base in Guantanamo Bay. Would the US give away pearl harbour to a Nazi backed coup? Of course not. What is most surprising is the very sane restraint shown by Russia in the face of huge provocation by the US backed Kiev coup government. Incidently as part of the naval port international agreement, Russia was permitted to have 25,000 troops stationed there. The West cleverly but devishly presented this as an "invasion" of Russian troops when in fact they were in their bases all along and everyone knew it.
There has been a bizarre and deliberate double standard of coverage exhibited by western media outlets all through this crisis. If you compare the coverage pre coup to coverage post coup, you see a complete shift in the language used and the complete tolerance for violence from one side, Kiev, while complete outrage at anything coming from the opposition or alleged support for these people from Russia.
Before the coup, there was outrage that police were on the streets trying to stop violent protests in Maidan
Once the coup was in place, the same media outlets that were so outraged turned a blind eye to the burning to death of 40 people in Odessa by these nazi sympathisers
Now the Maidan protesters themselves and their tents are being targeted by Kiev thugs without so much as a murmur from western media. I guess the penny has finally dropped with the naive useful idiots in maidan who were used as pawns to attack Russia to serve US interests
This is being stoked by key media outlets across Europe and the US. One example being the gung ho headlines and drumbeat to confrontation against Russia in "Der Spiegel" in Germany recently. WSWS.org has a very interesting analysis of this here which is well worth reading.
Some links to cut through the Western press propaganda:
The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith
The Nail In The Petrodollar CoffinGazprom Begins Accepting Payment For Oil In Ruble, Yuan
Russian Energy Giant Gazprom Wants Rubles, Not US Dollars, For Its Arctic Oil Exports Amid Western Sanctions
Russian Energy Giant Gazprom Wants Rubles, Not US Dollars, For Its Arctic Oil Exports Amid Western Sanctions
Russia Announces Decoupling Trade From Dollar
The bloodbath in Donetsk
Dutch Intellectuals Apologize to Putin for Lies on MH17, Syria, Ukraine...
NATO Piling Lies about Ukraine/Russia, Counts on US/UK Media to Sell Them
Defeated by Donbass Militia, Ukraine Military in Disarray, Minsk Agreement versus Posture for War
Tensions grow in Germany over threat of war with Russia
US and NATO step up military preparations against Russia
Western threats against Russia increase danger of nuclear war
Activist Education at the Albert Einstein Institution: A Critical Examination of Elite Co-option of Civil Disobedience
Stop the TTIP PDF doc from the People's Movement.
French protesters unite against govt's suspension of Mistral Naval Ship delivery to Russia
"Russia Invades Ukraine", Strategic NATO Public Relations Stunt. Where are the Russian Tanks?
How can you tell whether Russia has invaded Ukraine?
US Intelligence Veterans Urge Merkel To Avoid All-Out Ukraine War
MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.
You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift."
Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.
Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.
Experience With Untruth
Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."
Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.
That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell’s presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."
Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.
If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.
We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.
Lavrov warned pointedly of "fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene." Burns gave his cable the unusual title, "NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES," and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that "Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO."
Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. "Yats is the guy," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, "Fuck the EU."
Timing of the Russian "Invasion"
The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.
According to the "press service of the President of Ukraine" on August 18, Poroshenko called for a "regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives," said Poroshenko, adding, "we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances."
If the "new circumstances" meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to "regroup," to "rearrange" the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.
Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the "Russian invasion." That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that "the Russians are coming." (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)
No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support
The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.
At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.
This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
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What should the left in the West be doing and how should we be developing solidarity movements?
We have to build solidarity campaigns but they have to be linked up with other solidarity campaigns to broaden the struggle. I think it would be nice if we flew the flag of Novorossiya together with the flag of Palestine, for example. Solidarity campaigns shouldn’t be isolated from one another, they have to be integrated. Non-military tasks are emerging, and doctors, engineers, solidarity workers and humanitarian programmes are needed, like in other places.
People must go to the region to see how much damage has been caused by the war, and there must be material help provided, training and education and so on. We in Russia can help facilitate that. There are already volunteers from France and Spain but I don’t think more fighters are needed; rather, solidarity workers are needed, people who will help with reconstruction, especially as government troops are pushed away and areas are liberated.
Going forward I think opolchenie must score more victories, and Russian society must develop more solidarity movements together with Western societies, which also have to do the same. I think we have to look at these events in the same way as we look at Palestine, for example. There are all sorts of contradictions inside the movement, just as in Palestine – it’s not a homogenous movement. Not every single element of the movement is progressive.
The same is true in Novorossiya. It’s not a homogenous, progressive, revolutionary movement; it’s a coalition, which involves different elements. The movement started with people protecting the statues of Lenin, some of them fly red flags and so on but there are elements of Russian nationalism, and also there are more conservative elements who want Novorossiya to be like Ukraine before the crisis.
Caption: Video Id: VrGtwcZY4ns Type: Youtube Video
Boris Kagarlitsky: Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine launch
There's a good infographic of the military aspects of the Ukraine conflict over at: http://en.ria.ru/infographics/20140909/191902618/Prospe....html
Here's a screenshot of the who controls what territory in the East