Fiscally strapped Western governments can argue that such planning would not pass muster in an age of growing austerity. The status quo-with Russia supplying a significant portion of Europe's energy needs within the confines of a long-term energy partnership and Ukraine's industries geared towards supplying a Russian/Eurasian market-seemed to make perfect sense even six months ago.

If that was the case, then there was a critical mismatch between the economic realities of leaving Ukraine economically tied to Russia and political aspirations of moving the country closer to the West. Were these discontinuities not flagged in the respective policy shops of the key Euro-Atlantic countries, or worse, was there a naive belief that Vladimir Putin would simply have to accept new geopolitical realities? Putin had made it clear in the years since the Orange Revolution of 2004 that he considered Ukraine to be a vital national interest, and that he would take drastic action if needed to secure Moscow's equities in Ukraine.

So now we have a crisis in Ukraine, and one where we will have to spend much more, both in terms of resources and in political capital, to try to get to a settlement that will be less advantageous to Western (or even Ukrainian) interests than if the groundwork had been laid, either for Ukraine's westward movement or to reach some sort of accommodation with Moscow. And while Ukraine dominates the headlines-and sucks up all the oxygen in the policy process-what other long term troubles quietly stirring under the water where proactive action might make a difference are being ignored-until we have our next Ukraine erupting into the headlines?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a contributing editor at The National Interest, is a professor of national-security studies at the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are entirely his own

The Age of Neo-Imperialism Western Hypocrisy in Ukraine and Capitulation in Palestine By Henry D' Souza

What distinguishes Imperialism from Neo-Imperialism is that with the latter the former colonies and others in a similar situation are fully independent, each country theoretically running its own foreign and domestic policies.

April 21, 2014 | Al-Jazeerah, CCUN

There are three aspects about the use of the terms, Imperialism, colonialism and their derivatives that need clarification: definitions need to be clearer; dates need to be more accurate, and it should be noted that some powerful countries are following others.

The entry in wikipedia.org which states that Neo-Imperialism began in 1830 and ended in 1945 is entirely misleading.

Imperialism involves colonies, and colonial rule in Africa began with the Partition of Africa by the Treaty of Berlin in 1870 and ended at different times. In Africa south of the Sahara, the "wind of change" came in the nineteen sixties. Colonial rule in Asia and North Africa ended after the end of World War Two. Consequently, Imperialism began and ended at different times in different geographical areas. Wikipedia's "neo-Imperialism" should consequently be read as "Imperialism."

Some Imperialists treated colonies as extension of the homeland. France and Portugal, for instance, treated people of the colonies as citizens of the "mother country." Britain was ambivalent about her colonies; sometimes they treated their overseas people as citizens and sometimes they were "Commonwealth citizens," with no rights of entry to Britain.

From the late nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, Western Imperialists struck a deal. By the Monroe Doctrine, the US treated the Americas as their "sphere of influence" and the Europeans were allowed to dictate terms in the rest of the world. The US, therefore, had an imperialist framework for the Americas south of the US, but operated in a neo-imperialist mode.

Russia's intended expansion is similar to the US's. Whereas Russia extended its territory eastwards towards the Pacific, the US had to wage a war with Mexico to gain access to the Pacific. Both, Russia and USA, take a neo-Imperialist approach towards their southern neighbors. Crimea, which Russians claim as theirs, is Russia's equivalent of warm-water Hawaii which was annexed by guile.

Given a time gap, China followed the Imperialist model by annexing independent states, like Tibet and Uyghuristan, after 1945.

Russia's annexation of Crimea annoyed the West since an independent country, Ukraine, was invaded and taken by force. Russia's claim that it was reclaiming territory that was made part of Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, was unacceptable to the West and Ukraine. The annexation of Crimea and the separation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia in 2008 by armed force, are recent examples of Russian Imperialism.

Palestinians, on the other hand, note that they are experiencing what Lenin called "the highest form of Capitalism – Imperialism"1 which started after 1945. Gaza is an open air prison and the West Bank is steadily losing territory. The Palestinians are neither fully independent nor are they inhabiting a colony. Israel uses the Russian model in administering the Palestinians: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, West Bank and Gaza are non-states and therefore in limbo.

What distinguishes Imperialism from Neo-Imperialism is that with the latter the former colonies and others in a similar situation are fully independent, each country theoretically running its own foreign and domestic policies.

We would have to agree, however, with Scientific American that each former colony will continue to have "strong elements of neo-colonialism …in the economic relations between rich and poor countries."2 But a better word for "neo-colonialism" in this quote is "neo-Imperialism."

For neo-Imperialism to function smoothly, the British and French introduced the term "Commonwealth." By the 1931 Statute of Westminster, the modern British Commonwealth was created and within two decades it had 53 members, which includes monarchies, republics and commonwealth realms.

Ten countries, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, St Lucia Seychelles and Vanuatu, joined the French Commonwealth, or Francophonie, where decisions are arrived at by majority voting, unlike the British Commonwealth where decisions are arrived at by consensus.3

Russia followed with its Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 1991 when the Soviet Union imploded. But CIS was found to be weak.

The Russians, therefore, created the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) to improve economic activity, like energy and water coordination. The Treaty signed in 2001 included founding members, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and new members, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia had observer status.

Meanwhile, the EU was pushing for an Eastern (Economic) Partnership a year after the Georgian War of 2008. Many states which were part of Russia's Near Abroad want to join this Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. But Russia takes objection to this interference.4

Since, in today's world, independent states are more numerous than colonies and states in limbo, we have to conclude that this is an Age of Neo-Imperialism where large states dominate weaker independent ones, through economic and indirect political means. Imperialism, a relic of the past, is an anomaly which crops up from time to time.

We have to conclude, too, that when independent countries do not complain about neo-imperialism they feel that they are benefiting from an association with the "mother" country or benefactors. This explains why the United Nations General Assembly collaborates with a Security Council where only former imperialists have veto power.

As the world takes on a new political shape, we have to agree with Saker, a pseudonym, that a new Cold War is developing between the "Anglo-Zionist world power structure" and a Eurasian bloc.5 A Russian general suggested that China and Russia should have a more effective military alliance to counteract NATO. But China feels that the time has not come for such a move.

It is ironic that the West should object to Imperialism in Ukraine while participating in Imperialism in Palestine.

[Apr 22, 2014] ​Firefighters v arsonists US confirms $5bn spent on 'Ukraine democracy' by Alexandre Antonov

Nuland is simply a neocon and is doing what neocons always do. And Neoconservatism can be distilled into the following four beliefs:
  1. America is good and a force for good, and everything it does is right.
  2. America should therefore assume global leadership by force if necessary - including regime change.
  3. The bad guys who stand in the way of freedom, democracy and the American way, must be neutralized. These rogue states are (a) Iran, (b) Russia and (c) China. They are the impediment to the neoliberal paradise which awaits mankind.
  4. Uppity little states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, who cannot be won over to the American way (even if they were once aligned to it, as Saddam was) must be smashed up.
RT Op-Edge

People holding illegal arms and occupying government buildings are perfectly OK, as long as they are permitted to do so, believes Washington's top diplomat in Europe. But doing exactly the same thing without permission is bad.

This piece of infallible logic came from the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, as she refused to equate the situation in Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in February with the present one in eastern Ukraine. In both cases armed militias have seized buildings and refused to leave.

"You can't compare the situation in Kiev, where now everything that is still being held by protesters is being held with licenses and with the agreement of the government of Ukraine, with the agreement of the Rada, or with regular leases from the owners of the buildings," Nuland told CNN in an interview.

Of course, when those militias were taking over buildings and building barricades in Kiev and elsewhere in in Ukraine, they didn't have any license. It was only after they toppled the Ukrainian government that the new authorities moved to legitimize those seizures. The same authorities whose legitimacy is now being questioned by the protesters in the country's east.

There is another difference between the two armed movements, according to Nuland.

"You can't compare it to what is happening in eastern Ukraine, where you have armed separatists wearing balaclavas, carrying very heavy munitions, holding government buildings refusing to allow monitors in refusing to allow journalists in," she claimed.

As if balaclava-wearing radical protesters never pelted the police with firebombs and didn't shoot at them with guns stolen from police stations in Ukraine. But isn't this is how the people presumably now in charge came to power?

The Kiev militias are where they are because they could topple the new government just as they did with the previous one. They already besieged the parliament demanded the resignation of the interior minister for the killing one of their leaders, and it took a lot of convincing on the part of the MPs to make them leave.

Of course when the authorities can't force somebody to follow the law, they can save face by altering that law. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian government, disarming those unruly militias is what they agreed to by signing a joint statement with Russia, the US and the EU in Geneva last week. Pretending that this document applies only to those opposing Kiev simply won't work.

Naturally, Washington blames Russia for making things worse in Ukraine, and fails to see the impotence of the current government.

"We continue to be concerned that you cannot dress yourself like a firefighter and behave like an arsonist," Nuland said.

One can wonder what she was dressing herself like as she was treating Maidan activists to cookies and discussing the composition of the government which now sits in Kiev with the US ambassador to Ukraine.

Or how the $5 billion, which the US poured into "building civil society" in Ukraine helped the country overcome its inherent divisions and build a stable nation that can change its government without any street violence.

[Apr 19, 2014] Inside the 'Donetsk People's Republic': balaclavas, Stalin flags and razorwire by Luke Harding

Luke Harding with his neocon lies again...
Apr 19, 2014 | The Guardian

Scipio1 -> MathEnglish

The fact of the matter is that Harding is not an investigative journalist seeking out the truth, but basically a propagandist, whatever he might believe to the contrary. Okay, so he wants to be part of the Russia-bashing fraternity, that is his prerogative, but please don't us expect to be drawn into his cold war mindset and political obsessions. He has obviously got an enormous political axe to grind and a very l

  1. America is good and a force for good, and everything it does is right.
  2. America should therefore assume global leadership by force if necessary - including regime change.
  3. The bad guys who stand in the way of freedom, democracy and the American way, must be neutralised. These rogue states are (a) Iran, (b) Russia and (d) China. They are the impediment to the neoliberal paradise which awaits mankind.
  4. Uppity little states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, who cannot be won over to the American way (even if they were once aligned to it, as Saddam was) must be systematically smashed up.

And so a string of failed states are being created from Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan and now perhaps Ukraine.

This has all resulted from the neo-con takeover (of which Ms Nuland is a prime example) of US foreign policy in the US State department and the Pentagon.

Ok course none of this implies that everything is rosy in the garden in those countries mentioned. But that does not of course stop the accusation of critics being 'Kremlin trolls' 'Putin bots' and the rest of the silly epithets.

But of course this is a standard debating trick when it is difficult to counter the facts and issues raised.

Nabaldashnik -> Scipio1

Essentially the belief is

  1. America is good and a force for good, and everything it does is right.
  2. America should therefore assume global leadership by force if necessary - including regime change.
  3. The bad guys who stand in the way of freedom, democracy and the American way, must be neutralised. These rogue states are (a) Iran, (b) Russia and (d) China. They are the impediment to the neoliberal paradise which awaits mankind.
  4. Uppity little states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, who cannot be won over to the American way (even if they were once aligned to it, as Saddam was) must be systematically smashed up.

[Apr 17, 2014] Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap by MIKE WHITNEY

Apr 17, 2014 | CounterPunch

"Russia … is now recognized as the center of the global 'mutiny' against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful .. approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the US and EU…. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging." – Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities, CounterPunch

Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine's democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup's leaders. Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country.

Putin's main interest in Ukraine is commercial. 66 percent of the natural gas that Russia exports to the EU transits Ukraine. The money that Russia makes from gas sales helps to strengthen the Russian economy and raise standards of living. It also helps to make Russian oligarchs richer, the same as it does in the West. The people in Europe like the arrangement because they are able to heat their homes and businesses market-based prices. In other words, it is a good deal for both parties, buyer and seller. This is how the free market is supposed to work. The reason it doesn't work that way presently is because the United States threw a spanner in the gears when it deposed Yanukovych. Now no one knows when things will return to normal.

Check out this chart at Business Insider and you'll see why Ukraine matters to Russia.

The overriding goal of US policy in Ukraine is to stop the further economic integration of Asia and Europe. That's what the fracas is really all about. The United States wants to control the flow of energy from East to West, it wants to establish a de facto tollbooth between the continents, it wants to ensure that those deals are transacted in US dollars and recycled into US Treasuries, and it wants to situate itself between the two most prosperous markets of the next century. Anyone who has even the sketchiest knowledge of US foreign policy– particularly as it relates to Washington's "pivot to Asia"– knows this is so. The US is determined to play a dominant role in Eurasia in the years ahead. Wreaking havoc in Ukraine is a central part of that plan.

Retired German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jochen Scholz summed up US policy in an open letter which appeared on the Neue Rheinilche Zeitung news-site last week. Scholz said the Washington's objective was "to deny Ukraine a role as a bridge between Eurasian Union and European Union….They want to bring Ukraine under the NATO control" and sabotage the prospects for "a common economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

Bingo. That's US policy in a nutshell. It has nothing to do with democracy, sovereignty, or human rights. It's about money and power. Who are the big players going to be in the world's biggest growth center, that's all that matters. Unfortunately for Obama and Co., the US has fallen behind Russia in acquiring the essential resources and pipeline infrastructure to succeed in such a competition. They've been beaten by Putin and Gazprom at every turn. While Putin has strengthened diplomatic and economic relations, expanded vital pipeline corridors and transit lines, and hurtled the many obstacles laid out for him by American-stooges in the EC; the US has dragged itself from one quagmire to the next laying entire countries to waste while achieving none of its economic objectives.

So now the US has jettisoned its business strategy altogether and moved on to Plan B, regime change. Washington couldn't beat Putin in a fair fight, so now they've taken off the gloves. Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't that why the US NGOs, and the Intel agencies, and the State Dept were deployed to launch their sloppily-engineered Nazi-coup that's left the country in chaos?

Once again, Putin played no part in any of this. All he did was honor the will of the people in Crimea who voted overwhelmingly (97%) to reunite with the Russian Federation. From a purely pragmatic point of view, what other choice did they have? After all, who in their right mind would want to align themselves with the most economically mismanaged confederation of all time (The EU) while facing the real possibility that their nation could be reduced to Iraq-type rubble and destitution in a matter of years? Who wouldn't opt-out of such an arrangement?

As we noted earlier, Putin's main objective is to make money. In contrast, the US wants to dominate the Eurasian landmass, break Russia up into smaller, non-threatening units, and control China's growth. That's the basic gameplan. Also, the US does not want any competitors, which we can see from this statement by Paul Wolfowitz which evolved into the US National Defense Strategy:

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

This is the prevailing doctrine that Washington lives by. No rivals. No competition. We're the boss. What we say, goes. The US is Numero Uno, le grande fromage. Who doesn't know this already? Here's more from Wolfowitz:

"The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

In other words, "don't even think about getting more powerful or we'll swat you like a fly." That's the message, isn't it? The reason we draw attention to these quotes is not to pick on Wolfowitz, but to show how things haven't changed under Obama, in fact, they've gotten worse. The so called Bush Doctrine is more in effect today than ever which is why we need to be reminded of its central tenets. The US military is the de facto enforcer of neoliberal capitalism or what Wolfowitz calls "the established political and economic order". Right. The statement provides a blanket justification for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine. The US can do whatever it deems necessary to protect the interests of its constituents, the multi-national corporations and big finance. The US owns the world and everyone else is just a visitor. So shut the hell up, and do what you're told. That's the message. Here's Wolfowitz one more time:

"We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others."

Wolfowitz figured the moment would come when the US would have to square off with Moscow in order to pursue it's imperial strategy in Asia. Putin doesn't seem to grasp that yet. He still clings to the misguided notion that rational people will find rational solutions to end the crisis. But he's mistaken. Washington does not want a peaceful solution. Washington wants a confrontation. Washington wants to draw Moscow into a long-term conflict in Ukraine that will recreate Afghanistan in the 1990s. That's the goal, to lure Putin into a military quagmire that will discredit him in the eyes of the world, isolate Russia from its allies, put strains on new alliances, undermine the Russian economy, pit Russian troops against US-backed armed mercenaries and Special Ops, destroy Russian relations with business partners in the EU, and create a justification for NATO intervention followed by the deployment of nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory. That's the gameplan. Why doesn't Putin see that?

[Apr 14, 2014] Ukraine's deadline passes for pro-Russian rebels to surrender

The Guardian

Zippydoo, 14 April 2014

To summarize..

A) Assorted neo-nazis and fascists have just violently overthrown the democratically elected Government of Ukraine, as a result of being been egged on and funded by the West.

Even Nuland couldn't resist expressing her gratitude by getting personally into the action to hand out the much needed cookies.)

B) Protesters and activists are now protesting against this overthrow of democracy in Ukraine.

Two Questions:

1) Will Nuland get herself over there once again to deliver fresh cookies and arrange for more taxpayers money to go the new lot of protesters?

2) Will McCain give his verbal support with another rousing speech at the new barricades?

Stewby Zippydoo

Is it irony that the extreme right uses cookie monster to recruit the youth in Europe and Nuland uses cookies to recruit the extreme right in Ukraine?

Does Nuland have that sort of sense of humor?

Stijn C. Zippydoo

I must say I don't understand why you conspiracy nuts are so obsessed with McCain and Nuland.

Surely you could've made your loony theories slightly more plausible by using actual important American political actors.

Stewby Stijn C.

Conspiracy is real. Why do people insist that since there are some crazy conspiracy theories out there that means that all conspiracy theories are impossible.

The job of intelligence agencies and diplomats is to conspire amongst themselves and with those of other nations to advance the interests of the American people. Lately the only loyalty of our spies and diplomats are to the banks, so they spend all their time shaking down other nations to extort rent for the bankers to pocket.

Real people will die because of this reckless foreign policy. I suspect that Nuland and McCain are just too stupid to realize that the Russians could never countenance giving up Crimea as a military installation, and I am fairly sure that they wouldn't have done what they did if they had seen this crisis coming.

[Apr 12, 2014] East Ukraine protesters joined by miners on the barricades

From comments: "No sign of Kagan`s wife among the demonstrators on this occasion---no expletives---are East Ukrainians less deserving of our sympathy than westerners---are they not people too with families and dreams of the future---are "liberals" liberal only when it serves their interests?"
12 April 2014 | http://www.theguardian.com

Word spread quickly through the few hundred pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine: "The miners are coming!"

The crowd parted as a group of a dozen or so burly men in orange work helmets marched past barbed-wire and tyre barricades into the 11-storey administration building, which protesters seized last weekend as they demanded greater independence from Kiev.

"Glory to the miners!" the crowd began chanting. "Glory to Donbass!" they shouted, much as protesters at Kiev's Euromaidan demonstrations had shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" before they ousted the president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.

... ... ...

"It's hard to arouse the miners, but when you do, there will be trouble," said Artyom, a former miner who was guarding the administration building on Friday night. "If the miners all rise up, it will be an economic, physical and moral blow. It will be hard for everyone."

... ... ...

"There's only one position, only in support of the referendum," said a miner who identified himself only as Vitaly. "But we can't stop working today, or tomorrow I'll be on the street," he added, saying that any strike would put the mine out of commission for a significant period.

Oleg Krymenko, another local miner, said he did not support the occupation but worried about rising prices – the cost of utilities and basic goods has been shooting up in recent months – and said ties with Russia should be close. "They work and that's it. Before their shift, they have to relax. Coalminers don't engage in nonsense," he said about the protests.

A miner's work is tough, especially in the ageing coal mines of the Donbass. Local miners descend to depths of up to 1,300 metres and often work in temperatures pushing 100 degrees fahrenheit. Fatalities are common, and 111 died in a series of explosions at the local Zasyadko mine in 2007. Flags were lowered to half-mast in Donetsk on Friday after seven miners died in a gas explosion at the Skochinsky mine.

Equipment is often worn-out and safety procedures are frequently violated, according to Oleg Obolents, a retired miner who recently formed an independent miners' union to fight for better pay and safety standards. Donbass miners are "breathing incense", he said, using an expression that refers to the incense burned during Russian Orthodox funeral services and is roughly equivalent to having "one foot in the grave".

A local miner named Andrei said he came to the barricades every day after work, wearing his orange helmet and headlamp. He and his comrades often discussed the political situation when descending into their mine outside the city, he said.

"We need to fight for our rights and protect the Donbass from Bandera supporters. I don't like the Kiev regime," he said, referring to Stepan Bandera, a second world war nationalist leader who is commemorated with dozens of monuments in western Ukraine but widely reviled as a Nazi collaborator in the east. Many protesters see the new Kiev government as dominated by nationalists from western Ukraine, which has a largely agrarian economy.

... ... ...

Most of the major mines in Donbass are owned by Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man, who has served as a mediator in negotiations between the Donetsk protesters and the Kiev-appointed governor. In a speech on Friday at a meeting with Ukraine's prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Akhmetov said he supported the protesters' demands for preserving the Russian language and greater independence from Kiev, but added: "For me, Donbass is Ukraine."

Valera, a miner who said the Kiev regime was cracking down on the Russian language, predicted "trouble for the bosses" if the mines stopped working. "If they stop, there will be war," he said.

domeus

No sign of Kagan`s wife among the demonstrators on this occasion---no expletives---are East Ukrainians less deserving of our sympathy than westerners---are they not people too with families and dreams of the future---are "liberals" liberal only when it serves their interests?

desnol

Why can't our media tell it like it is? It's a no brainer - an unpopular, but legitimately elected government is overthrown by a bunch of thugs in a violent coup d'etat. US and EU handpick several front men to be the replacement government, but - unsurprisingly - the coup fails because the Quizzlings don't have the support of the population of Ukraine.

People from eastern Ukraine are raising a revolution in protest, and I'd be gobsmacked if the people from western Ukraine really want to be ruled by a bunch of greedy and violent thugs, especially now that they know that EU won't give them money or jobs, or do anything to improve their lot.

In the meantime, a bunch of self-interested arms manufacturers and military profiteers from the "international community" are doing their utmost to start World War 3, and the rest of us are likey to feel the chill next winter, because our gas central heating won't work or will be too expensive to afford.

I just hope that the UK media come to their senses before this gets worse. Mainstream media have lost their credibility over their handling of the Ukraine story - it's time to sober up and start telling it like it is.

MELSM desnol

Misspelling: the term you want is 'Quislings'.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quislings

Alice Ponomareva

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWjDjmEVs7w

Galitsia, listen, let's start a divorce

Without noise, without blood, and a fight in public

What for we need mess, and beaten faces?

Let's divorce as humans, decently.

I longly fed you, I didn't cause trouble,

I duly filled budget, year to year

And you were keen on partying, Maidanning for years

While calling me there your serf, and defective.

You're turning your eyes to the West

To me, you know, more native are Belarus, and Russia,

Let's divorce That's better That has to be done.

Like Chekhs, like Slovaks - easy and handsome.

For you, for a long time, is Poland awaiting

To her, about fascism, you will tell, in detail, all the stories

In the centre of Brussels, you will arrange mess and debauches

I'm sure, Europe will estimate it. (value)

Galitsia, listen, let's divorce

Time has come, let's do the summary:

To you - at FOC Maidans to spend time

And to me - to work

Yours,

Jugo-Vostok.

Nuland Lies Again in Testimony Before Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

April 9, 2014 (EIRNS)-Victoria Nuland, the midwife of Obama's illegal neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine, lied repeatedly in testimony before the CSCE, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, today, as she further exposed the Obama administration's control of the regime she installed.

During the hearing she was asked by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) whether she could give any assurances that the claims which many of his constituents have brought to his attention, that the coup in Ukraine was run by neo-Nazis, was not valid. Nuland who knows full well that she was in bed with neo-Nazis, could not bring herself to even repeat the words "neo-Nazis." Instead she avoided the issue by lying that some extremist elements involved, but they were talked out of buildings in Kiev and disarmed by other Maidan participants.

To try to minimize the involvement of neo-Nazis in the regime, she said that extremists on the left and the right are only polling 3%. Of course, she left out that the deputy prime minister of Ukraine and the head of national security are both neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party, that the National Guard is recruiting thousands of members of the neo-Nazi Right Sector, and that the Nazis are regularly beating up members of Parliament, judges, and political opponents throughout the country.

Nuland also said Washington had low expectations for the planned four-way talks between Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union. "We don't have high expectations for these talks, but we do believe it is very important to keep that diplomatic door open, and we'll see what they bring," effectively signalling that Obama has no intention of seriously seeking a negotiated solution.

[Mar 30, 2014] Neocons and the Ukraine Coup

OpEdNews

More than five years into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to take full control over his foreign policy, allowing a bureaucracy shaped by long years of Republican control and spurred on by a neocon-dominated U.S. news media to frustrate many of his efforts to redirect America's approach to the world in a more peaceful direction.

But Obama deserves a big dose of the blame for this predicament because he did little to neutralize the government holdovers and indeed played into their hands with his initial appointments to head the State and Defense departments, Hillary Clinton, a neocon-leaning Democrat, and Robert Gates, a Republican cold warrior, respectively.

Even now, key U.S. diplomats are more attuned to hard-line positions than to promoting peace. The latest example is the Ukraine where U.S. diplomats, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, are celebrating the overthrow of an elected pro-Russian government.

Occurring during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the coup in Ukraine dealt an embarrassing black eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had offended neocon sensibilities by quietly cooperating with Obama to reduce tensions over Iran and Syria, where the neocons favored military options.

Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was undercut by a destabilization campaign encouraged by Nuland and Pyatt and then deposed in a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias. Even after Yanukovych and the political opposition agreed to an orderly transition toward early elections, right-wing armed patrols shattered the agreement and took strategic positions around Kiev.

Despite these ominous signs, Ambassador Pyatt hailed the coup as "a day for the history books." Most of the mainstream U.S. news media also sided with the coup, with commentators praising the overthrow of an elected government as "reform." But a few dissonant reports have pierced the happy talk by noting that the armed militias are part of the Pravy Sektor, a right-wing nationalist group which is often compared to the Nazis.

Thus, the Ukrainian coup could become the latest neocon-initiated "regime change" that ousted a target government but failed to take into account who would fill the void.

Some of these same American neocons pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, not realizing that removing Saddam Hussein would touch off a sectarian conflict and lead to a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. Similarly, U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011 eliminated Muammar Gaddafi but also empowered Islamic extremists who later murdered the U.S. ambassador and spread unrest beyond Libya's borders to nearby Mali.

One might trace this neocons' blindness to consequences back to Afghanistan in the 1980s when the Reagan administration supported Islamic militants, including Osama bin Laden, in a war against Soviet troops, only to have Muslim extremists take control of Afghanistan and provide a base for al-Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attacks against the United States.

Regarding Ukraine, today's State Department bureaucracy seems to be continuing the same anti-Moscow geopolitical strategy set during those Reagan-Bush years.

Robert Gates described the approach in his new memoir, Duty, explaining the view of President George H.W. Bush's Defense Secretary Dick Cheney:

"When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world."

Vice President Cheney and the neocons pursued a similar strategy during George W. Bush's presidency, expanding NATO aggressively to the east and backing anti-Russian regimes in the region including the hard-line Georgian government, which provoked a military confrontation with Moscow in 2008, ironically, during the Summer Olympics in China.

Obama's Strategy

As President, Obama has sought a more cooperative relationship with Russia's Putin and, generally, a less belligerent approach toward adversarial countries. Obama has been supported by an inner circle at the White House with analytical assistance from some elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

But the neocon momentum at the State Department and from other parts of the U.S. government has continued in the direction set by George W. Bush's neocon administration and by neocon-lite Democrats who surrounded Secretary of State Clinton during Obama's first term.

The two competing currents of geopolitical thinking -- a less combative one from the White House and a more aggressive one from the foreign policy bureaucracy -- have often worked at cross-purposes. But Obama, with only a few exceptions, has been unwilling to confront the hardliners or even fully articulate his foreign policy vision publicly.

For instance, Obama succumbed to the insistence of Gates, Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus to escalate the war in Afghanistan in 2009, though the President reportedly felt trapped into the decision which he soon regretted. In 2010, Obama backed away from a Brazilian-Turkish-brokered deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear program after Clinton denounced the arrangement and pushed for economic sanctions and confrontation as favored by the neocons and Israel.

[Mar 29, 2014] Robert Kaplan Writes In Defense Of Slavery

March 21, 2014 | Moon of Alabama
Neocon Robert Kaplan is writing In Defense of Empire. Empire is good, he believes, even for those who a ruled by it without having any representation. The lunacy of his arguments can be show best when one substitute the object of his essay:
Throughout history, governance and relative safety have most often been provided by slavery, Western or Eastern. Anarchy reigned in the interregnums. To wit, the British may have failed in Baghdad, Palestine, and elsewhere, but the larger history of the British slaveholdership is one of providing a vast armature of stability, fostered by sea and rail communications, where before there had been demonstrably less stability.

...

But slavery is now seen by global elites as altogether evil, despite slaveholdership having offered the most benign form of order for thousands of years, keeping the anarchy of ethnic, tribal, and sectarian war bands to a reasonable minimum. Compared with slaveholdership, democracy is a new and uncertain phenomenon. Even the two most estimable democracies in modern history, the United States and Great Britain, were slaveholdership for long periods. "As both a dream and a fact the American slaveholdership was born before the United States," writes the mid-20th-century historian of westward expansion Bernard DeVoto. Following their initial settlement, and before their incorporation as states, the western territories were nothing less than slaveholdership possessions of Washington, D.C. No surprise there: slaveholdership confers a loose and accepted form of sovereignty, occupying a middle ground between anarchy and full state control.

...

Rome, Parthia, and Hapsburg Austria were great precisely because they gave significant parts of the world a modicum of slavery order that they would not otherwise have enjoyed. America must presently do likewise, particularly in East Asia, the geographic heartland of the world economy and the home of American treaty allies.

...

That, I submit, would be a policy direction that internalizes both the drawbacks and the benefits of slaveholdership, not as it has been conventionally thought of, but as it has actually been practiced throughout history.

It is somewhat frightening that people believing such nonsense have influence in political circles.

Crest

Imperialism benefits no one but a small slice of the ruling class. But it's always defended as if it's the only thing providing food for the average person. It's been true since the Roman empire. The looting oriented British Raj stripped away so much and somehow almost none of it ended up in the hands of the average Briton. Same for the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. It's just no good. I don't know how long it will take for average people to understand it.

Noirette

The interest in slavery is not just neo-connish etc. but in a way, underground, an interest of Big Corporations (1).

Not, imho, in first place because of the 'cheap labor' but because of issues of control.

Right now we are living in a world that is organized in part by nation-states (as a kind of ultimate authority) and for another part, not well coordinated with the first, by Big Corporations, who increasingly control Banking and Finance, thus also say pol. contributions in the US, territory (2) and its uses, supra-territorial matters such as communications and benchmarks (internet, the control of space, rating agencies, for ex.), and other related matters like patent laws.

Slavery as an official doctrine is not in their interests, cheap labor is already available thru modern slavery. So they keep a low profile, and let their 'elected' representatives take the flack.

Such clashing interests are well illustrated in the case of Ukraine, where the confusion of the Western 'nation-states' has become pathetically ridiculous, as they cannot make public their lack of power and attendant subservience to Corporate interests. They are kind of 'holding on' to keep some hand in the game, and mobilizing their 'electorate' with propaganda, as that is where their livelihood come from.

One article about Corp. interests in Ukraine:

Consortium news, March 16, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/omfmbp5

1. Shell, BP, Total, plus many others in the energy field. Also the likes of Glencore Xstrata, Cargill, AXA, Monsanto, Nestlé, JP Morgan, etc. etc. all entwined in a kind of global network.

2. Straight out buying and leasing land; owning thru investments and 'deals', exploration rights, mineral rights, agriculture, transport hubs (pipelines, shipping, ports, the machines that implement the transport, etc.)

What about apologizing to Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland

Feb 7, 2014 | Voltaire Network

In this flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt agreed to nominate Bat'kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko off the game for a while and to discredit neo-Nazi Svoboda party chief Oleh Tiahnybok as "Yanukovych's project". Then Mrs. Nuland informed the US Ambassador that the Washington's hand by the UN Secretary General, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had already instructed Ban Ki-moon to send his special envoy to Kyiv this week "to glue the things". Touching the European role in managing Ukraine's political crisis, she was matchlessly elegant: "Fuck the EU".

In a short while, after nervious attempts to blame Russians in fabricating (!) the tape (State Department: "this is a new low in Russian tradecraft"), Mrs. Nuland brought her apologies to the EU officials. Does it mean that the Washington's repeatedly leaked genuine attitude towards the "strategic Transatlantic partnership" is much worthy of apology than the direct and clear interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign state and violation of the US-Russia-UK agreement (1994 Budapest memorandum) on security assurances for Ukraine? Meanwhile this document inter alia reads as follows:

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

Back to the latest Mrs. Nuland's diplomatic collapse made public, it is hardly an unwilling and regretful fault. Andrey Akulov from Strategic Culture Foundation has published a brilliant report (Bride at every wedding [1]) a couple of days ago depicting a blatant lack of professionalism and personal intergity of Mrs. Nuland. He described in details her involvement in misinforming the US President and nation on the circumstances of the assasination of the US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in Benghazi in September 2012 and her support of the unlawful US funding of a number of the Russian "independent" NGOs seeking to bring a color revolution to Russia.

Her diplomatically unacceptable behavior on the Ukrainian track, which culminated on YouTube this week (video and full transcript are available below), suggests that Mrs. Nuland is perhaps a wrong person in a wrong position for protecting American interests in Eurasia.

* * *

Full transcript of the telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt (posted on YouTube on Feb 6, 2014):

Victoria Nuland (V.N.): What do you think?

Geoffrey R. Pyatt (G.P.): I think we are in play. The Klitchko piece is obviously the most complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as Deputy Prime Minister. You have seen my notes on trouble in the marriage right now, so we are trying to get a read really fast where he is on the staff. But I think your argument to him which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call that you want to set up is exactly the one you made to Yats (Yatsenuk's nickname). I'm glad you put him on the spot. <…> He fits in this scenario. And I am very glad he said what he said.

V.N.: Good. I don't think Klitsch (Klitschko's nickname) should be in the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.

G.P.: Yeah, I mean, I guess… In terms of him not going into the government… I'd just let him stay out and do his political homework. I'm just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is gonna be with Tyahnibok and his guys. And, you know, I am sure that is part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

V.N.: I think Yats is the guy. He has economic experience and governing experience. He is the guy. You know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnibok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think if Klitchko gets in, he's going to be at that level working for Yatsenuk, it's just not gonna work…

G.P.: Yeah, yeah, I think that's right. Ok, good. Would you like us to set up a call with him as the next step?

V.N.: My understading from that call that you tell me was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was gonna offer in this context, you know, a "three plus one" conversation or a "three plus two" conversation with you. Is that not how you understood it?

G.P.: No. I think that was what he proposed but I think that knowing the dynamic that's been with them where Klitchko has been the top dog, he'll show up for whatever meetings they've got and he's probably talking to his guys at this point. So, I think you reaching out directly to him, helps with the personality management among the three. And it also gives you a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it, before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn't like it.

V.N.: Ok. Good. I am happy. Why don't you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

G.P.: Ok, I will do it. Thanks.

Nuland-YouTube V.N.: I can't remember if I told you this or if I only told Washington this: when I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning he had a new name for the UN guy – Robert Serry. I wrote you about it this morning.

G.P.: Yeah, I saw that.

V.N.: Ok. He's gotten now both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry will come on Monday or Tuesday. That would be great I think to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, if you like, fuck the EU.

G.P.: No, exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I am still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych <…> that. In the meantime there is a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I am sure there is a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway, we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep… I think we just want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

V.N.: So on that piece, Jeff, when I wrote the note Sullivan's come back to me V.F.R., saying you need Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta boy and to get the details to stick. So, Biden's willing.

G.P.: Ok. Great, thanks.

* * *

Transcript of the telephone talk between the Deputy Secretary General EE AS External Service Helga M. Schmid (H.S.) and Jan Tombinsky (J.T.), EU Ambassador to Ukraine (rendering, starting 0:04:13 on the tape):

Helga M. Schmid: Jan, it's Helga once again. I'd like to tell you one more thing, it's confidential. The Americans are beating about the bush and saying that our stand is too soft. They believe we should be stronger and apply sanctions. I talked to Cathy (Cathrene Ashton – OR) and she agrees with us on the matter we were discussing last time. We will do it but we must arrange everything in a clever way.

Jan Tombinsky: You know we have other instruments.

H.S.: The journalists are already talking that the EU stand is "too soft". What you should really know is that we are very angry that the Americans are beating about the bush. Maybe you tell the US Ambassador and draw his attention to the fact that our stand is not soft, we've just made a hard-line statement and took a tougher stance… I want you to know that it would be detrimental to our interests if we see in the newspapers that "The European Union does not support freedom". Cathy will not like it.

J.T.: Helga, we do not compete in a race. We should demonstrate that this situation is not a competition in diplomatic toughness. I've just heard about the opposition's new proposal to the president. I'll write Cathy about it right now.

H.S.: Ok.

Source

Oriental Review

Майдан этих людей не назначает, их назначают Соединенные Штаты"

www.bfm.ru
Секретарь Совета национальной безопасности и обороны Украины Андрей Парубий заявил, что его страна находится перед угрозой масштабного российского вторжения. Он привел цифры: на границе более 80 тысяч личного состава, до 270 танков, до 380 реактивных систем залпового огня и так далее.

Парубий был комендантом Майдана. Вот что о нем в интервью "России-24" рассказал экс-глава СБУ Александр Якименко:

"Выстрелы прошли со здания филармонии. За это здание отвечал комендант Майдана Парубий. С этого здания 20 числа работали снайперы и работали люди с автоматическим оружием. Когда же первая волна отстрелов закончилась, то многие зафиксировали выход 20 человек, хорошо одетых, специальная форма была. У них были саквояжи, сумки специально для переноски оружия, в том числе и снайперских винтовок. Были при них автоматы КМ с оптическими прицелами. А самое интересное, что это видели не только наши оперативные сотрудники, но и представители Майдана. Видел "Правый сектор", видели представители "Свободы", видели представители "Батькивщины", "Удара".

Для того чтобы зайти на Майдан, мне нужно было согласование и Парубия, иначе мне бы ударили силы самообороны в спину. Парубий не дал такого согласия.

На Майдан ни один элемент вооружений не мог завезтись без разрешения Парубия.

Парубий же ушел в сторону, его перетянул к себе Порошенко, перетянул к себе Гвоздь, Маломуж. Это представители разведки. Его подтянул Гриценко, который участвовал в этой же группе. Это силы, которые выполняли все, что говорилось им руководителями, представителями США. Они, по сути, каждый день жили в посольстве. Не было такого дня, чтобы они не посещали посольство.

Майдан этих людей не назначает, их назначают Соединенные Штаты. Возьмите последние назначения: Парубий, Гвоздь, Наливайченко. Это все люди, которые выполняли волю, и волю не Европы даже. Это люди, которые напрямую связаны со спецслужбами США".

По словам Александра Якименко, важную роль в событиях на Украине сыграла также Польша, чей гражданин Ян Томбинский, который является представителем ЕС на Украине, стал посредником между Европой и оппозицией.

Миллионы наличных долларов, по словам Якименко, передавались диппочтой. Её количество со времён нач в увеличилось в 10 раз. Но были и местные спонсоры.

Александр Якименко:

"Как и Порошенко, так и Фирташ, Пинчук - они финансировали Майдан. Они заложники данной ситуации, потому что почти весь бизнес, все их активы расположены за рубежом, и они выполняли команды Запада. Им не оставалось ничего другого, как поддержать Майдан и финансировать его, так как в противном случае они остались бы без своих активов. В данном случае эти люди не думали о стране, они думали только о своих возможностях, о своих финансах".

Александр Якименко возглавлял Службу безопасности Украины чуть больше года. В январе 2013 на эту должность его назначил Виктор Янукович, а в феврале текущего года Верховная Рада сняла с должности.

В ближайшие дни, а возможно, часы, украинские военные проинспектируют с воздуха российские приграничные области. Официальное разрешение дало Минобороны РФ. Как заявил замминистра обороны РФ Анатолий Антонов, такая миссия запрашивается впервые в рамках Договора по открытому небу с момента его подписания в 1992 году.

Минобороны также сообщило, что армейские подразделения наращивают интенсивность полевых занятий - в полном соответствии с планом боевой подготовки. Задействованы полигоны Ростовской, Белгородской, Тамбовской и Курской областей.

[Mar 13, 2014] Yakimenko accuses EuroMaidan leaders of hiring snipers; allegations denounced by Katya Gorchinskaya

KyivPost

Former State Security Head of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakimenko blames Ukraine's current government for hiring snipers on Feb. 20, when dozens of people were killed and hundreds more wounded. The victims were mainly EuroMaidan Revolution demonstrations, but some police officers were also killed. This was the deadliest day during the EuroMaidan Revolution, a three-month uprising that claimed 100 lives.

Yakimenko also blamed the United States for organizing and financing the revolution by bringing illegal cash in using diplomatic mail.

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine dismissed the charges as ludicrous, while another official with the current government called the accusations "cynical" propaganda with no factual basis.

... ... ...

Yakimenko made these and other accusations in a 10-minute exclusive interview to Russia's Vesti channel in an undisclosed location.

"The shots sounded from the building of Philharmonics," Yakimenko told Vesti. "This was the building supervised by (now National Security Council Chief Andriy) Parubiy."

He said the snipers were shooting in the back of the running police, as well as at protesters. He said there were two groups of "well-dressed" snipers, each composed of 10 people, operating in the building. Yakimenko said their exit was witnessed by both SBU operatives and protesters themselves.

He said one of the groups of snipers disappeared, but the other one relocated to Hotel Ukraina and continued to kill the protesters at a slower pace. Yakimenko said at that point representatives of Svoboda and Right Sector appealed to him to deploy SBU's special unit Alfa to destroy the snipers.

Yakimenko claims that he was ready to do it, but did not get the permission of Parubiy, who supervised the self-defense forces.

"To get inside EuroMaidan I needed Parubiy's permission because the forces of self-defense would hit me in the back," Yakimenko said. "But Parubiy did not give me such a permission."

"Not a single weapon could get onto Maidan without Parubiy's permission," he said, adding that EuroMaidan protesters used mercenaries from former defense ministry's special units, as well as foreign mercenaries, including those from former Yugoslavia.

... ... ....

Yankimenko says that Parubiy, as well as a number of other organizers of EuroMaidan, received direct orders from the U.S. government. Among those people he named former and current intelligence chiefs Mykola Malomuzh and Viktor Gvozd, former Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and leader of the opposition Petro Poroshenko.

"These are the forces that were doing everything they were told by the leaders and representatives of the United States," he says. "They, in essence lived in the U.S. embassy. There wasn't a day when they did not visit the embassy."

... ... ...

SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko is also accused of playing to the tune of the Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine commented on these accusations in just one word: "ludicrous."

All orders were given either by the U.S. or EU ambassador Jan Tombinski, "who in essence is a Polish citizen."

"The role of Poland cannot be evaluated," Yakimenko said. "It dreams about restoring its old wish, Rzeczpospolita."

The EU Delegation had no comment about the accusations.

The former SBU chief also talked at length about the financing of EuroMaidan protests, saying much of it came directly from the U.S., and that some Ukrainian oligarchs, including Poroshenko, Dmytro Firtash and Viktor Pinchuk.

"From the beginning of Maidan we as a special service noticed a significant increase of diplomatic cargo to various embassies, western embassies located in Ukraine," says Yakimenko. "It was tens of times greater than usual diplomatic cargo supplies." He says that right after such shipments crisp, new U.S. dollar bills were spotted on Maidan.

He said Ukraine's oligarchs were also financing Maidan because they were "hostages of the situation and had no choice" because most of their assets are located in the west.

Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call

Nuland "I don't think Klitsch should go into the government."
BBC News

An apparently bugged phone conversation in which a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been posted online. The alleged conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, appeared on YouTube on Thursday. It is not clearly when the alleged conversation took place.

Here is a transcript, with analysis by BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus:

Warning: This transcript contains swearing.

Voice thought to be Nuland's: What do you think?

Voice thought to be Pyatt's: I think we're in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we're trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, another opposition leader]. And I'm glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario. And I'm very glad that he said what he said in response.

Nuland: Good. I don't think Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.

Pyatt: Yeah. I guess... in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.

Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that's right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

Nuland: My understanding from that call - but you tell me - was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a... three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?

Pyatt: No. I think... I mean that's what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that's been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he's going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they've got and he's probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn't like it.

Nuland: OK, good. I'm happy. Why don't you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

Pyatt: OK, will do. Thanks.

Nuland: OK... one more wrinkle for you Geoff. [A click can be heard] I can't remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?

Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.

Pyatt: No, exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I'm still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych (garbled) that. In the meantime there's a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I'm sure there's a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep... we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

Nuland: So on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president's national security adviser Jake] Sullivan's come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US Vice-President Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden's willing.

Pyatt: OK. Great. Thanks.

Ukraine unrest: Timeline

[Feb 23, 2014] The Consequences of Intervening in Syria

Stratfor

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

The French military's current campaign to dislodge jihadist militants from northern Mali and the recent high-profile attack against a natural gas facility in Algeria are both directly linked to the foreign intervention in Libya that overthrew the Gadhafi regime. There is also a strong connection between these events and foreign powers' decision not to intervene in Mali when the military conducted a coup in March 2012. The coup occurred as thousands of heavily armed Tuareg tribesmen were returning home to northern Mali after serving in Moammar Gadhafi's military, and the confluence of these events resulted in an implosion of the Malian military and a power vacuum in the north. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadists were able to take advantage of this situation to seize power in the northern part of the African nation.

As all these events transpire in northern Africa, another type of foreign intervention is occurring in Syria. Instead of direct foreign military intervention, like that taken against the Gadhafi regime in Libya in 2011, or the lack of intervention seen in Mali in March 2012, the West -- and its Middle Eastern partners -- have pursued a middle-ground approach in Syria. That is, these powers are providing logistical aid to the various Syrian rebel factions but are not intervening directly.

Just as there were repercussions for the decisions to conduct a direct intervention in Libya and not to intervene in Mali, there will be repercussions for the partial intervention approach in Syria. Those consequences are becoming more apparent as the crisis drags on.

Intervention in Syria

For more than a year now, countries such as the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and European states have been providing aid to the Syrian rebels. Much of this aid has been in the form of humanitarian assistance, providing things such as shelter, food and medical care for refugees. Other aid has helped provide the rebels with non-lethal military supplies such as radios and ballistic vests. But a review of the weapons spotted on the battlefield reveals that the rebels are also receiving an increasing number of lethal supplies.

Visit our Syria page for related analysis, videos, situation reports and maps.

For example, there have been numerous videos released showing Syrian rebels using weapons such as the M79 Osa rocket launcher, the RPG-22, the M-60 recoilless rifle and the RBG-6 multiple grenade launcher. The Syrian government has also released videos of these weapons after seizing them in arms caches. What is so interesting about these weapons is that they were not in the Syrian military's inventory prior to the crisis, and they all likely were purchased from Croatia. We have also seen many reports and photos of Syrian rebels carrying Austrian Steyr Aug rifles, and the Swiss government has complained that Swiss-made hand grenades sold to the United Arab Emirates are making their way to the Syrian rebels.

With the Syrian rebel groups using predominantly second-hand weapons from the region, weapons captured from the regime, or an assortment of odd ordnance they have manufactured themselves, the appearance and spread of these exogenous weapons in rebel arsenals over the past several months is at first glance evidence of external arms supply. The appearance of a single Steyr Aug or RBG-6 on the battlefield could be an interesting anomaly, but the variety and concentration of these weapons seen in Syria are well beyond the point where they could be considered coincidental.

This means that the current level of external intervention in Syria is similar to the level exercised against the Soviet Union and its communist proxies following the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The external supporters are providing not only training, intelligence and assistance, but also weapons -- exogenous weapons that make the external provision of weapons obvious to the world. It is also interesting that in Syria, like Afghanistan, two of the major external supporters are Washington and Riyadh -- though in Syria they are joined by regional powers such as Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, rather than Pakistan.

In Afghanistan, the Saudis and the Americans allowed their partners in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency to determine which of the myriad militant groups in Afghanistan received the bulk of the funds and weapons they were providing. This resulted in two things. First, the Pakistanis funded and armed groups that they thought they could best use as surrogates in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. Second, they pragmatically tended to funnel cash and weapons to the groups that were the most successful on the battlefield -- groups such as those led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose effectiveness on the battlefield was tied directly to their zealous theology that made waging jihad against the infidels a religious duty and death during such a struggle the ultimate accomplishment.

A similar process has been taking place for nearly two years in Syria. The opposition groups that have been the most effective on the battlefield have tended to be the jihadist-oriented groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra. Not surprisingly, one reason for their effectiveness was the skills and tactics they learned fighting the coalition forces in Iraq. Yet despite this, the Saudis -- along with the Qataris and the Emiratis -- have been arming and funding the jihadist groups in large part because of their success on the battlefield. As my colleague Kamran Bokhari noted in February 2012, the situation in Syria was providing an opportunity for jihadists, even without external support. In the fractured landscape of the Syrian opposition, the unity of purpose and battlefield effectiveness of the jihadists was in itself enough to ensure that these groups attracted a large number of new recruits.

But that is not the only factor conducive to the radicalization of Syrian rebels. First, war -- and particularly a brutal, drawn-out war -- tends to make extremists out of the fighters involved in it. Think Stalingrad, the Cold War struggles in Central America or the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans following the dissolution of Yugoslavia; this degree of struggle and suffering tends to make even non-ideological people ideological. In Syria, we have seen many secular Muslims become stringent jihadists. Second, the lack of hope for an intervention by the West removed any impetus for maintaining a secular narrative. Many fighters who had pinned their hopes on NATO were greatly disappointed and angered that their suffering was ignored. It is not unusual for Syrian fighters to say something akin to, "What has the West done for us? We now have only God."

When these ideological factors were combined with the infusion of money and arms that has been channeled to jihadist groups in Syria over the past year, the growth of Syrian jihadist groups accelerated dramatically. Not only are they a factor on the battlefield today, but they also will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

The Saudi Gambit

Despite the jihadist blowback the Saudis experienced after the end of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan -- and the current object lesson of the jihadists Syria sent to fight U.S. forces in Iraq now leading groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra -- the Saudi government has apparently calculated that its use of jihadist proxies in Syria is worth the inherent risk.

There are some immediate benefits for Riyadh. First, the Saudis hope to be able to break the arc of Shiite influence that reaches from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon. Having lost the Sunni counterweight to Iranian power in the region with the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the installation of a Shiite-led government friendly to Iran, the Saudis view the possibility of installing a friendly Sunni regime in Syria as a dramatic improvement to their national security.

Supporting the jihad in Syria as a weapon against Iranian influence also gives the Saudis a chance to burnish their Islamic credentials internally in an effort to help stave off criticism that they are too secular and Westernized. It allows the Saudi regime the opportunity to show that it is helping Muslims under assault by the vicious Syrian regime.

Supporting jihadists in Syria also gives the Saudis an opportunity to ship their own radicals to Syria, where they can fight and possibly die. With a large number of unemployed, underemployed and radicalized young men, the jihad in Syria provides a pressure valve similar to the past struggles in Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia and Afghanistan. The Saudis are not only trying to winnow down their own troubled youth; we have received reports from a credible source that the Saudis are also facilitating the travel of Yemeni men to training camps in Turkey, where they are trained and equipped before being sent to Syria to fight. The reports also indicate that the young men are traveling for free and receiving a stipend for their service. These young radicals from Saudi Arabia and Yemen will even further strengthen the jihadist groups in Syria by providing them with fresh troops.

The Saudis are gaining temporary domestic benefits from supporting jihad in Syria, but the conflict will not last forever, nor will it result in the deaths of all the young men who go there to fight. This means that someday the men who survive will come back home, and through the process we refer to as "tactical Darwinism" the inept fighters will have been weeded out, leaving a core of competent militants that the Saudis will have to deal with.

But the problems posed by jihadist proxies in Syria will have effects beyond the House of Saud. The Syrian jihadists will pose a threat to the stability of Syria in much the same way the Afghan groups did in the civil war they launched for control of Afghanistan after the fall of the Najibullah regime. Indeed, the violence in Afghanistan got worse after Najibullah's fall in 1992, and the suffering endured by Afghan civilians in particular was egregious.

Now we are seeing that the jihadist militants in Libya pose a threat not only to the Libyan regime -- there are serious problems in eastern Libya -- but also to foreign interests in the country, as seen in the attack on the British ambassador and the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Moreover, the events in Mali and Algeria in recent months show that Libya-based militants and the weapons they possess also pose a regional threat. Similar long-lasting and wide-ranging repercussions can be expected to flow from the intervention in Syria.

[Feb 20, 2014] Stephen Cohen accuses Obama Administration of Coup Attempt in Ukraine

While Cohen has some interesting observations, I didn't get the impression that Nuland and Pyatt were discussing plans for a coup. To me, it seemed that they were talking about the possibility of Arseniy Yatseniuk taking a position in the Yanukovych government while excluding the other two opposition leaders they mentioned.

The recorded conversation was heard by many people and no one else has suggested that a coup was in the works till today. If anyone else is interested in having a listen to the intercepted phone call, here it is. A transcript of the conversation is below.

Nuland: What do you think?

Pyatt: I think we're in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we're trying to get a read really fast, on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, another opposition leader]. And I'm glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario. And I'm very glad that he said what he said in response.

Nuland: Good. I don't think Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.

Pyatt: Yeah. I guess... in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.

Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that's right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

Nuland: My understanding from that call - but you tell me - was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a... three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?

Pyatt: No. I think... I mean that's what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that's been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he's going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they've got and he's probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn't like it.

Nuland: OK, good. I'm happy. Why don't you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

Pyatt: OK, will do. Thanks.

Nuland: OK... one more wrinkle for you Geoff. [A click can be heard] I can't remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?

Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.

Pyatt: No, exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I'm still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych (garbled) that. In the meantime there's a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I'm sure there's a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep... we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

Nuland: So on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president's national security adviser Jake] Sullivan's come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US Vice-President Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden's willing.

Pyatt: OK. Great. Thanks.

[Feb 14, 2014] How To Dismantle the American Empire by Laurence M. Vance

February 11, 2014 | mises.org | Comments (378)

Editors note: This selection is from chapter 7 of Laurence Vance's War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy, now available in the Mises Store.

The WikiLeaks revelations have shined a light on the dark nature of U.S. foreign policy, including, as Eric Margolis recently described it: "Washington's heavy-handed treatment of friends and foes alike, its bullying, use of diplomats as junior-grade spies, narrow-minded views, and snide remarks about world leaders."

As much as I, an American, hate to say it, U.S. foreign policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. It sanctions the destabilization and overthrow of governments, the assassination of leaders, the destruction of industry and infrastructure, the backing of military coups, death squads, and drug traffickers, and imperialism under the guise of humanitarianism. It supports corrupt and tyrannical governments and brutal sanctions and embargoes. It results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States.

The question, then, is simply this: Can U.S. foreign policy be fixed? Although I am not very optimistic that it will be, I am more than confident that it can be.

I propose a four-pronged solution from the following perspectives: Founding Fathers, military, congressional, libertarian. In brief, to fix its foreign policy the United States should implement a Jeffersonian foreign policy, adopt Major General Smedley Butler's Amendment for Peace, follow the advice of Congressman Ron Paul, and do it all within the libertarian framework of philosopher Murray Rothbard.

Thomas Jefferson, our first secretary of state and third president, favored a foreign policy of "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none." This policy was basically followed until the Spanish-American War of 1898. Here is the simple but profound wisdom of Jefferson:

No judgment, no meddling, no political connection, and no partiality: this is a Jeffersonian foreign policy.

U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. After leaving the military, he authored the classic work War Is a Racket. Butler proposed an Amendment for Peace to provide an "absolute guarantee to the women of America that their loved ones never would be sent overseas to be needlessly shot down in European or Asiatic or African wars that are no concern of our people." Here are its three planks:

Vance, Laurence

$21.95 $17.95

Butler also reasoned that because of "our geographical position, it is all but impossible for any foreign power to muster, transport and land sufficient troops on our shores for a successful invasion." In this he was echoing Jefferson, who recognized that geography was one of the great advantages of the United States: "At such a distance from Europe and with such an ocean between us, we hope to meddle little in its quarrels or combinations. Its peace and its commerce are what we shall court."

And then there is our modern Jeffersonian in Congress, Rep. Ron Paul, the only consistent voice in Congress from either party for a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention. In a speech on the House floor several months before the invasion of Iraq, Ron Paul made the case for a foreign policy of peace through commerce and nonintervention:

A proper foreign policy of non-intervention is built on friendship with other nations, free trade, and open travel, maximizing the exchanges of goods and services and ideas.

We should avoid entangling alliances and stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations - no matter how many special interests demand otherwise. The entangling alliances that we should avoid include the complex alliances in the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO.

The basic moral principle underpinning a non-interventionist foreign policy is that of rejecting the initiation of force against others. It is based on non-violence and friendship unless attacked, self-determination, and self-defense while avoiding confrontation, even when we disagree with the way other countries run their affairs. It simply means that we should mind our own business and not be influenced by special interests that have an ax to grind or benefits to gain by controlling our foreign policy. Manipulating our country into conflicts that are none of our business and unrelated to national security provides no benefits to us, while exposing us to great risks financially and militarily.

For the libertarian framework necessary to ensure a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention, we can turn to libertarian political philosopher and theoretician Murray Rothbard:

The primary plank of a libertarian foreign policy program for America must be to call upon the United States to abandon its policy of global interventionism: to withdraw immediately and completely, militarily and politically, from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, from everywhere. The cry among American libertarians should be for the United States to withdraw now, in every way that involves the U.S. government. The United States should dismantle its bases, withdraw its troops, stop its incessant political meddling, and abolish the CIA. It should also end all foreign aid - which is simply a device to coerce the American taxpayer into subsidizing American exports and favored foreign States, all in the name of "helping the starving peoples of the world." In short, the United States government should withdraw totally to within its own boundaries and maintain a policy of strict political "isolation" or neutrality everywhere.

The U.S. global empire with its 1,000 foreign military bases and half a million troops and mercenary contractors in three-fourths of the world's countries must be dismantled. This along with the empire's spies, covert operations, foreign aid, gargantuan military budgets, abuse and misuse of the military, prison camps, torture, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, nation building, spreading democracy at the point of a gun, jingoism, regime changes, military alliances, security guarantees, and meddling in the affairs of other countries.

U.S. foreign policy can be fixed. The United States would never tolerate another country building a string of bases around North America, stationing thousands of its troops on our soil, enforcing a no-fly zone over American territory, or sending their fleets to patrol off our coasts. How much longer will other countries tolerate these actions by the United States? We have already experienced blowback from the Muslim world for our foreign policy. And how much longer can the United States afford to maintain its empire?

It is time for the world's policeman, fireman, security guard, social worker, and busybody to announce its retirement.

[Originally published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.]

[Feb 10, 2014] Nuland Working To Overthrow Ukraine Government The American Conservative

id you hear the audio of the phone call between Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the American ambassador to Ukraine? The Russians apparently recorded it, and leaked it. Here's a transcript from the BBC. I agree with the analysis of BBC's Jonathan Marcus:

The US says that it is working with all sides in the crisis to reach a peaceful solution, noting that "ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future". However this transcript suggests that the US has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals. Russian spokesmen have insisted that the US is meddling in Ukraine's affairs – no more than Moscow, the cynic might say – but Washington clearly has its own game-plan. The clear purpose in leaking this conversation is to embarrass Washington and for audiences susceptible to Moscow's message to portray the US as interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs.

Marcus goes on to say - rightly, I think - that this episode makes both the US and Russia look bad (the Russians, because it makes clear that they're intercepting US diplomatic communications … but then, our NSA has been doing the same thing to foreign leaders, e.g., Angela Merkel, who leads a nation that is not an enemy or a rival, but an ally). Still, the big difference is that Ukraine is on Russia's border, and well within its sphere of influence. I haven't been following the Ukraine situation closely, and for all I know, those Europhile Ukrainians protesting the Yanukovych government are entirely in the right. But what business is it of the United States to manipulate Ukrainian politics? Marcus, the analyst, says that the EU is holding back on involving itself in Ukraine's power struggle because it doesn't see the relative value in offending Moscow over Kiev. Nuland's response: "F–k the EU."

Lovely. From a realist perspective, doesn't the EU have the better of the argument? Last December, Robert Merry wrote about the Ukraine mess, explaining that Ukraine is divided between its Catholic, Europe-oriented west, and its Orthodox, Russia-oriented east. It's not simply a matter of a corrupt authoritarian regime standing against the People. Excerpt:

Ukraine will have to find its way through its historical predicament. Russia no doubt will play a role in whatever outcome emerges, if any. After all, Russia has been involved in the fate of Ukraine since 1654. Europe may have a role to play as well, given its proximity and the Western affinity of Ukraine's western regions. But the United States has almost no standing to interfere.

What will be the outcome? Will Ukraine eventually split in two, each half going in its favored direction? It's difficult to see such an eventuality absent a major international crisis in the region, although there will always be those who advocate such a course. As one Russian general once mused, "Ukraine or rather Eastern Ukraine will come back [into the Russian fold] in five, ten or fifteen years. Western Ukraine can go to hell!"

More likely, the country will continue to muddle through its current political conundrum as best it can. Huntington speculated that "Ukraine will remain united, remain cleft, remain independent, and generally cooperate closely with Russia." He quotes author John Morrison as saying that the Russian-Ukrainian relationship is to Eastern Europe what the Franco-German relationship is to western Europe. Huntington explains, "Just as the latter provides the core of the European Union, the former is the core essential to unity in the Orthodox world."

The point is not that Russia's hands are clean with regard to interfering with Ukraine's internal affairs. Of course they aren't; only a fool would believe that they are. The point is that the United States is involved in Ukraine's internal politics so deeply that a senior American diplomat asserts the right to decide who among the Ukrainian opposition should go into the government, and who should not. Why? Why is this in America's interest? As a general matter, it is better to have a pro-American government in power in a given country than an anti-American one. But is Ukraine really so important a prize as to risk our relationship with Russia, and with the EU? One understands that a crackpot hawk like John McCain would think so, but is this really how Barack Obama wants to carry on?

William Dalton says:

February 11, 2014 at 12:57 am


Public Defender:

"I also agree with those who say that Dreher's reading of the excerpt of the conversation was hyperbolic. This often happens when he blogs about topics he doesn't know much about (or at least, no more than most of the people who post on his comboxes). In this case, the diplomat's statements can be reasonably seen as the kind of frank advice given when nobody else is listening. And one-on-one conversations don't bind the US the way presidential orders do, so the risks of further entanglement are much, much smaller.

"The biggest screwup probably was having the conversation on an unsecured line."

I think I might find your argument persuasive, except for one thing. The substance of her obscenity-loaded comment betrayed the real fault in the thinking of the Obama Administration represented by Ms. Nuland, a political appointee in the State Department. There is clearly a contest between Russia and the EU to see which can draw the Ukraine more closely into its orbit. The EU made an offer Ukraine was about to accept when Russia made a better one. Now the EU is not showing much interest in getting into a bidding war with Russia. They know that Ukraine is more important to Russia than it is to the EU. In fact, with all its other obligations to support weak member states, the economic powers of the EU are not eager to take on underwriting the Ukraine's economy as well. And the U.S., as is obvious from Ms. Nuland's statement, is aware of this. So why would any rational American diplomat be seeking to push together the Ukraine and the E.U. more than is the E.U. itself, let alone a much divided Ukaine? It betrays a policy which has neither the best interests of the Ukraine or the E.U. at heart, but rather is interested in playing the petty games of international intrigue and rivalry that cost so much blood and treasure in the 20th Century. It sustains the military-industrial complex of the Washington-London axis, not the aspirations of any foreign peoples towards either liberty or democracy. It should be called out for what it is.

MrsKrishan says:

February 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm


"Why is this in America's interest?" Rod your naivete in geopolitics is remarkable for its dogged persistence… have you never looked on a map at where the borders of the Ukraine actually lie? Along the natural gas pipeline that US-Islamic Gulf Monarchist petrochemical interests would so like to build up through Syria (or Iran) and on into Europe via Turkey?

Its not about petty hegemons, nor even the people who appointed them to serve, its about the dollar and our need to back it by something tangible, fungible and under our thumb/sphere of control (since we're busy shipping all the gold not screwed down to China/India with glad abandon).

simon94022 says:

February 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm


This is how everyone in our government carries on. The assumption that the US can and should "manage" the rest of the world is the common denominator of neo-conservatism and liberal internationalism. The former is quicker to resort to military force and threats of force, while the latter prefers to enlist international institutions and threaten economic sanctions. But the assumptions and goals are identical.

Both approaches focus on short term outcomes, long term consequences be damned. Both brush aside deep cultural, religious and historical roots of conflicts in favor of a Disneyfied focus on Getting Rid of the Bad Guy. And neither has outgrown the Cold War assumption that America actually has the ability to shape other countries to our liking.

TomB says:

February 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm


There's a good article at the National Interest blog interpreting Nuland's call as showing the U.S. trying to essentially split the difference between the Ukranian factions:

See: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/jacob-heilbrunn/victoria-nulands-plot-against-ukraine-9836

But then there's an even better piece talking about the cultural split that exists in Ukraine:

See: http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/ukraines-culture-war-9838

Oh and excuse me, there's another really nice little piece over at Ron Unz's new site about this phone call too; noting Nuland's neo-con background:

http://www.unz.com/emargolis/f-europe/


Athanasius says:

February 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm


Ukrainians in the USA are disproportionately Catholic. But in Ukraine itself, Catholics only form a majority in the far west of the country. The "yellow" part of the map from the WaPo that keeps getting posted is still majority Orthodox.

SteveM says:

February 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm


Neocon Hack Nuland has been in Ukraine glad-handing the protesters. (BTW, at what point do protesters storming buildings and chucking Molotov cocktails become rioters?)

But that's beside the point. What if Ukrainian, (or Russian) diplomats visited Occupy Wall Street protests and distributed cookies as an act of solidarity like Nuland did in Kyiv? And insisted on the replacement of the democratically elected government? They could even make the accurate claim that Obama garners less than 50% of voter support to rationalize their intrusive behavior like Nuland did with Yanukovych.

Arrogant U.S. Political Elites can't fix Detroit or Newark, yet they claim the unique skills and insights, (apart from dropping f-bombs) necessary to rescue, Baghdad, Kabul, Tripoli, Damascus and now Kyiv. Oh, and while regularly lecturing Moscow how it should run a country with 7 time zones.

The sad thing is that objective journalism that challenges the status quo has pretty much collapsed. The mainstream media is part and parcel of the Elite class and will do next to nothing in examining the continuation of the obsolete and unaffordable America as World Cop model.

When I think of the Crony-Politico Apparatus these days, the word "repulsive" keeps popping up in my mind.

John says:

February 10, 2014 at 1:34 pm


Ukraine is a sovereign state that should be allowed to solve these problems on their own terms and through the democratic process we should but out.

Ukraine's president was duly elected by the people. If they don't like it, they can always vote for his opponent when his term in office comes to an end. To equate what is going on in Ukraine to what is going on in either Russia or Belarus would be ridiculous.

These protests are the result of a sharp divide between the Russophile Ukrainians and the Europhile Ukrainians. Any government, should it want to maintain power, would straddle this fence and try to maintain close relations with both, the western democracies and Russia.

It is not a sworn enemy. Our interests are served by maintaining the status quo. Attempts to determine Ukraine's destiny, however, could push them into Rusdia's orbit. Quite counterproductive in my humble opinion.

burton50 says:

February 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm


"The point is that the United States is involved in Ukraine's internal politics so deeply that a senior American diplomat asserts the right to decide who among the Ukrainian opposition should go into the government, and who should not."

No, Chris1, IMHO, it's not really an overstatement of fact. By Nuland's own admission, we have at least 5 billion invested on the Ukraine "project". To be sure, it's chump change in comparison to the analogous regime-change "projects"in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, probably on a par with the Georgian operation. As a U.S. citizen, I don't see any return on such "investments". Like most Americans, I think we might consider minding our own business, eh?

Substitution code says:

February 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm


the Russians [are] intercepting US diplomatic communications

That's not entirely clear yet in this case. If true, heads should roll. If Nuland and that ambassador were yakking on an open line they should both be fired. If State Department diplomatic voicecom is so vulnerable to decryption that crystal clear recordings can be released within a few days of a conversation, then those responsible for securing them should be fired.

Fran Macadam says:

February 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm


Don't be too sure about the source of this leak being Russian, without proof. Our authorities can find out who posted it to YouTube very easily by tracking IP addresses; absent specifics the allegations are only convenient.

The NSA and U.S. spy services are the real masters at gobbling up everything regardless of side and they collect everything from our own communications as well, with capabilities far beyond those of foreign intelligence services. They don't know for sure unless they listen and analyze, whether or not those on our own side aren't disloyal. And there is as we see from the latest Snowden documents attempts at Hoover-style leverage over citizens and internal opponents of policy.

The Ukraine is riddled with U.S. and western listening technology. Thus, it's more likely this recording has come from within an official Washington addicted to leaks that serve the purposes of internecine squabbling and careerist backstabbing. Washington's pols and agencies are bitterly divided and always seeking advantage over one another.

Not everyone in the administration is an admirer of neocon Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan, Dick Cheney's senior national security adviser.

Yes, the NSA "collects it all," spying on its own people in full Hoover mode, but on cyber steroids. It's a matter of standard NSA tradecraft exposed in the latest Snowden whistleblowing documents that these domestic target operations are then made to conveniently appear to come from foreign adversaries, killing as it were two birds with one stone and casting suspicion elsewhere.

Leo H says:

February 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Is the Western Ukrainian opposition really "Europhile" as reported by hopeful sympathizers? Uh, no. Not at least in the sense of our dopey elites. Svoboda, the fastest growing party in the Western Ukraine, and the controlling faction on the barricades is not squishy rainbow friendly. As Nuland imperiously tries to push out this reality in favor of appointed stooges like the former boxer turned Merkel water-boy, Klitshcko, she may unwittingly teach real Ukrainian nationalists that Moscow is now a better option for genuine European nationalists. At least better than the EUSSR.

And Putin really is that clever to let us divide his opposition for him. Of course they bugged the dummy's phone!

[Feb 10, 2014] Victoria Nuland's 'Ukraine-gate' Deceptions by Daniel McAdams

February 10, 2014 | Alex Jones' Infowars

Daniel McAdams

Ron Paul Institute

February 10, 2014

"That's some pretty impressive tradecraft," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the interception and leak of her now-infamous call to US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt. The call consisted of the two plotting to install a US puppet government in Ukraine after overthrowing the current, democratically elected government.

Tradecraft means "spycraft." In other words, Nuland was crediting a foreign intelligence service with impressive use of technology to be able to hack into her call to the ambassador. Everyone knew she was talking about Russia, partly because the Administration had been blaming Russia from the moment the recording was made public.

However, Nuland knew all along that this was not the case, and she did nothing while the Administration continued to escalate the accusations against Russia.

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, "It says something about Russia," that they would tap the telephone call. State Department Spokeswoman Jan Psaki was even harsher, calling it "a new low in Russian tradecraft."

But the telephone call between the two, we learned yesterday, was not conducted on a secure, encrypted telephone line that the State Department requires for such sensitive conversations and communication. Rather, the call was made over unsecured cell phones and thus easily intercepted with basic equipment that is widely available to anyone. Therefore it was not "impressive tradecraft" at all that led to the capture and release of the conversation.

Nuland and Pyatt obviously knew that at the time, being the two parties to the call. They then either sat by and allowed US government official one after the other accuse Russia of going to great lengths to hack the call without admitting this fact, or they did inform their superiors but Administration officials decided to ignore this critical fact and push accusations against Russia anyway. You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, as it is said.

RPI contacted a former State Department official to clarify security procedures for such a telephone conversation between high-level personnel. The official was clear:

I know well the seriousness of using an open line (aside from anodyne conversation) for high-level classified information that would clearly be embarrassing, if not damaging, not only for the US but also the EU. For using an open line for discussing highly sensitive national security matters, both [Nuland and Pyatt] should be reprimanded, at the very least.

So this was a serious security violation.

The former official continued:

Assuming the telecon was made on insecure line, I find it curious, if not thought provoking, that Nuland's profanity has managed to overshadow both the apparent security violation as well as the potential damage to national security of the substance of the conversation itself.

Indeed, the fallout from "Ukraine-gate" is astounding but sadly not surprising. The mainstream media in the US has focused solely on the Russian angle (now discredited) and on the salty language and particularly the false supposition that Nuland was using sailor's language to indicate a serious rift with the EU on Ukraine policy. In fact, US and EU policy toward Ukraine is identical: regime change. The dispute is merely over velocity and is therefore cosmetic rather than substantive: should we travel 100 miles per hour or only 75 miles per hour toward regime change?

As far as we have seen, there has been virtually no discussion of the substance of the telephone conversation in the US media. But the conversation was a confirmation of all theretofore denied accusations of US involvement in the current unrest in Ukraine. It was not simply US well-wishing toward the opposition parties. It was not simply a bit of advice and a wink toward the opposition. It was wholesale planning and brokering a post-regime change governing coalition in Ukraine, with the UN being ordered to come in and "glue" the deal.

More precisely, as the Oriental Journal points out:

They agreed to nominate Bat'kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko from the game for a while and to discredit neo-Nazi Svoboda partychief Oleh Tiahnybok as "Yanukovych's project"

Shortly after "Ukraine-gate" broke, Sergei Glazyev, advisor to Russian president Putin claimed that the US was spending $20 million per week on the Ukrainian opposition, including supplying opposition with training and weapons.

Nuland replied that such claims are "pure fantasy."

Perhaps, but that is just what Nuland had said previously about claims that the US was meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine. And then the tape came out. That was just what she said about Russia's "impressive tradecraft" in intercepting the telephone call. Then we discover that she was discussing highly sensitive issues over completely unsecured telephones.

Is the US training and funding the Ukraine opposition? Nuland herself claimedin December that the US had spent $5 billion since the 1990s on "democratization" programs in Ukraine. On what would she like us to believe the money had been spent?

We know that the US State Department invests heavily – more than $100 million from 2008-2012 alone - on international "Internet freedom" activities. This includes heavy State Department funding, for example, to the New Americas Foundation's…

…Commotion Project (sometimes referred to as the "Internet in a Suitcase"). This is an initiative from the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative to build a mobile mesh network that can literally be carried around in a suitcase, to allow activists to continue to communicate even when a government tries to shut down the Internet, as happened in several Arab Spring countries during the recent uprisings.

"Commotion Project." What an appropriate name for what is happening in Ukraine.

It is not a far leap from the known billions spent on "democratization" in Ukraine, to the hundreds of millions spent on developing new tools for regime-changers on the ground to use against authorities in their home countries, to the State Department from the US embassy in Kiev providing training and equipment to those seeking the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

The apparent goal of US policy in Ukraine is to re-ignite a Cold War, installing a US-created government in Kiev which signs the EU association agreement including its NATO cooperation language to effectively push the Berlin Wall all the way to the gates of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

NATO has expanded to central Europe, despite US assurances in the 1980s that it would not do so. The US rolled over Russia in its deceptive manipulation of a UN Security Council resolution on Libya to initiate an invasion. The US continues to arm jihadists seeking to overthrow the secular Assad government in Russia-allied Syria. The US and EU have absorbed the Baltics, leaving their large ethnic Russian populations to dangle in non-person limbo. The US and EU had all but absorbed Georgia. Now the US is clearly in the process of absorbing Ukraine, with its strategic importance to Russia, its proximity, and its nearly 10 million ethnic Russian minority.

Surely there is a point to where Russia will take steps to concretely limit its losses. In December Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich that Russia and Ukraine should resume comprehensive military cooperation. Other bilateral defense agreements are already in place.

What would have to happen to trigger a Ukrainian request to its close neighbor for assistance putting down a bloody and illegal coup d'etat instigated by foreign governments? Will US serious miscalculation of Russian resolve over Ukraine lead to a tragedy of almost inconceivable proportions? What if this time Russia does not blink?

This article was posted: Monday, February 10, 2014 at 5:47 am

Tags: domestic news

[Feb 07, 2014] U.S. diplomat plays down leaked call; Germany's Merkel angry

From political point of view neoliberalism vision is close to Communists vision. The only difference is that now the capital of the world is the USA and it is the USA government that controls the rest of the world. Other states are just vassals who implement directions from benevolent "Washington Obcom" and install leaders recommended, or (YouTube)... Funny that it was communists who actually put a major effort in implementing this vision via the dissolution of the USSR.
Feb 07, 2014 | Reuters/Yahoo

... ... ...

Modern Ukraine is divided between eastern provinces that were districts of Russia for centuries and where most people speak Russian, and Western sections that were annexed by the Soviets from Poland and the former Austrian empire, where most people speak Ukrainian and many resent Russian domination.

Although many Ukrainians say they dream of integration with the West, the Soviet economic legacy gives Moscow extraordinary leverage: Ukraine's heavy industry depends on imports of energy, above all Russian natural gas.

Moscow portrays the anti-Yanukovich demonstrators as paid Western agents and seems to be pushing for Yanukovich to order a crackdown to clear the streets.

In some of the sharpest language yet, the Kremlin's point man on Ukraine, Sergei Glazyev, urged the Ukrainian leader to stop negotiating with "putschists". He accused Washington of arming, funding and training the opposition to take power.

Nuland called the remarks "pure fantasy".

"He could be a science fiction writer," she said.

Re-Ran:

When any empire ends under the guise of "renewal" organizations tend to show up, like a parasite they eat the legacy of the empire alive often from within. There are remarkable similarities to most if not all A.D. Empires, From the beginning first pioneers of them up to the final conspicuous consumer populations that eventually become a burden on the state of the empire. They all have 6 stages and in total last around 200-250 years before collapsing. The age of pioneers, the age of conquest, the age of commerce, the age of affluence, the age of intellect, ending with the bread and circus' campaigns of the age of decadence. The age of decadence is amazingly similar throughout most empires. This involves an undisciplined, over extended military, a continuous conspicuous display of wealth, a massive and ever growing disparity between rich and poor, desire to live off a bloated state, and a cultural obsession with sex. More importantly the most similar trend throughout empires in the age of decadence is the aggressive debasement of that empires currency. Once the backing resource of an empires currency is abandoned, the denominations go through a continuous corruption, until even the officials who once backed the people, become more fixated on the accumulation of as much wealth as possible. With this corruption comes distractions.

Like Rome and their Gladiatorial events used to keep the public eye off of state affairs and economy, this is a classic trait of declining empires. Today in the U.S. there is an ever prevalent emphasis on all kinds of television shows, sports, and celebrities. Just like today's celebrities and sports stars earn vast sums of wealth, so did the Roman charioteers, one in the second century gained so much wealth, it would equate to several billions today. And ironically like Rome before it's collapse we even make celebrities out of our chef's. We have been lulled into a lethargy and have completely accepted it. through un fettered consumerism, continuous economic bubbles, and the desire for everlasting youth, the "baby boomer" generation squandered their inheritance from the prior. "and our posterity" became "just for us" and part took in the largest misallocation of capitol in our time, and future generations will pay the price.

richard d

The inmates are not only running the asylum, they own it. Obama and his administration need to be Baker Acted. Welcome to the modern day 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'.

Dependency theory

Wikipedia

Dependency theory originates with two papers published in 1949 – one by Hans Singer, one by Raúl Prebisch – in which the authors observe that the terms of trade for underdeveloped countries relative to the developed countries had deteriorated over time: the underdeveloped countries were able to purchase fewer and fewer manufactured goods from the developed countries in exchange for a given quantity of their raw materials exports. This idea is known as the Singer-Prebisch thesis. Prebisch, an Argentine economist at the United Nations Commission for Latin America (UNCLA), went on to conclude that the underdeveloped nations must employ some degree of protectionism in trade if they were to enter a self-sustaining development path. He argued that Import-substitution industrialisation (ISI), not a trade-and-export orientation, was the best strategy for underdeveloped countries.[2] The theory was developed from a Marxian perspective by Paul A. Baran in 1957 with the publication of his The Political Economy of Growth.[3] Dependency theory shares many points with earlier, Marxist, theories of imperialism by Rosa Luxemburg and V.I. Lenin, and has attracted continued interest from Marxists. Matias Vernengo, a University of Utah economist, identifies two main streams in dependency theory: the Latin American Structuralist, typified by the work of Prebisch, Celso Furtado and Anibal Pinto at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC, or, in Spanish, CEPAL); and the American Marxist, developed by Paul A. Baran, Paul Sweezy, and Andre Gunder Frank.[4]

The theory was popular in the 1960s and 1970s as a criticism of modernization theory (the "stages" hypothesis mentioned above), which was falling increasingly out of favor because of continued widespread poverty in much of the world.

Many dependency theorists advocate social revolution as an effective means to the reduction of economic disparities in the world system.[citation needed]

According to Vernengo, the Latin American Structuralist and the American Marxist schools had significant differences but agreed on some basic points:

[B]oth groups would agree that at the core of the dependency relation between center and periphery lays [lies] the inability of the periphery to develop an autonomous and dynamic process of technological innovation. Technology – the Promethean force unleashed by the Industrial Revolution – is at the center of stage. The Center countries controlled the technology and the systems for generating technology. Foreign capital could not solve the problem, since it only led to limited transmission of technology, but not the process of innovation itself.[5]

Baran and others frequently spoke of the international division of labour – skilled workers in the center, unskilled in the periphery – when discussing key features of dependency.[6]

Baran placed surplus extraction and capital accumulation at the center of his analysis. Development depends on a population's producing more than it needs for bare subsistence (a surplus). Further, some of that surplus must be used for capital accumulation - the purchase of new means of production - if development is to occur; spending the surplus on things like luxury consumption does not produce development. Baran noted two predominant kinds of economic activity in poor countries. In the older of the two, plantation agriculture, which originated in colonial times, most of the surplus goes to the landowners, who use it to emulate the consumption patterns of wealthy people in the developed world; much of it thus goes to purchase foreign produced luxury items-automobiles, clothes, etc. -- and little is accumulated for investing in development. The more recent kind of economic activity in the periphery is industry-but of a particular kind. It is usually carried out by foreigners, although often in conjunction with local interests. It is often under special tariff protection or other government concessions. The surplus from this production mostly goes to two places: part of it is sent back to the foreign shareholders as profit; the other part is spent on conspicuous consumption in a similar fashion to that of the plantation aristocracy. Again, little is used for development. Baran thought that political revolution was necessary to break this pattern.[7]

In the 1960s, members of the Latin American Structuralist school argued that there is more latitude in the system than the Marxists believed. They argued that it allows for partial development or "dependent development" – development, but still under the control of outside decision makers. They cited the partly successful attempts at industrialisation in Latin America around that time (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico) as evidence for this hypothesis. They were led to the position that dependency is not a relation between commodity exporters and industrialised countries, but between countries with different degrees of industrialisation. In their approach there is a distinction made between the economic and political spheres: economically, one may be developed or underdeveloped; but even if (somewhat) economically developed, one may be politically autonomous or dependent. More recently, Guillermo O'Donnell has argued that constraints placed on development by neoliberalism were lifted by "the military coups in Latin America that came to promote development in authoritarian guise" (Vernengo's words, summarising O'Donnell, 1982).[8]

The importance of technology, multinational corporations, and State promotion of technology were emphasised by the Latin American Structuralists.

Fajnzybler has made a distinction between systemic or authentic competitiveness, which is the ability to compete based on higher productivity, and spurious competitiveness, which is based on low wages.[9]

The third-world debt crisis of the 1980s and continued stagnation in Africa and Latin America in the 1990s caused some doubt as to the feasibility or desirability of "dependent development".[10]

Vernengo (2004) has suggested that the sine qua non of the dependency relationship is not the difference in technological sophistication, as traditional dependency theorists believe, but rather the difference in financial strength between core and peripheral countries – particularly the inability of peripheral countries to borrow in their own currency. He believes that the hegemonic position of the United States is very strong because of the importance of its financial markets and because it controls the international reserve currency – the US dollar. He believes that the end of the Bretton Woods international financial agreements in the early 1970s considerably strengthened the United States' position because it removed some constraints on their financial actions.[11]

"Standard" dependency theory differs from Marxism, in arguing against internationalism and any hope of progress in less developed nations towards industrialization and a liberating revolution. Theotonio dos Santos described a 'new dependency', which focused on both the internal and external relations of less-developed countries of the periphery, derived from a Marxian analysis. Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (in office 1995-2002) wrote extensively on dependency theory while in political exile during the 1960s, arguing that it was an approach to studying the economic disparities between the centre and periphery. The American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein refined the Marxist aspect of the theory, and called it the "World-system." It has also been associated with Galtung's Structural Theory of Imperialism.

With the economic growth of India and some East Asian economies, dependency theory has lost some of its former influence. It is more widely accepted in disciplines such as history and anthropology[citation needed]. It also underpins some NGO campaigns, such as Make Poverty History and the fair trade movement.

Underdevelopment

Wikipedia

2.Dependency Theory

Dependency theory is the body of theories by various intellectuals, both from the Third World and the First World, that suggest that the wealthy nations of the world need a peripheral group of poorer states in order to remain wealthy. Dependency theory states that the poverty of the countries in the periphery is not because they are not integrated into the world system, but because of how they are integrated into the system.

These poor nations provide natural resources, cheap labor, a destination for obsolete technology, and markets to the wealthy nations, without which they could not have the standard of living they enjoy. First world nations actively, but not necessarily consciously, perpetuate a state of dependency through various policies and initiatives. This state of dependency is multifaceted, involving economics, media control, politics, banking and finance, education, sport and all aspects of human resource development. Any attempt by the dependent nations to resist the influences of dependency could result in economic sanctions and/or military invasion and control. This is rare, however, and dependency is enforced far more by the wealthy nations setting the rules of international trade and commerce.

Dependency theory first emerged in the 1950s, advocated by Raul Prebisch whose research found that the wealth of poor nations tended to decrease when the wealth of rich nations increased. The theory quickly divided into diverse schools. Some, most notably Andre Gunder Frank and Walter Rodney adapted it to Marxism. "Standard" dependency theory differs sharply from Marxism, however, arguing against internationalism and any hope of progress in less developed nations towards industrialization and a liberating revolution. Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso wrote extensively on dependency theory while in political exile. The American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein refined the Marxist aspect of the theory, and called it the "world system." [14]

According to Brazilian social scientist, Theotonio Dos Santos, dependence means a situation in which certain countries economies' are conditioned by the development & expansion of another to which the former is subject. He goes on to further clarify that the interdependence of two or more economies, and consequently world trade, assumes the form of dependence when dominant countries can create dependency only as a reflection of that expansion, which can have a negative effect on the subordinate's immediate economy.

Guyanese Marxist historian and political activist, Walter Rodney, contends in reference to Africa`s underdevelopmemt, "The decisiveness of the short period of colonialism and its negative consequences for Africa spring mainly from the fact that Africa lost power. Power is the ultimate determinant in human society, being basic to the relations within any group and between groups. It implies the ability to defend one's interests and if necessary to impose one's will by any means available. In relations between peoples, the question of power determines maneuverability in bargaining, the extent to which a people survive as a physical and cultural entity. When one society finds itself forced to relinquish power entirely to another society, that in itself is a form of underdevelopment"

[Aug 24, 2013] Emerging countries must be able to control capital flows by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

Aug 24, 2013 | Yahoo.com

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (Reuters) - Emerging market nations can be adversely affected by large swings in investment and, therefore, must develop tools to control credit flows or risk relinquishing any independent monetary policy, a study shows.

These findings were presented at the Kansas City Federal Reserve's monetary policy symposium at Jackson Hole, which highlighted the global impact of the unconventional monetary policy of the United States and other major central banks.

Many countries, including India and Brazil, have recently experienced steep sell-offs in their currencies, linked in part to the prospect that the Fed might soon dial down the pace of its bond-buying monetary stimulus.

The Jackson Hole study highlights a shift in conventional economic thinking, which used to champion an open flow of money between countries, regardless of the consequences.

"Macroprudential policies are necessary to restore monetary policy independence for the non‐central countries," wrote Helene Rey, professor at the London Business School. "They can substitute for capital controls, although if they are not sufficient, capital controls must also be considered."

That, said the study, is because countries with floating exchange rates, the dominant global practice, would be abdicating their control over interest rates and credit creation from sources outside their control.

"Independent monetary policies are possible if - and only if - the capital account is managed, directly or indirectly, via macroprudential policies," Rey said. These can take many forms, including efforts to restrain credit growth in particular areas of the economy.

"Since, for a country, the most dangerous outcome of inappropriately loose global financial conditions is excessive credit growth, a sensible policy option is to monitor directly credit growth and leverage in each market," she said.

Terrence Checki, executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, charged with commenting on the paper, pushed back against the notion that rich-country central banks should start paying more attention to the international effects of their policies.

He said that, in keeping with conventional wisdom at the Fed, monetary policy should be aimed at domestic objectives.

"It's not clear we can control the financial cycle very well with monetary policy," Checki said.

(Editing by Vicki Allen and Gunna Dickson)

[Aug 14, 2013] Umpire Strikes Out By Andrew J. Bacevich

Review of American Umpire, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Harvard University Press, 440 pages
August 13, 2013 | The American Conservative

ArizonaBumblebee:

I could make a strong argument about the benefits to mankind of imperial regimes. Certainly this was the case with the Han Chinese, Roman, Ottoman, and British empires. But we would be amiss if we didn't briefly address the downsides to empire.

Maintaining empire is an expensive proposition. I am not familiar with the Chinese dynasties, but I do know that the Roman, Ottoman, and British empires all eventually became financial basket cases. In virtually all of these instances imperial overreach was a major factor. Does this sound familiar? Read David Stockman's latest book to get an idea of how America's warfare state is leading it to financial ruin.

Second, all imperial regimes become arrogant and smug in their attitudes and actions toward outsiders and internal dissenters, which result in constant wars or domestic repression. Britain and France fought numerous wars over the centuries as did the Mongols and the Han Chinese and the Romans and the Persians. Wars and imperialism go hand in hand.

Finally, the idea that the United States is not an imperial power is preposterous on its face. Ask Evo Morales, whose presidential plane was forced down recently on the rumor he just might have Mr. Snowden on board. Or ask the leaders of countries in Latin America who have had to endure in recent decades death squads, resource exploitation, and invasions directed by the Washington elites. Or ask former President Morsi of Egypt, if you can locate him. The idea that America is not an imperialist power is amazing rubbish!

James Canning:

Yes, how convenient to omit discussion of the idiotic and illegal American invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Reinhold:

I don't think this article denounces American Umpire strongly enough for its clear triumphantilism and exceptionalism; it's a shameless case of propaganda and imperial apologetics. As is usual for propagandists, Hoffman claims that it's really the ones who CRITICIZE American imperialism who are contributing to Islamist terrorism, and not American imperialism itself; those who claim the latter are anti-American and, evidently if not directly, pro-Islamist. It's a sick joke and shouldn't be taken seriously as scholarship; it is not only a selective memory, but a deliberate falsification and misdirection of memory.

[Jul 04, 2013] Google eats the world By Rebecca Solnit

Finally, journalists have started criticizing in earnest the leviathans of Silicon Valley, notably Google, now the world's third-largest company in market value. The new round of discussion began even before the revelations that the tech giants were routinely sharing our data with the National Security Agency, or maybe merging with it. Simultaneously another set of journalists, apparently unaware that the weather has changed, is still sneering at San Francisco, my hometown, for not lying down and loving Silicon Valley's looming presence.

The criticism of Silicon Valley is long overdue and some of the critiques are both thoughtful and scathing. The New Yorker, for example, has explored how start-ups are undermining the purpose of education at Stanford University, addressed the Valley's messianic delusions and political meddling, and considered Apple's massive tax avoidance.

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece that startled me, especially when I checked the byline. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the fugitive in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, focused on The New Digital Age, a book by top Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen that to him exemplifies the melding of the technology corporation and the state.

It is, he claimed, a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism, from two of our leading "witch doctors who construct a new idiom for United States global power in the twenty-first century." He added, "This idiom reflects the ever closer union between the State Department and Silicon Valley."

What do the US government and Silicon Valley already have in common? Above all, they want to remain opaque while making the rest of us entirely transparent through the capture of our data. What is arising is simply a new form of government, involving vast entities with the reach and power of government and little accountability to anyone.

Google, the company with the motto "Don't be evil", is rapidly becoming an empire. Not an empire of territory, as was Rome or the Soviet Union, but an empire controlling our access to data and our data itself. Antitrust lawsuits proliferating around the company demonstrate its quest for monopoly control over information in the information age.

Its search engine has become indispensable for most of us, and as Google critic and media professor Siva Vaidhyanathan puts it in his 2012 book The Googlization of Everything,

"We now allow Google to determine what is important, relevant, and true on the Web and in the world. We trust and believe that Google acts in our best interest. But we have surrendered control over the values, methods, and processes that make sense of our information ecosystem."

And that's just the search engine.

About three-quarters of a billion people use Gmail, which conveniently gives Google access to the content of their communications (scanned in such a way that they can target ads at you). Google tried and failed to claim proprietary control of digital versions of every book ever published; librarians and publishers fought back on that one. As the New York Times reported last fall, Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, summed the situation up this way: "Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors' rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of US authors continues."

The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog wrote to the attorney general on June 12th urging him "to block Google's just announced $1 billion acquisition of Waze, developers of a mobile mapping application, on antitrust grounds... Google already dominates the online mapping business with Google Maps. The Internet giant was able to muscle its way to dominance by unfairly favoring its own service ahead of such competitors as Mapquest in its online search results. Now with the proposed Waze acquisition, the Internet giant would remove the most viable competitor to Google Maps in the mobile space. Moreover it will allow Google access to even more data about online activity in a way that will increase its dominant position on the Internet."

The company seems to be cornering the online mapping business, seems in fact to be cornering so many things that eventually they may have us cornered.

In Europe, there's an antitrust lawsuit over Google's Android phone apps. In many ways, you can map Google's rise by the litter of antitrust lawsuits it crushed en route. By the way, Google bought Motorola. You know it owns YouTube, right? That makes Google possessor of the second and third most visited Websites on earth. (Facebook is first, and two more of the top six are also in Silicon Valley.)

Imagine that it's 1913 and the post office, the phone company, the public library, printing houses, the US Geological Survey mapping operations, movie houses, and all atlases are largely controlled by a secretive corporation unaccountable to the public. Jump a century and see that in the online world that's more or less where we are. A New York venture capitalist wrote that Google is trying to take over "the entire fucking Internet" and asked the question of the day: "Who will stop Google?"

[Mar 25, 2013] Don't Forget Your Lunch

March 19, 2013 | The Kremlin Stooge
marknesop
Meanwhile, the situation in Cyprus remains a cliffhanger, with some sources suggesting the legislation is unlikely to pass.

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/cyprus-bailout-deal-looks-set-for-collapse-amid-fear-of-run-on-banks

Greek sources – I love those guys, but they sometimes let their emotions run away with them and offer courses of action that came entirely out of their own heads – suggest Gazprom might bail out Cyprus. As if, with that tool Anastasiades running the show and apparently doing exactly what he is told by the IMF. Did nobody learn anything from watching Ukraine's experience with the World Bank and IMF following the Orange Revolution? This is getting formulaic, folks; sweep a democratizer to power, lend him a whole pile of money and let him blow it on whatever he likes, then say oh, by the way, you know you have to pay that back and it's due Friday. The IMF, for what it's worth, is apparently still backing the seize-depositors'-funds deal.

It should also be lost on nobody that Cyprus went in the hole owing to its disastrous exposure to bad Greek debt.

[Mar 07, 2013] 21st century colonialism a new scramble for Africa by Yekaterina Kudashkina

Mar 7, 2013 | Voice of Russia

Dr. Hamdy Hassan, Director of the Center for African Future Studies based in UAE, speaks on the modern-day colonialism and the dominance of the West over new independent states in Africa and in Asia.

There's been a conference held in France this week and the conference was focusing on neocolonialism and anti-colonialism. And I found it a little bit ironic that the French should hold this kind of event, though they are now closely engaged in Mali. So, do you think that the issue of neocolonialism is really hot on the agenda or perhaps it is a more theoretical stuff?

If we talk about the theoretical issue of the different aspects of colonialism, you have the ancient type of colonialism and the neocolonialism which is widely used after the liberation movement in Asia and Africa and it meant of this kind of economic and political influence or dominance of the European powers over the new entities or new independent states in Africa and in Asia. But now the issue, if it is relevant to Africa in practice, we have a new issue which we describe as a new scramble for Africa. So, it reminds us about the first scramble for Africa in the 19th century when the European powers met in Berlin and many European capitals decided to divide Africa among themselves. Now, the new type of scramble is for mineral resources.

So, you have newcomers, you have China, you have this new economic powers like Brazil and so it is not only the Europeans this time, but the new factor here, regarding the ancient European powers like Britain and France, is that they try to create a new atmosphere to militarize this new scramble for Africa. This is why we can see why the West intervened militarily in Libya and now France decided to intervene in Mali. So, you can see this as an attempt to militarize the competition among these new powers and ancient powers to dominate the natural resources in Africa.

If you take the case of Mali, so Mali is important because of uranium. It is very rich in mineral resources and in Europe now they are using uranium in energy, in Europe they are turning it into atomic energy to produce electricity and power. So, now we can understand why France intervened in Mali. And last month, in February, the Obama Administration decided to send 100 military personnel to build a permanent military base in Niger in order to use drones against what they call the terrorist suspects in the area.

So, I guess we can see a new Cold War where each party tries to maximize its benefits on the land using whatever means they can use. So, the umbrella here is the war against terror, the umbrella here is to intervene to support the indigenous people or the local people. But the main goal of the Western powers is to guarantee their access to natural resources in Africa. Here we call it - it is not a mere theoretical neocolonialism, it is a new division of power in Africa again.

Sir, but what can African governments do to prevent this kind of scenario or is it now too late to talk about that?

The difference between the first scramble process in the 19th century and the second scramble for Africa in the 21st century is that they use African military as agents, because now if you look at the case of Mali, they are not intervening directly in many cases. They use the African military to intervene and they support them logistically and financially because the Africans, they cannot do it alone. So, they need the Western support in their national politics. In this is one of the main differences – they use the Africans themselves in order to achieve their goals.

Number two, there is a kind of coordination between the Western, when I say the Western, I mean Europe and America, in order to share the African cake. So, it is not a matter of individual partition of Africa - this part belongs to France, or the other one belongs to Britain - but in the same area they can have a kind of influence sharing. So, you have the French administration and the British administration coordinating their efforts in order to guarantee or support their goals in Mali. So, it is not a unilateral issue as it was before. Now you have this kind of gentlemen's agreement between the European powers in order to coordinate their advice in this new scramble for Africa.

If you look at the European Union it itself and its stance on the conflict in Mali - what they are looking for, for example with illegal immigration from Africa or fighting drugs and terror, they are looking at the conflict from their own perspective, from their own interests, not for the sake of the people of Mali or Africa. This is what is going on in Africa and this is why I do prefer, like the others, to call it a new scramble for Africa, because it is not a neocolonialism, but it is reminding us of a traditional case of colonialism or of partition of Africa.

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