Friday, March 14, 2014

Naval Blockade of Russian Black Sea Fleet Suggested By Career U.S. Apparatchik

In an interview with the consistently reactionary NPR radio host Scott Simon on March 1st, former prominent U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering raised the possibility of bottling up the Russian Black Sea Fleet inside the Black Sea, presumably with the cooperation of NATO member and U.S. client Turkey, through whose territory the narrow Dardanelles straits passes. The Dardanelles are the only exit from the Black Sea, leading to the Mediterranean Sea. [1]

After invoking the Cuban missile crisis (a crisis of the U.S.' creation) and the U.S. military alert during the Yom Kippur War, Pickering suggests blockading the Russian fleet based in Crimea. After suggesting this “tougher step” as a possibility “to reinforce diplomacy,” he then claims “no one wants to see a military confrontation” and “no one that I know of now, is threatening the stability or indeed security of the Black Sea Fleet...” Well take a look in the mirror and you'll see someone who just did, pal. Although he did say one has to be “very careful” about such a move. And presumably only if “diplomacy” doesn't force the Russians to give in to U.S. diktat. “Diplomacy” includes every kind of pressure and punishment short of military force. And Pickering mentions some of them.

Other than Pickering, however, I haven't heard any other imperialist apparatchiks, active or “retired,” suggest a naval blockade. Nor am I aware of any politicians or media figures explicitly suggesting it, although probably one of Murdoch's minions or their “guests” have, given their chronic bellicosity. Nevertheless, Pickering has put the threat out there, and Ukraine's U.S.-installed puppet “prime minister” has been running around shrilly exhorting the U.S. and EU to push Russia out of Crimea. He even went to the Emperor's official lair, the White House; whether on his own desperate initiative or because the Emperor summoned him, I don't know.

One problem Pickering noted was the dependency of Europe and Ukraine on Russian natural gas. He invoked Russia's past attempt to raise gas prices (to something closer to the market value- Ukraine was getting gas dirt cheap from Russia, and still today pays below fair market value- a fact very rarely mentions by U.S. media and establishment apparatchiks, and Pickering, let us say, “forgot” to mention that, thus painting Russia as extortionist) and elides the fact that Ukraine stole gas transiting through its pipelines bound for western Europe. Seems to me if you're going to mention Russia raising the price, you should mention that they were selling it at a discount. Since Ukraine at that time was behaving in a hostile manner towards Russia, no surprise that Russia would say, “You know, we're selling you gas at way below market price- we want more now.” Instead what western elites do is distort reality by painting a picture of Russian “extortion.” And who knows? Maybe they've brainwashed themselves into believing their own propaganda.

Pickering also spews the standard blather about “fair treatment to all Ukrainian citizens,” which is boilerplace U.S. rhetoric. What he really means is “it's unfair to divide Ukraine,” because the U.S. wants it ALL.

If you want to hear the interview with this imperialist poohbah, or read the transcript, here's the link to

1] NPR is the U.S. government-created and Congressionally-controlled domestic propaganda radio network.

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