Saturday, March 01, 2014

U.S. Hounds Baying at Russia Over Ukraine

Here's U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha “Saint Sam” Powers speecifying at UN: [1]

“The United States would condemn any attempt [by Russia, it's understood] to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty.”

How's that for gall? This from the nation that just overthrew the elected president and installed its own handpicked replacements. That's not intervention? But maybe only the U.S. is allowed to “intervene” (meddle in the internal affairs of other nations), and those doing so with U.S. permission. Well, when you're Boss of the World, I guess it's only natural to see things that way.

Powers called for an “urgent” UN “mediation” committee to be set up, to try and cement the U.S.' precarious victory and keep the Crimea in Ukraine (which would give the U.S. puppet regime official control over the Russian naval base there) instead of splitting off. At the same time, Obama threatened to be a no-show at the next G-8 Big Shots' Preening gathering, to be held in Moscow, if Putin doesn't roll over and play dead in response to the U.S. seizure of Ukraine. Just a hunch, but I don't think Putin will want to trade Russia's Crimean naval base just to have Obama drop by for a photo-op. (No doubt the omnipresent neofascist chorus of U.S. right-wing politicians, ex-apparatchiks, "think" tank pseudo-scholars and professional opinionators will soon be out in force to denounce Obama for weakness and demand he get tough with Russia. As usual, these imperialist zealots will have no practical options to offer, just fulminations.)

As soon as the U.S. installed its puppet government, high State Department apparatchik William Burns hied to Kiev to “consult” with the newest U.S. clients/satraps. (I.e. to pull their strings.)

The U.S. now keeps threatening Russia- You better not intervene militarily! [2] (Or else what, I wonder?) At the same time, they're struggling to keep their newly filched prize from crumbling like a stale cookie in their greedy fingers. Ukraine seems likely to split in two, between the part “the West” just grabbed, (on the pretext that Yanukovych, the elected president their mob just overthrew, failed to sign a trade deal! There's the first rule of “international relations,” as imposed by the U.S.: do what we say, or else!) and the Russian-leaning eastern section. The population is genuinely split, it would seem, with easterners tied economically, culturally, linguistically to Russia, and the coupsters with dollar signs (or Euro signs, actually) in their eyes, thinking the West is a giant welfare state that will put them on Easy Street. (Those fools will soon learn. The World Bank is already hovering in the wings with its usual austerity demands to pay off debt.)

Oh, and Russia just raised the issue of Ukraine's arrears on paying for the discounted natural gas it gets from Russia. Russia is threatening to raise the price. We've seen this before. The West thinks Russia should give away free gas, and regards it as the worst kind of extortionist imperialist bullying if Russia wants to be paid for its product. Maybe the Russians should take a leaf from U.S. history and send in troops to collect the debt, as the U.S. repeatedly invaded Caribbean nations with Marines to act as collection agents.

Quick Quiz: What's the difference between a “democracy protester” and a “gunman”? Answer: the first are backed by the West, the second are not. “Pro-Russian gunmen” seized the Crimean parliament, the BBC “news” reiterated again March 1st. And more threats of “consequences” if Russia intervenes militarily. And here's an example of “objective journalism,” courtesy of the New York Times, the self-anointed “newspaper of record” of the U.S. (and presumably of the world), the top of page one headline and subhead on February 28th: “GRAB FOR POWER IN CRIMEA RAISES SECESSION THREAT” “Pro-Russia Militants Overrun Buildings as the Rift in Ukraine Deepens.” Say, didn't a Western-backed violent mob led by fascists “overrun” government buildings and “grab power” in Kiev, overthrowing the elected government? And isn't that violent seizure of power exactly what led directly to the current secession “threat”? Just asking.

And now, after destabilizing Ukraine, the U.S. and its Euro-lackeys are busy blaming Russia for the mess. Cute. I don't care for Russia. It's a repressive, autocratic, backward nation. But blaming them for what the West just did in Ukraine makes as much sense as blaming Russia for the global financial crisis the U.S. created in 2008, for example. It's absurd.

Prying Ukraine away from Russia's sphere of influence would mean threatening the Russian navy's base in the Crimea, the southern peninsula of Ukraine that juts into the Black Sea. The Black Sea provides Russia with access to the Mediterranean via the Dardanelles. From the Mediterranean the Russians can sail to the Atlantic Ocean, or through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean. Thus depriving Russia of access to this sea route would be a partial strategic blockade of Russia. It's incredibly aggressive of the U.S. and its Eurolackeys to attempt this- not to mention hostile. Yet at the same time the U.S. expects Russia to fall in line behind U.S. goals such as forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program and kill the Arak reactor.

The propaganda drumbeat is growing louder by the day, with the U.S. media and much of European establishment media shrilly accusing Russia of meddling, destabilizing, intervening...all the things the West is doing in Ukraine. The BBC has been particularly sleazy, constantly speculating that the eastern Ukrainians who seized the Crimean parliament and refused to accept the coup in Kiev of being Russian soldiers in disguise. “The West” regards it as a “crisis” that Russia would use troops to protect its naval base and other interests in the Crimea. Just as in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the “crisis” is entirely of the U.S.' making, with its unreasonable, hyper-aggressive demands. (Cuba had every right, as a sovereign nation, to invite the Soviet Union to station nuclear-armed missiles there to deter U.S. invasion. And the U.S. had long had nuclear weapons in Turkey and Europe and in the Far East aimed at the Soviet Union at that time, making it hypocritical as well as unreasonable to demand that the missiles be withdrawn, on threat of a nuclear war.)

This is a good time to deconstruct that word, “stability,” and its uses in U.S. Imperialist-Speak. “Stability” is invoked, always as a Good Thing, when the U.S. wants to keep some dictatorship or oligarchy in power. “Instability,” a Bad Thing, means unwanted changes in the political status quo. But as we see in Ukraine, the U.S. is fine with destabilizing things to get what it wants. Stability becomes a virtue only after the U.S. has the set-up it seeks. Then “instability” becomes a bad thing. So destabilizing and destroying democratic systems in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Brazil (1965), Chile (1973), etc., were Good Things. (They called it “fighting communism,” but that's just fascist code for destroying democracy, human rights, labor rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and so on.)

1] As part of the U.S.' never-ending “human rights” burlesque, Powers wrote a hand-wringing book about the Rwandan genocide that rued the fact that the U.S. didn't intervene to stop it. Based on that credential, Powers is put forth as a moral avatar. We've seen acts like this many times before. Jimmy Carter's entire presidency was in part a “human rights” charade. His actual record: forming the contra terrorists who helped the U.S. wreck Nicaragua; initiating the U.S. arms pipeline to Afghan jihadists after the Soviet invasion; conniving with China to invade Vietnam (he also opined that the U.S. didn't owe Vietnam anything for destroying that country, because “the destruction was mutual,” by which I guess he meant the U.S. bombed Vietnam, and the Vietnamese shot down some of the U.S.' bombers); praising the Shah of Iran, one of the worst dictators on earth at the time (as per Amnesty International) as a great friend; the standard U.S. support for Israel's crushing of the Palestinians (now, decades later, he's a critic of Israel- too bad he didn't say- and DO- anything when it would have made a difference); and more.

2] By the way, there are large numbers of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. When Reagan invaded Grenada to topple a regime there that was anathema to U.S. reactionaries, the excuse used was a bogus threat to the safety of American third-rate medical students there (who couldn't get into med school anywhere else, apparently). So it seems that Russia as ample VALID concern for a military incursion in Ukraine!

But of course the usual hypocritical double-standard applies, so Russia will be vociferously denounced by the West if it does so.

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