NATO Provoking Russia, but strategy is backfiring
Distortions, lies and omissions: The New York Times won’t tell you the real story behind Ukraine, Russian economic collapse
A note arrived a few days ago from one of my best informants in Europe. He had just met across a hotel dining table with a senior German executive, and the topic quickly turned to the crisis in Ukraine and the sanctions regime Washington has imposed on Russia.
I can do no better than give you the pertinent passage in the note:
“… I spoke … breakfast time in Europe… with the head of one of the largest companies in Germany. This declaration was one of the first items he mentioned. I took notes—because it is one of my clients—and here is what he said: ‘It is urgent for Europe to bring Obama and the people making the decisions behind him back to reality. If not, this will spiral first into a financial collapse, which will slam into all of Europe, and then who knows where it goes after that? Everywhere, far-right nationalist forces are building. Look at the last U.S. Congressional elections, and think what is coming. Will America ever have had a more nationalist Congress? Le Pen would be right at home in this crowd. The course we are on now is folly. Can’t they see that?’”
I wish I could say the German exec’s question is a good one, but the grim answer is too obvious. They can see nothing in Washington. We witness the single most reckless, destructive foreign policy this administration has yet devised, comparable in magnitude to Bush II’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry wanted Middle East peace to stand as their legacy on the foreign side. Now they propose restored relations with Cuba as the bronze monument. Forget about it. The devastation of ties with a global power, the dissolution of Ukraine and very possibly the ruination of Europe’s barely beating economic recovery will be what we live with after this administration makes its exit.
I am awestruck as news of recent events unfolds. Ukraine is more than an economic, political and military mess: It is a major humanitarian tragedy now. As the German CEO wants to know, how can we possibly arm neo-Nazis in Ukraine while right-wing extremists and anti-immigration atavists rise all over Europe? The body blows the State Department and Treasury are dealing Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis—as precipitated by State, of course—would be irresponsible under any circumstances for the risks they carry. In the current global environment, this starts to shape up as monomania.
In my read Washington has drastically overplayed its hand with the Europeans from the first round of sanctions onward. Now those overly courteous Europeans are at last taking the kidskin gloves off. We had hints of this before the holidays, when Matteo Renzi, the Italian premier, said at a European summit in Brussels, “Absolutely no to more sanctions.”
Now François Hollande asserts that, no, Moscow has no desire to annex eastern Ukraine, no, there is no need for more sanctions, and yes, sanctions now in place must be lifted if, as Hollande and other European leaders continue to anticipate, what you may read notwithstanding.
O.K., $17 billion from the IMF, once the government savages its budget. Against this, Kiev has payments of $10 billion in debt service alone due this year—that is interest, not principal. With principal, Bloomberg puts the figure at $14 billion, and an additional $10 billion is due next year. It is not clear it can cover these payments even with the IMF funds.
Do you see what is going on here? The IMF’s bailout is not marked for Ukrainian social services or any other benefit to the citizenry. All that is about to be taken away, in the neoliberal style. The bailout money goes to Kiev and back out again to the Western financial institutions holding Ukrainian debt. In effect, debt held by private-sector creditors is transferred to the IMF, which uses it to leverage Ukraine into a free-market model via its standard conditionality: No austerity, no dough. Now you know why the new finance minister in Kiev is an American apparatchik with long experience in the Hillary-era State Department. Now you know what Washington means when it uses the words “democracy” and “freedom.”
What makes all this go down so bitterly is the atrocious news coming out of Ukraine these days. Last week a long-scheduled new round of ceasefire talks, set to take place in Minsk, collapsed when the Poroshenko government refused to participate. Why? Well, your source of information probably told you the reasons for Kiev’s abrupt withdrawal were “unclear.” DPA, the German news agency, was alone so far as I can make out in explaining it thus: Full Story
This is a great article and it appeared on Yahoo.com; we were quite surprised to say the least. This article is yet another clear indication of the depth and scope of this deception.
Merkel should be ashamed for being such a patsy. In one year the Ukrainian currency has gone from 8 hyrvina to a dollar to 19; to state that people are suffering would be a gross exaggeration. Ukraine is basically just waiting to default.
For the record the bailout package that Putin offered Ukraine was incredibly superior to the criminally back-breaking package the IMF offered Ukraine. One of the clauses is that Ukraine must pollute its lovely land with GMO Plants.
The constitution of Ukraine was violated when a violent coup overthrew a democratically elected government and the USA and Europe supported this coup. The main newspapers conveniently omit this very important fact.
Newspapers all over the world continuously provide far more details than any so-called high-end Newspapers in the USA and more importantly they paint a picture where the USA and Europe are made to look like saints. In fact in Asia, Putin is admired tremendously and is looked upon as almost a hero.
Books on Mr. Putin have been flying off shelves since the crisis in Ukraine began, far outselling those on other world leaders, sales staff say. One book, “Putin Biography: He is Born for Russia,” made the list of top 10 nonfiction best sellers at the Beijing News newspaper in September.
A poll by In Touch Today, an online news service run by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., put Mr. Putin’s approval rating at 92% after Russia annexed Crimea in March. “Putin’s personality is impressive—as a man, as a leader. Chinese people find that attractive. He defends Russia’s interests,” says Zhao Huasheng, an expert on China-Russia relations at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “Russia and China can learn a lot from each other.”
Russia’s pushback against Western-leaning governments in Georgia in 2008 and more recently Ukraine has been popular in China. Some say Beijing should draw lessons from those experiences as it jostles for control over waters in the East and South China seas with the U.S., Japan, Philippines and Vietnam.
“I have the impression we always treat each other as friends, with full and open hearts,” Mr. Xi told Mr. Putin in Moscow last year, according to an official Kremlin transcript. “We are similar in character.
“Putin is a bold and decisive leader of a great power, who’s good at achieving victory in a dangerous situation,” said Maj. Gen. Wang Haiyun, a former military attaché to Moscow, in an interview with the Chinese website of the Global Times newspaper.
Liu Xiaohu, the 28-year-old author of another biography, “Putin’s Iron Fist,” which came out this year, says many young Chinese feel frustrated by what they see as their government’s failure to respond to past foreign provocations, such as the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999.
“It’s not that Chinese people instinctively want or need a strong leader: It’s that the country needs one at this period of time,” he says. Full Story
The constitution of Ukraine was violated when 4 new members of parliament were elected who were not Ukrainian citizens; one of them is an American. So all of a sudden they do not have enough Ukrainians to fill in government posts that they have to bring in outsiders.
The Czech president stated that something is truly wrong in the bad sense in Ukraine. Yet insane McCain and all his mentally disturbed followers want to engage Russia.
China will not let Russia face this battle alone; they know that they are not strong enough to challenge the USA on the military front and the only nation that can do that is Russia. India will also not abandon Russia and now Brazil is stepping in. And believe it or not Europe will soon awaken from its coma when the people openly start to rebel against their governments insane decision to punish Russia for no reason. The real criminals in Ukraine are now the Ukrainian government and all those politicians who supported the formation of this draconian, Gestapo and insane government.
Always understand that we never put the government of a nation and its people in the same boat; most people have good intentions if they are provided with the right information. The same cannot be said of most governments. Thus the American people and the American government should not be treated as one unit and the same applies to Europe and every other country. Very few governments truly care for their citizens.
Serbia gives isolated Putin a hero’s welcome
Serbia laid out the red carpet Thursday for Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to shore up ties with its loyal European ally as Moscow faces increasing international isolation.
Thousands of people lined the streets to greet the Kremlin strongman as he attended a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation from Nazi occupation.
The event — the first military parade in Belgrade in 30 years — was brought forward by four days to coincide with Putin’s visit. Full Story
The last sentence speaks volumes and there is no need for further comments from us.
A picture is worth a thousand words
The title on the above picture is meant to be ironical, for you cannot move a country. Look at the way the U.S. and the west have surrounded Russia. Does any sane person expect Russia to keep quiet? The U.S. almost went to war with USSR over missiles being placed in Cuba and these incredibly asinine and arrogant politicians want Russia to keep quiet when they decide to woe Ukraine into NATO; Ukraine is the last buffer against NATO. It’s a miracle Russia did not attack earlier and it shows just far how they went out of their way to try to prevent things from escalating.