Important facts about Ukraine, 2014 – that the major media won’t tell you
We often hear, at least from the more reputable businesses out there – and there are some, despite the trends in the opposite direction, led by the ruling corporate oligarchs – that you should “do your research before you buy.” How much more important is it that we do our research before we buy the official story told by political elites and their media presstitutes, than doing our research before we buy a new car? We need to look behind the headlines and the sound-bites – and this is arguably more important with regards to the situation in Ukraine, than it was even before the launch of the war in Iraq. We saw what a fiasco the war in Iraq turned out to be, what a quagmire it became, and what lies were spun to rationalize and justify the US invasion of a sovereign nation – over oil reserves and corporate profits for the already astronomically rich ruling 0.001%. Over a million people were killed in Iraq – mainly women, children and innocent civilians – as a result of war, devastation of critical infrastructure and brutally inhumane sanctions. The case with Ukraine is even more ominous. Ukraine could become the flash-point, quite literally, for WWIII. We, the people, absolutely must be aware of what is really going on there. The stakes are immeasurably high, and the situation is in a critical state, right now, as we speak.
When I first saw headlines and images about popular protests in Ukraine, I thought, “Wonderful – the people are standing up for democracy in Ukraine, and exercising their democratic power;” but I immediately thought afterward, “We’ve seen events misrepresented and completely distorted in the Western media many times before, so I will not assume anything, until I look into it more deeply for myself.” Being busy with a number of things already, and it being an impossibility to follow every event, or even every major event, in every country around the world, it took me some time to get around to digging behind the headlines of the mainstream media. When I finally did, I was not surprised at what I found; but what I found was troubling, and very disturbing, to say the least. Here are my findings from a first look behind the curtain of the media spin machine.
But from the outset, let me say this. The more I look behind the headlines into what is actually going on in Ukraine, the more I wonder if the neo-cons who still rule Washington – Obama being the leading offender and buffoon-in-chief – are actually trying to create a war between Russia and NATO: which would be, of course, the beginning of WWIII. They may just be that mad. Certainly, they are risking the outbreak of world war, whether that was the intention or not. This is sheer madness. And the Western media will give you no honest information about it.
Important facts about Ukraine, 2014:
1. The United States and Western Europe – or at least, the business, financial and political elite who rule this part of the world – have been trying to restore Russia to its traditional role as a purposefully underdeveloped backwater colony of the West – a resource base and source of cheap labour – ever since the Russian Revolution of 1917. And ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Western powers have been encircling Russia militarily, as NATO has encroached further and further East, swallowing up 12 nations into its sphere of influence that had formerly been aligned with Russia. Now, in Ukraine, the Western powers are on Russia’s doorstep, and Russia is not very happy about it, and with good reason. If we do not understand this larger context, then we understand nothing about what is happening in Ukraine, or anywhere in Eurasia, for that matter.
2. The basic game, the primary motives and modus operandi for the American Empire, for the European great powers, and for the Western corporate empire, which has now swallowed both of the former, has not changed. Money rules, and the prime concerns are the pursuit of ever greater wealth and power for the few at the top – the richest 1%, or more accurately, the 0.01% who are the plutocrats, the oligarchs, the business and financial elite who rule the Western world, and who dominate the globe – with no concern and nothing more than rhetoric, pretty speeches and public relations gestures for the overwhelming majority of the people, the other 99.99%, the environment, or the future of life and human beings on Earth.
Obama took the neo-con agenda of the Bush-Cheney regime, and took their core two policy goals – increased militarism and imperial warfare abroad, in order to further the interests of the ruling corporate elite; and a full-scale attack on democracy and freedom, not just around the world, in pursuit of ever greater riches and power, but even more critically, at home, in the heart of the empire, with a full frontal assault on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, civil liberties, democracy and freedom in the United States, in order to protect the ruling plutocrats and their political prostitute cronies from the increasingly restless and discontent populace, by creating a quite literally fascist police state at home.
(See Jonathan Turley, American Constitutional law expert, or Naomi Wolf, Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedges or Gerald Celente, among numerous other solid and thoughtful observers.)
“Let’s call it like it is – it’s fascism.”
– Gerald Celente, the world’s leading trend analyst
With the passing of the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, the United States ceased to uphold the Constitution or Bill of Rights, or any meaningful, substantive sense of either democracy or freedom, and descended into what is, by any legal definition, a fascist state.
The pretense of freedom and democracy still remain – but that is to be expected. The United States is now an Orwellian society run by and for the business elite of Wall Street and London. For the moment at least, democracy in the United States, is dead.
When habeus corpus is suspended, and even the Magna Carta overturned, throwing out 800 years of rule by law, along with all civil liberties and the very foundation of all human rights and freedoms; when arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention become permitted and routine, when torture is made legal and becomes institutionalized, when universal and global surveillance becomes the established norm, and when extrajudicial summary execution, either through drone strikes, illegal and unconstitutional police or security force actions, mercenaries, military tribunals or CIA black sites, then there is no other word for it: this is fascism.
So no, we should not expect something different from Obama than we what saw from Bush. In fact, Obama has expanded Bush’s wars abroad; he has intensified the Bush-Cheny/neo-con/Wall Street attack on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, freedom and democracy at home; and he has escalated and accelerated the drive towards a police state in America. This is your champion of “hope and change.” He is a Wall Street hireling – a whore to the military-industrial-security complex and the bankers who rule the land.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. By his actions – pretty speeches notwithstanding – Obama is at least as bad as Bush and Cheney, if not worse. He is a crypto-fascist, working hard to ensure the continued rule and ever-expanding wealth and power of the ruling business elite – the people, the Constitution, freedom, democracy and the Earth be damned.
We should not be surprised at cynical, deceitful, Machiavellian or Orwellian maneuvers, regime changes and power plays undertaken by Washington under the figure-head of Obama’s “presidency.” The real rulers, the Wall Street and international banking and corporate elite, are still in charge – and their game plan has not changed: it is still, divide and conquer, subjugate and rule. Or as Adam Smith called “the vile maxim of the masters” – “All for us, none for anybody else.”
Fascism won’t come to America dressed in swastikas and accompanied by goose-stepping soldiers in the streets. It will come draped in the flag, wrapped up nicely in ribbons and bows, all smiles, as loveable and American as mom and apple pie – Orwellian to the core, and deeply camouflaged. It will be the full institutionalization and consolidation of a global corporate rule: and the well-paid public relations industry, and its most influential arm, which is the major media networks and the media prostitutes which staff its rank ranks, will put a happy face on it, and make it look sparkling and wonderful to any and all who are foolish enough not to look behind the thin veneer which covers over the ugly truth.
And fascism is not coming to America – it is here.
Obama is just the latest pawn, the latest face of the now globally dominant Western corporate empire. And he does not take his direction or his orders from the American people, anymore than he has any genuine concern for freedom, democracy or human rights anywhere on the planet – including at home, in the United States, much less in Europe or Ukraine.
3. The recent events in Ukraine were portrayed in the Western media as a popular democratic uprising against a corrupt political leader, and a yearning by the people to have stronger ties with the EU. It is true that a large percentage of the people of Ukraine felt this way, although it seems that this may have been a minority opinion; but in any event, that is a small part of the picture. There is also a large element of neo-Nazis that were involved in the protests and the ouster of the democratically elected government – neo-Nazies who trace their histories back to the Nazi sympathizers who murdered up to two million Jews, Communists and Russians in Ukraine during WWII.
And in case anyone is inclined to dismiss this element as fringe and inconsequential, it should be noted that the newly installed government in Kiev, under Wasington’s direction, has put the leaders of the neo-Nazi parties, Svoboda and the Right Sector, in charge of the military, the police and the judicial system. The neo-Nazi element, therefore, is in power. They are holding the big stick. And they have made it clear that they are not afraid to use it.
“For anyone in the Western propagandistic presstitutes from James Kirchick for the Daily Beast to the BBC to the Washington Post to Foreign Policy to the Guardian, as well as the Western regimes who have tried odiously over the last three months to whitewash the Right Sector (Ukraine’s Far Right paramilitary group that played a part in toppling the government), I give you their young, intelligent, eloquent, photogenic, charismatic, fluently English-Speaking, philosopher and press spokesperson – Olena Semenyaka – an open, proud, unrepentant, Nazi Swastika-waving, Hitler-saluting fascist.”
– Occupy London
(When I learn how to overcome my all-thumbs approach to digital technology and know how to use WordPress better, I’ll include the photo of Semenyaka proudly waving the Nazi flag and giving the Nazi raised-arm salute. Until then, you can easily find it on OccupyLondon’s facebook page.)
This large neo-Nazi element is, of course, anything but democratic – not to mention, racist, fascist, antisemitic and violent. And this is the element that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was recorded in a phone call as saying she wanted intimately involved the US putsch which just occurred in Kiev.
Yes, what just happened in Ukraine was “a text-book CIA coup” – according to former CIA analyst and specialist on Russia, Ray McGovern; as well as the University of Ottawa professor of economics and founder of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky; and Francis Boyle, professor of international law in Illinois.
We have seen such regime changes over and over, ever since the US staged a CIA-orchestrated coup in Iran to install the Shaw – and the CIA even has a manual on how to go about such things. And yes, the US political and business elite will work with anyone who will get the job done for them, and act as puppets in their grand imperial game.
Look at the US support for Al Queda in Syria, in the efforts to overthrow the government there, or in Lybia, where US-backed Al Queda forces successfully overthrew that regime. The fact that neither regime is or was desirable is not the point – the point is that the US business and political elite will work with any goons they find useful to their purposes, and who will help them overthrow the governments of their choosing. Imperial ambition has no scruples, and will resort to dirty means and dirty allies and pawns, whenever it is expedient to do so. The US and Western business and political elite, and the new global empire they rule over, are no different. As Chomsky said, “International politics haven’t changed significantly since the time of Ghengis Kahn.”
It was the leaders of the US-backed neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine that turned the peaceful protests into a violent confrontation and a putsch to overthrow a democratically elected government. Worse yet, the leaders of the neo-Nazi parties in Ukraine have openly made death threats against the “Jewish-Russian” conspiracy, and have said that they will gun down the Jews, Communists and Russians in the streets. With over half of the people in Eastern and Southern Ukraine being native Russian speakers – to say nothing of political and religious freedoms, or the appalling renewal of antisemitism in Europe – we are talking here about very real threats of genocide. And these are the goons that Washington and the Western business elites have decided to make their allies and puppets, for the sake of imperial ambition and power politics. We should be deeply alarmed, and deeply concerned.
4. The tipping point in Ukraine came when the democratically elected president – a fact never mentioned by the Western press – who was thrown from power by a Washington-orchestrated coup – another fact which is never mentioned in the Western press – with the critical aid and allegiance of neo-Nazis – which is a third fact that is not mentioned in the Western media – President Viktor Yanukovych, reversed his former decision to accept a trade deal with the EU. That is when the gloves came off, and the coup was set in motion by Washington and its allies in Europe.
The reason that Yanukovych reversed his decision and rejected the trade deal with the EU, from all indications, is two-fold. Firstly, the billionaire oligarchs of Ukraine realized that if this deal went through, then they could quite reasonably fear that the bigger, badder, and more powerful billionaires of Europe, and the corporations they control, would move in and carve up Ukraine, and leave them with only a few remaining crumbs – so they pulled out their support for the deal.
The second major reason was that there was a little known clause in the trade deal, which would in the end, bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance – which would mean a tectonic shift of allegiances for Ukraine, from Russia and the East, where it has traditionally been for centuries, to Europe and the West: and Yanukovych apparently decided that that might not be the best move, all things considered.
So, Yanukovych killed the deal – Yanukovych had to go. The putsch was on.
It was a very similar, almost earily similar pattern to what we saw leading up to the war in Afghanistan. And in both Afghanistan and Ukraine, a critical factor was a pipeline, and a deal that fell through, with dramatic reprecussions. (Keystone XL activists, make note of this. The oil giants are ruthless and vicious. Be unafraid, be brave, be bold, but do be alert.) The Taliban had been best buddies and allies with Washington, and there are photos of a grinning Donald Rumsfeld, I believe it was, shaking their leader’s hands – or was that Saddam Hussein? I’m making a joke, but it is deadly serious. Rumsfeld and his neo-con cronies were the best of friends with the Taliban, just as they had been with Saddam, and armed and funded them both, for various economic and geopolitical reasons. But Saddam got out of line, and forgot who buttered his bread and who ruled over him, so his masters in Washington took him out.
It’s a familiar pattern. Noriega in Panama was on the CIA payroll – until he disobeyed orders, and had to be taken down. The Taliban were favourite allies of Washington, until they refused the offer of large sums of cash in return for protecting a US oil company’s pipeline (UNOCAL) which was to run from the Caspian Basin through Afghanistan to the sea, for shipment to Chinese markets. The talks between US government representatives and Taliban leaders were transcribed and leaked, and the negotiator for Washington was recorded as saying, just before the US invasion of Afghanistan, “You either accept our offer of streets paved with gold, or we will bury you.” The Taliban refused, and the rest is history.
Former National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter, “Zbig” Brzezinski, even bragged, in an interview in Paris, abut how he created the Islamic terrorist networks based in Afghanistan. It was a plan, he openly stated, to draw the Soviet Union into “their own Vietnam,” in order to weaken and destabilize the USSR. And he was proud of the fact that the plan worked, and lead to or at least contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, and he scoffed at having created a rabid terrorist network in the process, saying, “What’s a few worked-up Muslims?” That’s bloodless geopolitical power politics for you.
So yes, the US, or rather, the Washington political elite, and the business and financial elite for whom they work, have been engaged in highly deceitful, duplicitous coups, treachery and regime changes for a very long time. Yanukovych is merely the last in a very long line.
According to William Blum, who used to work for the US State Department, but resigned in protest over the war in Vietnam, and author of Killing Hope – a history of the CIA: the US has engaged in coups or regime changes, putsches and the like – however you prefer to call the overthrow of a foreign government – 77 times prior to this latest putsch in Ukraine.
The CIA is now very good at this sort of thing. However, freedom and democracy are always the victims, along with the people, and the blow-back is usually severe as well. Such wild, brazen arrogance on the part of the US is making the American people less safe and more in danger, because of the hate it creates, and it is simply morally appalling and utterly unacceptable, as well as a straight up violation of international law, all democratic principles and principles of freedom, and all basic human rights, of course, at the same time.
The idea with the trade deal with the EU was to plop this economic basket case of Ukraine onto the EU’s lap, in order to a) bring Ukraine and its assets into the control of Western bankers, plutocrats, corporations and business elites; b) more specifically, to overturn Russia’s control of critical gas pipelines through Ukraine going into Europe, for greater control over, profits from and security of energy resources; and most critically, to sever Ukraine from Russia, not just economically, but also militarily, in order to further weaken, surround and isolate Russia.
But, again, Yanukovych killed the deal, so he had to be removed. The fact that neo-Nazis were chosen as the pawns to do the job, and to effectively replace him, makes no difference in the eyes of the Western imperial powers. They are used to such nefarious allegiances. They are the world’s leading terrorist powers, as Chomsky has said, and has documented in great detail. Why would they quibble or wince at working with, or putting in power, some small-fry terrorists in Afghanistan (the Taliban), or a thug in Iraq (Saddam), or neo-Nazies in Ukraine? It’s all just business as usual to them.
And again, of course, the Western media and their loyal presstitutes will tell you nothing of these critical details, the history behind them, or their critical significance in the events of the past few days and months in Ukraine.
5. Ukraine literally sits on top of critical pipelines bringing natural gas from Russia to Central and Western Europe. The big Western oil giants are looking to unseat Gazprom, the giant Russian national oil and gas company. We are looking at another battle over control of the world’s energy resources. In a nutshell, Russian billionaires are competing with Western billionaires for control over the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel sales in Europe.
We have seen, across the Middle East, what lengths the Western oligarchs are prepared to go to secure such riches and power. Over 1 million people have died in Iraq alone in the bloody wars over oil and gas. The Western plutocrats have no conscience – mass murder does not faze them; and of course, they have no interest in either democracy or freedom, grand rhetoric aside. The Russian oligarchs have acted no better – although they are primarily concerned, as Putin is, with stablizing and securing their empire, and not expanding it, as the Western powers seem intent on doing. In any case, a confrontation between billionaires from the East and those from the West, would be anything but peaceful or pretty, if it comes to a head: it would be, quite literally, WWIII.
That being said, the Western expansion Eastward, economically and also militarily, through NATO, its encircling of Russia, and its recent putsch in Ukraine, is not just about oil and gas profits, as enormously significant and motivating as that may be for the Western plutocrats – and is. It is also about global geostrategic dominance, and global hegemony for the West.
The Western elite seem hell-bent on an extraordinarily dangerous gambit, and seem to want to retain and consolidate their present global dominance, by any means necessary or expedient – even at the risk of global war and the extinction of humanity. The madness has no equal, either now, or at any time in the history of humankind.
As Chomsky clearly elaborated in one of his many major works, Hegemony or Survival, the dangers of this current path which we are being led down, cannot be overstated. We face a critical juncture for humankind. Either we swear off of empire and all its grandiose and horrifying games of power politics, or we watch as the power-mad destroy the world, and all future for human beings on Earth. Our choices have indeed become that stark.
7. Russia will not, and furthermore, feels it cannot, back down. Russia not only has deep, long-standing historical ties with Ukraine, but further, the Eastern and Southern portions of Ukraine were historically a part of Russia, and 60% of the inhabitants of the region are native Russian speakers who still retain strong ties to Russia.
And the bonds of allegiance go both ways. Ukraine, and especially the Crimean Peninsula, are very close to the hearts of the Russian people, for reasons of history, and also because the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea is the principle Russian vacation land and Club Med. Watching the West and NATO make gestures towards moving Ukraine, or even the Crimean Peninsula alone, into the sphere of Western dominance, would be something akin to Russia taking over Florida and Ellis Island at the same time. One could imagine what kind of response that would arouse among Americans. The analogy is, of course, imperfect, as all analogies are, but the point remains. Both Russia and also the people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine wish to keep their close ties with one another, and no threat to this long-standing relationship will be easily endured.
Ukraine is also, to repeat, the major route for Russian oil and gas pipelines to Europe. Russia will not surrender one of its most vitally important export routes, for one of its most vitally important industries.
Furthermore, Russia has critically important strategic naval bases on the Crimean Peninsula, giving them vitally important access to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. And again, after watching NATO and the Western powers expand East and encircle Russia militarily, while taking away important economic allies, piece by piece; and with Ukraine at Russia’s southern border and doorstep, and further, being in a strategically critical geographic location, Russia was bound to draw a red line in the sand.
The Russian people back Putin in his move to put troops into the Crimean Peninsula in order to prevent any moves by the West to encroach any further, and also, to protect the Russians living in Ukraine against the neo-Nazis in Kiev who have made public death-threats against them. Putin had no choice, politically, according to Russian specialist, Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus from NYU and Princeton. Had Putin not made this move, his credibility in Russia would go from low, to shattered. Russia will not allow the West to take Ukraine. That is, and should have been, as Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and another specialist on Russia has said, “a known-known.”
As the leading intellectual and long-term geostrategic planner for the Western elite for the past forty years, “Zbig” Bzrezinski has said, Central Eurasia has always been critical to control, if the Eurasian continent is to be controlled. And since the Eurasian continent contains the majority of the people, markets and resources on the planet, it is critical to control Eurasia, and hence, Central Eurasia – if, like Bzrezinksi and the Western elite, one is above all concerned with global dominance.
All imperial strategy rests, centrally, upon control of this strategically critical area of the world, as the wars in the Middle East indicate and make clear – yes, they are about oil, but more importantly, they are about global geostrategic hegemony and control.
Central Eurasia is the linch-pin. As “Zbig” said, in The Grand Chessboard, historically, whoever controls central Eurasia, controls the continent, and whoever controls the continent, dominates the world.
That is why Brzezinski argued for the “projection of force” in the Middle East, why he argued for the necessity of a large crisis in order to get the American people to agree to or at least tolerate such “projection of force,” and why he armed, funded, trained and created the Islamic terrorist network based in Afghanistan, to use as a puppet in the region – the same terrorist network that is alternately an official enemy, say, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after the pipeline deal went sour, that is, or, in Libya and Syria, unofficial friends, who suddenly become recast as “freedom fighters” – exactly as the Taliban were called, before they became official enemies, and while they were still loyal allies and puppets.
Does all of this sound confusing? It is straight-forward, when you understand the operating principles: anyone we control, is a friend. Anyone we can’t control, is an enemy. Simple as that. Sometimes Al Queda can be used and manipulated for our own imperial objectives – and by our, I mean Western business elite objectives – in which case they are eagerly embraced and gladly used, and are official or unofficial friends and allies. Sometimes they get out of line, as servants sometimes do, and then they become official enemies, and must be decried, shot like disobedient dogs who turn on their masters, or simply cast to the wayside, or thrown in prison, like Noriega. It all depends on whether they are considered useful, or in the way – and that can change, literally, from one day to the next.
Yes, central Eurasia is considered geostraticially critical, and Ukraine is in the heart of it. Putin certainly knows this, as do the Western oligarchs. That is yet another reason why Putin is not going to give up Ukraine, or access to the Black Sea. The balance of power globally may well rest upon it.
Putin is trying to secure and stabilize a great nation, Russia, that is, of course, which has collapsed twice in the past century: once in 1917, and once in 1991. His aim, from all evidence, is not expansion, but protection of Russia.
He may be vicious and corrupt, and he is. He was head of the KGB, after all, so what else would we expect? He was the head of the Soviet goon squad. But, what is important here to note, is not his character, or his domestic policies in Russia, but his international relations: and his primary interest, from all indications, is in stability and security for Russia, not the expansion of its territory. And Putin has every reason to be concerned with Western powers staging a coup on his Southern doorstep – clearly. He would have to be a fool not to be concerned; and Putin may be many things, but he is no fool.
Considering the recent expansionist actions of the West, which go back decades and even centuries, the Russian people are rightfully concerned about having Washington, NATO and the Western bankers and oligarchs on their doorstep, and staging yet another regime change – this one, as close as it could get, without actually crossing the Russian border.
Putin will not back down. He can’t. The US and the EU can back down, and have or foster a cooperative relationship with energy-rich Russia, but Russia cannot back down. The expansion of Western powers has now reached its limit. Any further, and there will be world war. I don’t believe there is any question as to these most essential facts.
The neo-cons and their plutocratic overlords and masters in the corporate and financial world, who, it must be repeated, still control Washington, hopefully have some trace of sanity left in them. So far – with Russian troops deployed in the Crimean Peninsula, protecting the Russian people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine, as well as their naval bases on the Black Sea, facing down the very real threat from Western-backed neo-Nazis in Kiev – not a shot has been fired. A diplomatic resolution could still be reached. But this could change at any moment. If this turns into a shooting war between Russian forces and a Western-backed proxy army of neo-Nazis, Al Queda forces, or whomever the West deems its latest favourite pawn, then, as Stephen Cohen has said, “All bets are off,” and anything could happen – including the unthinkable, which is the extermination of the human species on Earth. Pray that sanity prevails.
6. As Stephen Cohen said recently, US options are “Zero. Zero options, unless they want to go to war. Russia is holding all the cards.”
Russia holds all the cards politically, since, a) the Russian people back Putin in drawing a line in the sand against further Western expansionism on Russia’s doorstep – as it is quite rightly perceived; and more essentially, because b) the people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine are primarily native Russian speakers, with strong historical ties and a strong allegiance to Russia, as well as a very legitimate fear of what the neo-Nazis now installed in Kiev might unleash upon them, in the form of literally genocidal acts, not to mention oligarchic and despotic rule; and c) the evidence is clear that the newly installed government in Kiev was put in place, installed, that is, by the US and its Western allies, through a Washington staged regime change, a coup, and therefore has no legitimacy.
Russia also supplies 30% of Europe’s natural gas. The EU will not likely press the matter, believe me. Russia could simply turn off the taps, and Europe will freeze. Europe is now arguably far more dependent on Russia than Russia is on Europe.
The global balance has shifted. Just as China now holds the US by the purse strings, holding its debt and being its principle banker, as well as having American trans-national corporations deeply dependent upon Chinese manufacturing plants, and with the Chinese economy about to surpass that of the United States as the biggest economy in the world, Russia is fast-arising as a global economic super-power, while Europe is on the edge of insolvency, and is struggling economically, to put it mildly.
Europe and the United States are sinking, at least in relative terms, if not also in absolute terms, while the BRIC nations, and especially Russia and China, continue to soar. Europe is in no position to play it rough.
Europe is a sinking ship, as is the US. These declining world powers can no longer afford to engage in boyish imperial games, much less hollow sabre-rattling. The world is increasingly interdependent and also poly-centric. If Washington and the Western elite persist in pursuing 19th century policies in the context of 21st century realities, to paraphrase the hopelessly hypocritical John Kerry, they will not only harm others, but will very likely destroy themselves, and quite possibly all of humanity along with them.
And it is not just in terms of energy and gas that Europe is far too dependent upon Russia to do anything more than bellow in idle gesturing. Russian billionaires and plutocrats now store their money and riches in Europe – in Swiss bank accounts, London real estate and secretive Jersey Island financial havens for the world’s super-rich. Europe’s big money is now intertwined with Russia’s big money – and Russian billionaires have more mobility, by all indications, at least in terms of this relationship is concerned. The European oligarchs don’t dare to press the matter, or any matter, for that matter, with the great and increasingly powerful Russian bears.
Europe is simply far too addicted to Russian gas and Russian wealth to do anything more than make hollow public relations statements, which will in all likelihood amount to absolutely nothing more than PR. And without European Allies, a weakened American empire with a struggling US economy would be foolish in the extreme to press the matter – even more foolish than if they had the full support of Europe, which they most decidedly do not.
As Ray McGovern said, anyone who had any understanding of Ukraine and its place in the relationship between Russia and the West, could have known that Russia will not back down and allow its most critical satellite and borderland to fall into the Western military and economic orbit. In McGovern’s words, this was “one regime change too many,” and Washington “has bit off far more than it can chew.”
The putsch in Ukraine is a classic case of imperial hubris and imperial overshoot. Declining empires always tend to behave the same way, and such foolish arrogance tends to put the final nail in the coffin, and seal the fate of the decaying empire. We will see what Washington chooses to do, but it would be wise to acknowledge the facts, and bow out gracefully, to return to the business of rebuilding its own economy and its own crumbling infrastructure and decimated industrial base, and forget about ruling the world or changing regimes around the globe – which will be the end of the nation as well as the empire, if they persist in it.
Obama’s only options now, as both McGovern and Cohen have made clear, are to back down, and quietly acknowledge the mistake, even if it means demonstrating the growing weakness of the United States and its Western allies; or, start what may well be the beginning of WWIII. Let us hope that some shred of remaining sanity prevails.
A final note on the US – being the principle antagonist in this very dangerous, still unfolding situation in Ukraine:
The US has more than enough problems of its own for it to be meddling in the affairs of other nations. Are the Washington elite and their Wall Street masters on crack? The US has been de-industrialized through corporate globalization. It has decimated its manufacturing base, and its economic base, through off-shoring of production and profits. It has a trade deficit running into the billions of dollars a day. It has gone, in a few short decades, from being the leading creditor in the world, to the leading debtor. It has squandered its natural resources and stripped itself of its economic powers, through a short-sighted greed by the ruling few, at the expense of the people and the nation. The end of American hegemony is clearly in sight, if it is not already here; and yet, the ruling elite continue to push as hard as they can towards full, unbridled disaster.
Poverty and inequality are skyrocketing across the US – as a result of globalization and the off-shoring of production and profits, and the extraction of wealth from the many to the few, in what can only be described as a conscious and systematic class warfare, waged by the super-rich against the nation and the rest of the population. Meanwhile, while the middle class is being eviscerated and liquidated, and driven into the growing sea of an underclass.
There is more poverty, and also greater inequality, in the US now than at any point in its history – even during the Great Depression. Half of the people in the United States now live below, at, or just above the poverty line – and poverty continues to rise daily. Living conditions in most US inner cities are now worse than many of the poorest third world nations.
For any country, and especially for the richest country in the world, this state of affairs would be an utter disgrace – and it is.
The United States continues to spend over a trillion dollars a year on the military-industrial-security complex, on war and war preparations, on foolish imperial stratagems and adventures, and on the build-up of a police state at home – more than enough money to rebuild the crumbling economy and infrastructure, create jobs for all, eliminate all poverty in the nation, and put the country on track towards true environmental stability and sustainability. But the military-industrial-security complex must be fed – even if it is with the people’s own blood, and the blood of their daughters and sons: it is demanded by the ruling super-rich, so the folly must continue, it seems – at least until the American people rise up and say, “No more.”
Meanwhile, the richest 1% have grown ever richer and more powerful, while the other 99% face ever-increasing material insecurity and disenfranchisement, their voices silenced and their future raped of all hope, as the political elite in power continue to serve the ruling robber barons and the Wall Street plutocrats – or kleptocrats, as they should more accurately be called. This situation is reaching a breaking point, and rapidly so. America should take care of America, before it goes telling, or imposing on others, its magnanimity and wisdom. Put your own house in order, Washington.
And this is just an overview of the severe and growing economic and social problems in the United States, to say nothing of the deepening political crisis. America, under the rule of Wall Street and the corporate oligarchs, has gone from freedom to fascism in short order. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are in tatters and flames. The people of America grow more weary and more frustrated daily, not only with the rapidly increasing inequality and poverty which they face, not only with the bankrupting of the nation by an imperial fetish among the reigning elite that is out of control, but even more so, by the increasing attack on freedom, civil liberties, democracy and basic human rights at home. They will not take much more, I assure you.
The US is truly a powder keg, and revolution is brewing, as leading trend forecaster Gerald Celente and others have said. But the Wall Street oligarchs and their political prostitutes carry on merrily, singing a chorus of “Let them eat cake.” This hubris we have seen before, and we know where it leads.
Revolution is not always pretty, but it is sometimes unavoidable, and moreover, simply necessary. And the ruling elite in the US are making sure that it is, in fact, unavoidable: through sheer arrogance and contempt for the people. I pray that it will be peaceful, but that it will come, is by now, a virtual certainty.
Mr. Obama, you have more than enough work to do at home. Stop meddling in the affairs of other nations. If you persist in this madness any further, it will be the end of America. Enough is enough. It is time for peace, and for prosperity and freedom for all.
No more regime changes. No more games of empire. Take care of your own people – or step aside, and let the people renew their own democracy, and their land.
Conclusion: On empire or survival
Empires have always been brutal, bloody, aggressive, violent, war-like, and inherently anti-democratic, oppressive and tyrannical; and there have always, therefore, been good and strong reasons to resist and oppose them. At this point in time, however, empire is no longer just an extreme offense to every decent human value and an oppressive weight on human beings. At this time in our history, the nature of empire has become quite simply suicidal.
The present rulers of the world, the oligarchs and plutocrats of both East and West, believe that they are engaged in what they call political “realism.” It is anything but. What they are engaged in, is imperial folly, which has been shown in every age to be a fool’s errand, a lust for power which harms and oppresses human beings widely and profoundly, and an enterprise which, in the end, always turns to dust.
The mongers of empire are engaged in deep self-deception, and in delusions of grandeur. It is the values of freedom, democracy, the self-determination of peoples, and the love of one’s neighbor which are the basic tenets of both, basic sanity, and also a sane and truly sustainable, as well as a just and free society.
At this point in human history, we either re-assert these principles of basic sanity and common sense, or we will simply cease to be. This is realism. The rest is pure fantasy, pure delusion.
Madmen now hold the power, but the greater power always resides with the people. When, and if, the people stand up, and stand for their rights, then, and then alone, will the world have a chance at true peace, at justice, at real freedom, at democracy, and at simple survival.
We are now faced with a clear choice: end the age of empires, and let democracy and freedom truly reign; or let the errors of our past be repeated in new and more hideous ways than ever before, sowing, not only a dark age, but our own self-destruction, until human beings are no more, and the light goes out for the entire human race.
Our choice is clear. There is no choice. Empires must end now. This madness must cease, or humanity will simply cease to be.
Again, the billionaires of the East are battling the billionaires of the West for oil and gas money, and the domination of the globe. And I have to say to that, “You childish, reckless, mad putzes – stop endangering us all with your foolishness and utter insanity. Are you completely mad?”
This is a richly abundant planet, and as Gandhi said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but for no one’s greed.”
It is time for these games of greed, power lust, empire and egomania to come to an end – and now.
The situation in Ukraine could end up being among the final notes of our collective demise, or it could be a warning call that awakens the people of the world, and catalyzes the movements for democracy, freedom, and a better world for all. The choice, is entirely up to us.
The power is always in the hands of the people. Let us use it wisely – and now.
No more war. No more empire.
Stop the madness now.
J. Todd Ring,
March 5, 2014
For further details please see the references below. The first rule to finding out or knowing anything about what is truly going on, is to turn off the major media – both the corporate and state media. The second rule is to read widely, and dig for verifiable information. The third rule, is to seek out and discover selectively chosen, reliable sources, that you have learned from experience and from verification with both reason and evidence, to be highly accurate, if not at all times perfect.
As to reliable sources, you must think for yourself, and discern for yourself. Take no one’s word on anything. As the Buddha said, examine things for yourself. But as a starting point, I would recommend a few, generally excellent sources. They have their faults and their blind spots, but generally they are excellent – and certainly they are in an entirely different league, many leagues above and beyond the major media outlets. Among the best sources for news and analysis that I have found, are the following. Most of the rest, with few exceptions – and even those that portray themselves as “alternative media” or “independent media” or “public broadcasters” – either chronically miss the heart of the matter, and skirt about the surface of things merely, or else offer pretty much the same spin, PR, lies and illusions as you would find in the thoroughly corrupt corporate and state-run media. But again, above all, think for yourself. Examine things for yourself.
Trends Research / Gerald Celente
Centre for Research On Globalization / Global Outlook / GRTV
Z Communications / Z Magazine
The Kaiser Report
A few excellent articles on the situation in Ukraine (my apologies that this is not more neatly presented – time seems like it may be critical):
Ukraine – Recent developments and contextual analysis:
(The last article is the weakest, but I will include it, since it does add some important points on Russia’s wealth being stored in Europe, and on the hypocrisy of Europe’s ruling elite – and because of the lead photo of Putin staring down Obama, and Obama trying hard not to blink. Two thoroughly corrupt oligarchs posturing like they are the saviours of humanity, and looking like two pre-pubescent school boys caught up in childish bravado – such is the current state of the world, and this photo sums it up.)
A few excellent books for an overview of the state of the world:
Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky
Necessary Illusions – Chomsky
The Ecology of Freedom – Bookchin
World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy
Mutual Aid – Kropotkin
The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein
The End of America – Naomi Wolf
A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins
Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm
The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de la Boite