By Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
Will NATO annex Ukraine?
Anyone who believes Washington is deeply enamored of ‘democracy’ in Ukraine must hit eBay, where Saddam Hussein’s WMDs have been found, and are on sale to the highest bidder.
Or pay attention to the non-denial denials of the Obama administration, which swears on a daily basis there’s no ‘proxy war’ or Cold War redux in Ukraine.
In a nutshell; Washington’s bipartisan Ukraine policy has always been anti-Moscow. That implies regime change whenever necessary.
As the European Union (EU), geopolitically, is nothing but an annex to NATO, what matters is NATO extending its borders to the Ukraine. Or at least Western Ukraine – which would be a valuable consolation prize.
This is a purely military-centric game – the logic of the whole mechanism ultimately decided in Washington, not in Brussels. It’s about NATO expansion, not ‘democracy’. When neo-con State Department functionary Victoria Nuland had her 15 seconds of fame recently, what she actually meant was “We’re NATO, F**k the EU.” No wonder there will be an urgent NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, centered on Ukraine.
No one will ever read that in US corporate media – or in academia for that matter. Harvard Professor Francis Boyle talking to Voice of Russia, or Princeton’s Stephen Cohen in a recent article for the Nation, are glaring exceptions.
Every informed analyst knows the mastermind of this ‘policy’, since the 1970s, is Zbigniew ‘The Grand Chessboard’ Brzezinski. Dr. Zbig was US President Barack Obama’s mentor at Columbia and is the Talleyrand of the Obama administration’s foreign policy machine.
He may have softened up a notch recently, arguing that although the US must remain the supreme power across Eurasia, Russia and Turkey must be seduced by the West. Yet his historic Russophobia was never diluted.
‘Saint’ Yulia is back
As we’re now on the road (again) of regime change in Ukraine, that seems not such a lousy deal for only $5 billion – the amount volunteered by neo-con Nuland herself. Compare it to other lavish Bush-Obama continuum foreign adventures, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Syria. Yet expect major bumps ahead.
Most arguably progressive, as well as some rabidly right wing, Google generation denizens in Western Ukraine and in Kiev seem to entertain the notion that the country, under regime change, will be accepted as an EU member, they will get an EU passport, and will find a good job in Europe, just as Polish plumbers and Romanian restaurant managers did.
Well, not really. If only they could board an EasyJet and see with their own eyes what’s going on, job market-wise, in southern Europe or in London for that matter, now terrified of a horde of Eastern Europeans seizing English jobs.
As for the ultra-nationalists and frankly neo-fascists – totally anti-EU – the only thing they care about is to get rid of the Russian Bear’s embrace. And then what?
In the West’s ardor for ‘democracy’ it’s so easy to forget that Western Ukrainian fascists were aligned with Hitler against the USSR. It’s their descendants that have been in the forefront of the hardcore violence last week. And Right Sector still insists they will continue to ‘protest’. In this sense they may not be Washington’s preferred puppets; they are just momentarily useful patsies.
As for former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – now elevated in the West to the status of a blonde Mother Teresa – she has called the Maidan (Independence) Square protesters “liberators.” They may soon liberate themselves from her – after highly corrupt ‘Saint’ Yulia runs for president next May.
The Ukraine that works – in the east and south – is made up of historic Russian provinces, think Kharkov, the Black Sea, Crimea. The country’s GDP is roughly $157 billion. That’s one fifth of Turkey (which may become the new Pakistan). As it is, Ukraine holds no economic value whatsoever to the West (even less if it becomes the new Syria). The only ‘positive’ would be NATO’s warped strategic advance.
Anyone who believes a mired-in-crisis EU will buy Ukraine out of is economic mess could once again bid for Saddam’s WMDs on eBay.
Or imagine the US Congress handing out $15 billion for Ukraine to smooth out its foreign debt, not to mention reducing the price of imported gas – just like Moscow did last December.
Say hello to my Iskander
The multi-billion dollar question now is what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do. One must feel tempted to detect roars of laughter in the Kremlin corridors.
For starters, Putin will decide whether or not Moscow will buy $2 billion in Ukrainian eurobonds after there’s a new government in Kiev, as Gazeta.ru reported. Kiev will get absolutely nothing from Moscow until it’s clear the new regime will play ball, in the interests of holding the country together.
‘Saint’ Yulia, by the way, was originally thrown in jail because of a gas deal that was negotiated on Moscow’s high price terms. Back to hard facts: Ukraine cannot survive without Russian gas, and the Ukrainian industry cannot survive without the Russian market. One can mix all shades of Orange, Tangerine, Campari or Tequila Sunrise revolution, and throw in the requisite IMF ‘structural adjustment’ correction – these facts are not going to change. And forget about the EU ‘buying Ukrainian’.
The Western Orangeade gang – from masters to servants – may still bet on civil war, Syria-style. Anarchy looms – provoked by the neo-fascists. It’s up to Ukrainians to reject it. A sound solution would be a referendum. Get the people to choose a confederation, a partition (there will be blood) or keeping the status quo.
Here’s a very possible scenario. Eastern and southern Ukraine become part of Russia again; Moscow would arguably accept it.
Western Ukraine is plundered, disaster capitalism-style, by the Western corporate-financial mafia – while nobody gets a single EU passport. As for NATO, they get their bases, ‘annexing’ Ukraine, but also get myriads of hyper-accurate Russian Iskander missiles locked in their new abode. So much for Washington’s ‘strategic advance’.
War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it
Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising
Ukrainian regime is ethnically cleansing (i.e., exterminating and/or expelling) has informed this reporter (and all of this source’s previous reports to me have subsequently turned out to be true):
“Kiev is attempting to blow up a chemical plant that will destroy a 600 KM diameter/ 300KM radius of area — every living thing.
The largest battles of the war are starting today or tomorrow. I may not be able to update you. Lyashko wants to make our area bloody. He said it hasn’t been hit enough to feel it yet.”
The object of the Ukrainian Government’s campaign is to produce as many residents there fleeing into Russia as possible, so that the voting-base that had elected the pro-Russian Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew in February, Viktor Yanukovych, will no longer be Ukrainian voters.
Oleh Lashko, the person my source is referring to, is a convicted embezzler who then became a leading parliamentary member of the “Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko,” led by the woman whom Obama had initially expected would become elected on 25 May 2014 as Ukraine’s new President. She was also known as “the Gas Princess,” due to her having skimmed billions from Russia’s gas-sales to the State. But another oligarch, Petro Poroshenko (‘the Chocolate King,” and also a shipbuilder), became elected President instead, because Tymoshenko was too far to the right even for most of the voters in Ukraine’s northwest. (There were only few people voting in the southeast after Obama’s coup, because the post-coup regime had already begun its campaign to exterminate them by the time of the May 25th election.)
The pro-Hitler portion of Ukraine during World War II was the country’s northwest. Ukraine’s southeast tended to prefer Stalin’s rule instead. After the end of communism, the southeast sought closer ties to Russia, whereas the northwest sought closer ties to “the West,” but came to be led actually by CIA-backed admirers of the pro-Hitler Ukrainian Stepan Bandera, whom Hitler’s forces imprisoned when it became clear that Bandera sought to establish a pro-Nazi independent Ukraine, and Hitler’s forces insisted instead on Ukraine’s total subjugation.
When Obama took over Ukraine in the February 2014 coup, his agent Victoria Nuland placed at the top of the new Ukrainian Government the leaders of Ukraine’s two nazi (or “pro-Nazi”) Parties, Right Sector, and “Freedom” or Svoboda (formerly called the Social Nationalists, but the CIA instructed them to change that name), both being led by Yulia Tymoshenko’s ally Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
The exterminations of the residents in the southeast started on May 2nd and are continuing. Obama’s people call the residents there “terrorists,” because those residents overwhelmingly oppose the Obama-installed leaders and seek to establish their own autonomous republics instead, or else to become part of Russia; but, in any case, not to be ruled by Obama’s Ukrainian regime.
By Stephen Lendman
Published by Global Research, May 20, 2014
Jill Abramson is gone. Dean Baquet replaced her as executive editor. Deplorable policy remains unchanged.
It’s featured daily. It’s done so in articles, commentaries and editorials. Disgraceful op-eds are standard practice.
Misinformation rubbish is featured. What readers most need to know is buried.
Lies, damn lies and Big Ones infest Times pages. Yulia Tymoshenko is a former illegitimate Orange Revolution prime minister.
She’s billionaire mega-thief. She accumulated wealth the old-fashioned way. She stole it.
She was imprisoned for embezzlement and serious “abuse of public office.”
Charges included illegally diverting $425 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds. A second case involved stealing around $130 million for personal use.
Putschists freed her. They did so lawlessly. She has presidential aspirations. She enjoys weak support.
Earlier she had dozens of secret offshore bank accounts in over two dozen countries. Reportedly most are closed.
At least 13 worldwide remain open. They hide her ill-gotten wealth. She conspired with former prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko among others.
From the mid-1990s, enormous funds were stolen. They disappeared. They did so when Tymoshenko ran United Energy Systems (UES).
Lazarenko awarded it monopoly rights to import Russian natural gas. In 2004, a US court convicted him of money laundering, theft, and hiding funds in foreign accounts.
His indictment called his crime “part of a conspiracy (related to) receiv(ing) money from companies owned or controlled by Tymoshenko, including United Energy Systems, in exchange for which (he) exercised his official authority in favour of (her) companies.”
US prosecutor Martha Moerosch cited “evidence that companies controlled by Tymoshenko took part in the schemes for transferring money to Lazarenko’s accounts.”
“There were bank statements” proving it, she said. Prosecutors found Tymoshenko funds worldwide.
As Orange Revolution prime minister, “she did nothing to reform the economy and establish rule of law,” she explained.
“Instead, she focused her attention on infighting inside the Orange Revolution in order to prepare her presidential race.”
“Most (Euromaidan protesters) were not demanding her release.” Her shady business practices earned her the nickname “gas princess.”
On May 18, she headlined her NYT op-ed “A Vote for Ukrainian Freedom.”
She lied about Ukraine’s upcoming sham May 25 elections. She called fascist governance democratic.
She ludicrously cited “threats of invasion and sabotage by fifth-column separatists.” She outrageously suggested putschist-run Ukraine resembles America under Lincoln.
She quoted his 1864 reelection comment, saying:
“We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.”
“Like Lincoln, we Ukrainians are resolved to go to the polls to choose a new president, in defiance of every threat.”
“We will not grant victory to those who would discredit and dismember our country by allowing the May 25 vote to be canceled.”
“Our election must go ahead if only to prove that the 100 and more men and women who died for our liberty in the protests around Maidan, Kiev’s Independence Square, did not die in vain.”
Fact: Coup-appointed putschists rule Ukraine.
Fact: They’re lawless fascists.
Fact: Washington elevated them to power.
Fact: They include neo-Nazi militants.
Fact: They’re Obama’s new friends.
Fact: He pretends they’re democrats.
Fact: They have no legitimacy whatever.
Fact: So-called May 25 elections exclude democracy from ballots.
Fact: Fascist putschists intend anointing likeminded ideologues.
Fact: They murdered scores of Maidan civilians and special Berkut police in cold blood.
Fact: They planned it well in advance.
Fact: Shots came from nearby Philharmonic Hall windows. Its rooftop.
Fact: Ukraine’s toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed.
Fact: Police died doing their job.
Fact: They showed remarkable restraint.
Fact: Washington’s dirty hands bore full responsibility.
Fact: Stooge putschists shared it.
Fact: Right Sector thugs were trained to commit what happened.
Fact: CIA operatives were involved.
Fact: Tymoshenko represents the worst of Ukrainian society.
Fact: She belongs in prison serving hard time.
She lied claiming Putin intends “transform(ing) our democratic country into a Russian vassal state.”
“No one should doubt that Mr. Putin’s primary aim is to hollow out our democracy.”
“But Americans, and free people everywhere, must not be deceived by Russia’s aggression, or by Mr. Putin’s current peace offensive.”
“The separatist cause fomented by Russia would never win on its merits in any free and fair vote of Ukrainians.”
“Russia’s separatist mafia can win only sham elections of the type that Mr. Putin has imposed on Russia since he came to power 14 years ago, and which he recently forced upon our fellow citizens, now hostages, in Crimea.”
Fact: Putschist-run Ukraine excludes democracy.
Fact: Putin represents responsible geopolitical leadership.
Fact: He’s polar opposite Obama.
Fact: He believes rule of law principles are inviolable.
Fact: He respects sovereign self-determination.
Fact: Democracy in Russia shames America’s sham process.
Fact: Crimeans voted near unanimously for reunification with Russia.
Fact: They reject Kiev fascists.
Fact: They want fundamental democratic rights.
Fact: They want what everyone deserves.
Fact: They merit universal support.
Tymoshenko lied called Putin Russia’s “strongman.” He’s overwhelmingly popular. He enjoys over 85% support.
It’s for good reason. He governs democratically. He opposes imperial lawlessness. He’s polar opposite Kiev fascists.
Tymoshenko lied claiming “Ukraine’s liberty is a mortal threat to the authoritarian, state-capitalist system that Mr. Putin has unleashed on Russia’s citizens.”
“If Ukrainians…can build an open society and a free economy…then ordinary Russians may recognize the scale of the liberties and the economic opportunities that have been stolen from them under Mr. Putin’s misrule.”
Fact: Putschist-run Ukraine is polar opposite Tymoshenko’s Big Lie.
Fact: Times editors are complicit.
Fact: They embrace it.
Fact: They featured it.
Fact: It’s longstanding Times policy.
Fact: Reprehensible rubbish substitutes for what readers most need to know.
“(W)e must man the barricades of freedom…if Ukraine is to remain free,” Tymoshenko claimed.
She turned truth on its head saying so. She wants more Western aid. She wants weapons and other military aid.
She wants it straightaway.
She wants democracy supporters crushed. She wants hardline fascist rule solidified.
She wants greater opportunities for more grand theft. She wants her share of plundered Ukrainian resources.
She wants her own people exploited. She wants freedom entirely crushed. She wants what most Ukrainians reject.
Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before thousands, maybe millions, of Ukrainians nationwide realize they were had.
Perhaps they’ll rebel and demand better. Real democracy replacing illegitimate putschist power.
Maybe they’ll defeat Obama’s imperial ambitions. Maybe handing him another defeat.
Maybe preserving rights too precious to lose. Maybe saving Ukraine at the same time. Maybe achieving real change.
Maybe inspiring others to emulate them. Maybe people everywhere wanting to live free.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”