Archive for April 15th, 2014

by lizard

Not good. Ukraine just took a big step on the road to civil war today:

Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov has announced the start of an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russian separatists.

He told parliament it was being conducted “stage by stage, in a responsible… manner”.

Hours later, gunfire was heard at an airbase which officials said had been in the hands of militants.

Mr Turchynov said the airbase at Kramatorsk had been “liberated” from “terrorists”.

The White House is now supportive of a violent state crackdown on protestors:

The United States is giving its tacit support to Ukrainian military action against pro-Russian separatists.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says such action isn’t the preferred option, but that the Ukrainian government has to respond to what he says is an untenable situation.

At Moon of Alabama you can take a trip down memory lane to a time (2 months ago) when Obama sang a very different tune about how the Ukrainian government should respond to protestors:

Obama says the U.S. urges Ukraine’s military not to get involved in a conflict that must be resolved politically. He’s expressing outrage about images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic guns on Ukrainian people.

Obama says in a statement that Ukraine should respect the right of protest and that protesters must be peaceful. He’s calling for dialogue to reduce tensions and address the people’s grievances.

I guess now that the US has its guy in power, the time for addressing grievances has passed. It’s spring time. Time for war.

How will Russia respond? Will Putin take the bait? Will war in Ukraine lead to a US confrontation with Russia?

by lizard

Ukraine is on the precipice as Russian war planes buzz US ships and Brennan, the director of the CIA, returns from a trip to Kiev over the weekend. A deadline has come and gone with no action from the Ukrainian government. Buildings are still occupied and reports of shots fired are popping up. Any small spark could set things off.

The manner in which power transferred in Ukraine has created a government legitimacy problem Russia is now openly exploiting. Part of that legitimacy problem comes from legitimate concerns with the level of US involvement, especially after Victoria Nuland’s Fuck the EU leak hit the web.

I know that kind of evidence is hard for some to absorb, but it validates concerns that unnecessary provocations took place to dispose of a corrupt tool who made the mistake of taking the wrong mobster’s deal.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I suspect the same people who support ends justify the means reasoning behind the overthrowing of the Ukrainian government are probably appropriately worried about the sudden stand off over Cliven Bundy’s cattle and the grass they graze.

I finally got caught up on this right wing memicane (meme+hurricane) after catching a little Chris Hayes tonight, and boy howdy, this has got to be one of the best Fox and friends outrage-gasms ever.

Unfortunately, the underlying belief that the Federal government is illegitimate is a very real, very dangerous opinion shared by the kind of people who showed up in armed support of Cliven Bundy’s refusal to pay what he’s obliged to pay, by law.  How do you think our government would react if right-wing militia groups tried to storm and occupy government buildings by force in DC?

Here’s something I would hope is obvious by now: when governments are removed, power vacuums are created, and that usually means instability and violence. Just look at Libya, where the Prime Minister quit after just a month on the job:

Libya’s interim prime minister handed his resignation to parliament on Sunday, just one month into the job, saying gunmen had tried to attack his family.

Abdullah al-Thinni’s resignation adds to the growing chaos in Libya, where the government has struggled to control brigades of former rebels nearly three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

By delegitimizing governments abroad in preparation of enacting regime change after regime change, the cheerleaders of neoliberal free-market expansion don’t seem to understand that the same reasoning is used domestically by right-wing separatist movements in the States.

Going back to the situation in Ukraine, here’s how Michael Whitney summarizes US interests from an article posting today at Counterpunch, titled Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap?:

The overriding goal of US policy in Ukraine is to stop the further economic integration of Asia and Europe. That’s what the fracas is really all about. The United States wants to control the flow of energy from East to West, it wants to establish a de facto tollbooth between the continents, it wants to ensure that those deals are transacted in US dollars and recycled into US Treasuries, and it wants to situate itself between the two most prosperous markets of the next century. Anyone who has even the sketchiest knowledge of US foreign policy– particularly as it relates to Washington’s “pivot to Asia”– knows this is so. The US is determined to play a dominant role in Eurasia in the years ahead. Wreaking havoc in Ukraine is a central part of that plan.

I look forward to be doing told why this is just more nonsense being spewed by us crazy lefties.

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