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US, Ukraine and Russia: What Went Wrong?


#1

US, Ukraine and Russia: What Went Wrong?

Two widely recognized authorities on big power politics and NATO recently gave a public talk on the current situation in the Ukraine at the Evanston (Illinois) Public Library. Organized by the Evanston Neighbors for Peace, John J. Mearsheimer, the R.


#2

Finally -- an article that actually tells the truth about what has occurred in Ukraine. Someone should email this to every corporate media executive, not that such an effort would do any good, since the corporate media are now paid propagandists. I would only add that it's essential to "follow the money" in analyzing how U.S. foreign policy debacles occur. U.S. foreign policy is not really about statesmanship. It's really about enriching certain well-connected companies that make billions of dollars in profits every time the U.S. gets involved somewhere militarily. That sounds like gangsterism, and I'm afraid it is. I suspect that future historians -- if there is much of a future left for humankind -- will conclude that the U.S. government was virtually taken over by special interest groups, including organized crime operations, beginning in the 1960s, and U.S. foreign policy since then has been essentially a profit-making operation. That's a sad conclusion indeed, but all the evidence points to it. It will be interesting to see from whom all these "necessary" weapons and services for the Ukraine regime are purchased.


#3

Why is it that the West is officially supporting people who overthrew the democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych?

Public figures from the United States, namely European Union Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland (who is on record of colorfully dismissing the concerns of the EU) and Sen. John McCain, both extreme right wing figures, were sashaying around amongst the Svoboda thugs in Kiev’s Maiden Square, actively supporting the coup.

They shared platforms in Kiev along with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and members of the extreme right-wing organisers of the coup, platforms that were adorned with flags bearing the Wolfsangel symbol used by the Galician SS, Adolf Hitler’s murderous Ukrainian auxiliary during WWII.

Vice President Biden demanded that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that ensured his downfall.

The new "government" of Ukraine managed to ram legislation through parliament (on the second attempt) to sell a 49% stake in the country’s gas pipeline network to foreign investors.

Note the coincidence that immediately after the passage of the legislation Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.

Three officials of the government were appointed only hours after they had been made citizens of the Ukraine.

Monsanto and Cargill have wasted no time acquiring positions in the agricultural sector of the Ukraine, which has some 27% of the best agricultural land in Europe. Prepare for mass unemployment in the sector and for massive ecological destruction.


#4

I find the article raises some good points but is also skating around the more sinister aspects of this.

1) the "indecent" at Kiev, ie the snipers has all the hallmarks of the CIA
2) the ' Victoria Nuland conversation,remember Victoria Nuland's husband is Robert Kagan co-founder of PNAC
3) the 5 billion invested by the US to " destabilize" the Ukraine

The article spells out the facts in a school yard scolding manner, almost making it seem like benign aggressive tendencies, the fact is that these are very cynical , brutal plans to destroy Russia and are part of a larger " Geo Strategic plan for world dominion
Lastly Putin commited the "unpardonable crime " , he started selling oil for a different currency other than US dollars, this and the establishment of the BRICS alliance are more the reason for the insanity of attacking Russia by proxy


#5

First I would like to thank Common Dreams for allowing comments once again on their site. I understand how difficult it is to weed out the spam, the 'agents provocateurs' and the mentally ill from infiltrating an otherwise sane and informative forum, but it appears that our latest commenting platform has shown a commitment to allowing intelligent debate on the most crucial issues of our time.
The article was treated in an academic way in which only the facts were presented. I'm sure if the meeting had gone on longer, the debate would have touched on more delicate subjects such as the possibility of a CIA sponsored coup, the corporate agenda and the inability of the 99% to curtail the horrific stance that our government is taking in the destabilization of the Ukraine.
But as basic as this conversation was, it should be obvious that the 'basic facts' are lost on the majority of Americans. Too many articles like this will never make it into the mainstream corporate media thereby denying Americans a critical and honest perspective of what is going on abroad. Ukrainian democracy only has a chance if American democracy does which is currently a far fetched dream.


#6

As Robert Parry pointed out, Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine's finance minister is a former U.S. State Department official who was just given Ukrainian citizenship.


#10

A far more informative stance on this subject can be found on YouTube at Stormcloudsgathering. If you have never checked this site out, check it. This article is extremely lightweight about a most important subject.


#11

This Orwellian report allegedly aims to "cut through the lies and obfuscation that the US public has been fed" regarding Ukraine, but in fact does the exact opposite. The Ukraine crisis cannot be understood without historical context that goes back to the Bolshevik era, the genocide visited on Ukraine by Russia in the 1930's (Holomodor), the actions of Russia preceding and during WW2, and its behavior after WW2, which led to almost 50 years of Cold War with the West.

The biggest red herring trotted out by Putin apologists is "aggressive NATO expansion". The author commendably cites the history of this expansion- but only goes back to 1990?! Why not go back to 1948, and cite the reason for its formation in the first place? This is the missing history: NATO was formed in 1948 as a response to the Soviet refusal to withdraw from the Eastern European nations it had annexed or occupied during WW2. The original members were Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and UK. Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, and the US joined in 1949. Greece and Turkey joined in 1952, and West Germany joined in 1955. The Soviets responded to this that same year by forming the Warsaw Pact, which perversely included the Soviet occupied satellite countries of Hungary, Czechoslavakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and East Germany.

Despite rebellions in Berlin (1953), Hungary (1956), and Czechoslavakia (1968), the Soviets managed to keep their Eastern European empire intact until 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. 45 years of failure had exposed the monstrous lie that the Soviet experiment had been, and its satellite states all reasserted their sovereignty. The inevitable end came two years later, in 1991, when Gorbachev's attempt to legitimize his regime with "Glasnost" and "Perestroika" fell flat. The USSR itself imploded, and those countries which had been illegally annexed- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania- seized the opportunity to reassert their independence. As did Ukraine- and Russia itself.

Which brings us to the most absurd assertion in the article: "When the Soviet Union allowed its Empire in Eastern Europe to collapse in 1989 without sending in tanks, US President GHW Bush told Mikhail Gorbachev that the US would not take advantage of the situation and not expand NATO eastward". This posits that despite 50 years of Cold War, the Soviets had some inherent right to their empire- depite the fact that its formerly captive nations could not part company with them fast enough. The Soviets did not "allow" their communist empire to collapse. It collapsed because it had turned Eastern Europe into an economic backwater; the contrast with the living standards of the capitalist West was undeniable, even to the Russians. Also, who gave GHW Bush the authority to speak against the interests of those nations which had- after 50 years- finally escaped the clutches of the Russian bear? Bush, at the time, was too busy liberating that paragon of democracy- Kuwait.

After 50 years of the failed Soviet experiment, Eastern Europe nations began the painful process of rebuilding. Part of this process was to actively seek membership in NATO, to pre-empt any future Russian ambitions. Far from being some sort of nefarious plot to isolate Russia, in Eastern Europe, joining NATO was a matter of pragmatic self-preservation. All of the former Warsaw Pact nations quickly joined NATO. If Russia is concerned about why it is suddenly "surrounded" by NATO, it need only look to its own history.

Another absurd and indefensible quote from the article: "Mearsheimer states that the ruling elite of Ukraine wants to be part of the West, not Russia. However, he argues, "they do not have a right to do whatever they want." Where does he get the moral authority to advocate denying the Ukrainians- a nation of 40 million- the right to become a part of Europe, rather than remaining a Russian backwater? I'm not sure whether he thinks he's GHW Bush or Putin. He also cites three supposedly dastardly things the West is trying to do: 1. Expand NATO. (Membership is voluntary). 2. Expand the European Union. (Membership is voluntary). 3: "Promote Democracy". The article has it in quotation marks- how dare anyone "promote democracy"! Especially when they could have Russian oligarchs instead! Not to mention, they "want to put Western powers directly on the borders of Russia". The horror!

I won't get into the obligatory references to "fascists", the Darth Vader-like ability of Victoria Nuland and John McCain to orchestrate the actions of an entire nation (where they do not even speak the language), or the juvenile analogy of Ukraine being the Russian equivalent of Mexico (then why do so many Mexicans want to get to the US?).

The crux of the Ukraine issue- at least for those who identify as "progressives"- is that the same neocons and neoliberals who have demolished the credibility of American foreign policy with jingoistic adventures from Vietnam to the Middle East, and who have at the same time demonstrated what happens when unregulated capitalism is allowed to run amuck, are now trying to expand their questionable ambitions to Ukraine. It is no coincidence that the collapse of the USSR coincided with the rise of predatory capitalism in the West. Unfortunately, the Russians, having had extensive experience with oligarchy, followed the lead of the Western capitalists that descended like vultures on the bones of the USSR. They paid lip service to democracy, then reverted right back to oligarchy. The difference between American and Russian oligarchs? In the US, if an oligarch messes up- economically or politically- he gets a bail-out and a bonus. In Russia, he is exiled, jailed, or shot (by unknown assailants). Small wonder the Ukrainian oligarchs prefer the Western model.

Ukraine is a sovereign nation of over 40 million people. Neither the West or Russia has the right to speak for it. In their aversion to American neoliberals and neocons, American progressives should stop writing off those Ukrainians who were part of the Maidan protests as nothing more than neoliberal stooges backed by Nazi militias (If you can't make your argument, call someone a Nazi). Otherwise, they risk becoming the latest version of Lenin's "useful idiots".


#12

strong textI agree


#13

It's about the spread of World Bank debt colonialism. Nato cannot be separated from the CIA and acts as its international military wing in support of global capitalist imperialism. They installed a fascist coup in Ukraine which had agreed to loans and to selling off resources to multinationals. The result, at best, would be poverty that makes Greece look like paradise. At worst, we get WWIII.


#15

To begin with, the Ukraine government installed by NATO is fascist and has already attacked and threatened Jews. Ukraine has a long history of virulent anti-antisemitism. As for your tirade about Askenazi Jews, what ever our origin -- and its very mixed including some coming from Italy in the 10th century who originated in the Levant, Khazars, converts . . . it is irrelevant. I000 years of existing as a group with a highly developed language and culture cannot be erased or discredited and not all of us are zionists. Some of us are very much active anti-zionists. Your attempt to sidetrack the issue of fascist western imperialist take over of the Ukraine with this "secret plot of Jews" is pure anti-Semitic bunk and speaks for itself. You can bet that Jews feel no urge to move to the Ukraine anytime soon. Maybe this board needs a "report" button as well as a "like" button.


#16

Heterosexuals having a piss fight once against over who will get more resources so they can continue to pray, breed and shop.

We live on a planet. How about this? Everyone join NATO and call it a day.


#18

One thing profiting the war industry that we never hear about is the boon in fresh available organs for old millionaires and billionaires.

It could go something like this:

Fresh young fatally wounded or dead bodies arrive at the hospital. The hospital says that by law they need to do an autopsy to find out who did it or use some other excuse. The organs are rapidly harvested in the "autopsy" and sold to a third party that sells them for millions. The bodies are then stitched up sans a few undamaged organs, and returned to the family for burial. Or a large bribe could get the rich first on the list, their organs would be cost free, and murder would turn into a humanitarian gesture.


#19

It goes back to 1947 when the CIA was created. The CIA was created not to advise the POTUS but to advance the desires of the rich bankers. This is why the US has not "won" a war since the end of WWII as it would not be profitable. All foreign policies are determined by this. Overthrowing democratically elected leaders is nothing new. Look at Iran and 1953, ramifications still being felt to this day. This whole debacle in Ukraine is about the energy reserves in the Donbass (coal) and the Black Sea (oil and gas). Hunter Biden was placed on the board of an energy company based in Kiev. That should tell us something right there.
I have friends who live in Simferopol, and they told me what really happened in terms of the "referendum" on Crimean secession from Ukraine.
My fiancee' lives in Kiev and she is frightened and did not approve of anything that has happened, be it the violence in the Maidan, the annexation of Crimea, the violence in the Donbass.
And by the way, the first director of the CIA was one of the Dulles brothers, and they were, you guessed it, bankers.


#20

The article is not completely factual. This is more of a conflict between Putin's mafia and the corporate west over Ukraine's natural resources than it is political conflict. Putin wants to send his gas and oil overseas, thus the occupation of Crimea for sea ports.

The invasion of eastern Ukraine serves three purposes:

  1. An avenue for export pipelines to the seaports as well as to Europe.

  2. Access to Ukraine's coal and mineral fields and the means to transport these outside of Ukraine.

  3. Putin has delusions of grandeur to restore former Soviet states under Russian rule again. He has stated that the fall of the Soviet empire was a tragedy, and Kruschev should have never given Crimea to Ukraine. It is making former Soviet states in eastern Europe, like Poland, very nervous. With good reason.


#21

It is quite simple, regardless of the western fools trying to post lies and innuendo...

  1. The westen powers (corporate criminals who control every single so called government) are doomed due to their own ineptitude at their own game.

  2. In order to halt the crimes being openly committed daily by the enemy to all living things, the enemy leadership must itself be removed.

  3. Personal consequences for the criminal actions of the known individuals who represent the enemy leadership must be delivered forthwith, by any means expedient to the moment.

That is all. All else is subterfuge or sheer ignorance displayed.