Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ukraine - the US is at fault

The evidence is in, and there is no question the United States government sponsored the coup that led to the ousting of Ukraine's elected President. No doubt he was unpopular Western Ukraine, where the seat of government is, and where most people did not vote for him in the previous two national elections. All that is true. However, in the "modern world order" we don't sponsor coups of elected governments. We even find it meddlesome when "unelected" dictators are overthrown by US sponsored coups. We know by history that once the dictator is overthrown, the threads of that society fall apart like shattered glass. A few current examples are  Iraq and Libya - there are others.

The point is, in the "modern world order" the US should not be destabilizing and overthrowing democratically elected governments - yet it is. On the one hand, the US claims to be the moral high ground  that all should emulate and is the "police force" to ensure it happens, and on the other hand it violates the moral high ground whenever its "national interest" is threatened. I put national interest in quotations as it doesn't have a strict definition. It's just whatever suits the US at the given moment in time. That one thing is the fatal character flaw of US policy - "we are just and right" when it works for us". The problem with that notion is that every moderately powered country could take the same position. The lesson the US has apparently not come to grips with is that the rules apply to it as well - perhaps more so. If you claim to be a world leader then you have to lead, and leadership is by example not convenience.

As the Sochi Olympics in Russia began, a nationalistic moment of pride for Russians as it is for every home country, trouble came to the surface in Ukraine. Not surprising I suppose considering the Saudi foreign minister's comments to Putin that if Russia gave Saudi its way in Syria, well then Saudi would make sure Russia had no problems with terrorists during the Olympics. All that did was infuriate Putin, which you could understand - essentially terrorist blackmail. And, while the terrorist situation remained well in hand during the Olympics, the Ukrainian "uprising" exploded from smoldering discontent to a demand the government join the EU. Ironically, even after agreeing to sign the agreement to establish economic relations of a sort with the EU, the Ukrainian president was still overthrown.

It was all quite clearly organized, funded, and even armed by "western entities". The US, instead of condemning the overthrow of an elected President, simply applauded along as "the people spoke". Yet, in a near identical situation erupting in Egypt, where the army slaughtered thousands of protesters in a matter a of week, the US refused to call the matter a coup - which would have cut off arms money. That's the kind of pragmatic vision that costs you the high ground and leadership. The same thing happened in Libya when NATO air forces went from a UN sanctioned mandate of a "no fly zone" to become the "rebels" air force and destroying the Libyan armed forces on the ground. Another breach of trust. Another abuse of power. Another loss of integrity.

As could be expected, Russia would not stand idly by and watch the US, and for that matter NATO, come to dominate a country right on its border. That should not be a surprise to the US given its 50 year economic boycott, and attempted invasion and naval blockading of Cuba. In fact, the US banked on it. When Russia intervened with special forces, a naval blockade of Crimea, etc the US protested that Russia would face a "cost" for its actions. The cost was to be escalating sanctions aimed at destabilizing and perhaps  over throwing the Russian government  - certainly at a minimum destroying its economy.

It's important to remember that the Ukraine conflict is not about Ukraine, or the fact it is on the Russian border. That is simply the means to the "end". The "end" is a direct blow to the Sino-Russo economic alliance ( mostly referred to as Eurasia). At some point in time the US had to decide whether it would accept losing its international economic superiority, or fight. There are only two ways to fight. One is an economic war. The other is a real war. Of course, the US could obey the rules of world order and accept the ascension of China, including the Russia-China-BRIC alliance. It's happening anyway. For example, India just signed a deal with Russia to build 12 nuclear reactors, and it cancelled a deal with US ally South Korea for a $1 billion minesweeper contract. The message: if you are with the US you aren't with us, and we have the money. A definitive sigh of things to come.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, four or five ceasefires have come and gone. The Ukrainian government, funded and supplied by the US, has used the ceasefires to advance their lines in the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. They created a massive incursion to the north of Gorlovka south toward Luhansk city and just north of the Donetsk/Krasny Luch defensive line. Not to be outdone, the Novorossyian forces have forced themselves to the eastern outskirts of Mariupol and westward of Alchevsk. Donetsk city has been mercilessly shelled by the Ukraine army, and the Novorossyian forces have taken a shaky control of most of what's left of Donetsk international airport.

There was meant to be peace talks between the two sides today in Minsk. It never happened. Instead, the Ukraine government cutoff power and rail links to Crimea. Also, just days ago, the Ukraine President stated publicly that Ukraine would apply to be part of NATO. All part of a war that isn't meant to end, and that isn't really declared for what it is. In many ways it's starting to resemble the "war of annihilation" the Nazi's waged against the then Soviet Union. Not in the sense of magnitude, yet, but in nature. There is no will on either side in Ukraine to surrender, or even submit to the other's authority. Too many people have been killed and maimed. Too many lives have been burned by the flicker of the flame fueled by hatred.

There is no peaceful end for the Ukraine situation. None. One side or the other will prevail, but Ukraine will not rest unless it retakes Luhansk and Donetsk Republics. The Russians will not allow that to happen. In two days the Russian army is supposed to roll into Donetsk and Luhansk to come between the Novorossyians and Ukrainians as peacekeepers. In reality, they are making themselves targets of opportunity for a Ukrainian government bent on revenge and well supplied by the US to do just that. All of which points toward serious escalation, and perhaps all out war. If that happens, the Russian military will destroy the Ukrainian military within a week. The only question that remains is where does it go from there. As Henry Kissinger explained in an article published today:

"Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is HOW IT ENDS, not how it begins."

What Kissinger, the US government, and many other people are not considering enough is:

"What if it's not left upto the United States to decide how it ends. What if the US loses it all?"

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