• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Translating Hague's English

Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, delivered some remarks in Received English,  after meeting  with John Kerry at the U.S. State Department.    We thought we should provide a translation into Plain Talk.   Speaking in the building's main lobby, Hague said I’ve had very good talks with Secretary Kerry on a wide range of subjects, but of course the situation in Ukraine has been absolutely top of the agenda. I think The United States and the United Kingdom see this in exactly the same way, our fundamental interest is in a free, democratic Ukraine, with free institutions, so the people of Ukraine can make their own decisions about their own future.

John and I chuckled over our better than hoped for success in the Ukraine and we agree that  our fundamental interest is in seeing the Ukraine coopted into the western political-economic orbit 

And We discussed the urgent need for financial support for Ukraine that is likely to arise.   I’ll also have meetings with the International Monetary Fund here in Washington tomorrow about that.  But the importance of course of Ukraine  being able to meet the conditions for that.

For this to happen we will need to hook the Ukraine into the orbit as a debtor nation by making clear that it must meet our conditions if it wants financial assistance (loans).

And it is important for economic reform to take place; for the pervasive culture of corruption over many years to be tackled effectively; for the international community to be able to see that there will be continuity in the determination to tackle these issues; and that therefore long term international support can be given on a reasonable basis.

These conditions include  "economic reform" by which i mean a reliable and consistent opening up of the Ukraine to foreign investment and to legal and institutional protections to foreign investment (i.e. buying up the country by foreign capitalists).

And of course we encourage the new leaders in the Ukraine to form an inclusive government, one that can command a new political consensus in that country.

It goes without saying that the new government must be able to appear to have a popular mandate and must effectively suppress or co-opt any opposition to the new scheme of things...

And we don’t see this, in the US and the UK, we don't see this in a zero-sum strategic sense. It is very important for Ukraine to be able to work closely with European nations, and the European Union, in good economic cooperation, but also of course to be able to cooperate with Russia on many issues.

... in which the Ukraine is inextricably and permanently tied into the western neo-liberal orbit but also of course to be able to cooperate with Russia on many issues, with some flexibility in allowing Russia to rummage through left over remainders.

So Secretary Kerry and I have both been talking to Foreign Minister Lavrov over recent days, and we will continue that contact with Russia as well as working with the Ukrainians on this ‘extraordinary transition’, as Secretary Kerry called it earlier, that is now taking place.

To this end, we will continue diplomatic follow up on what has been an amazingly successful subversion and coup of the legitimately elected government.

The independence and territorial integrity of the Ukraine is of course  extremely important

We wish to make clear, however, that allowing Russia to pick through the left overs does not mean that we are going to split this plump turkey between them and us;  we basically want the whole bird.

And this is why all of us who are giving our best advice to the new authorities in the Ukraine are saying:  form an inclusive government, involve people from different parts of the Ukraine including form the east and south of Ukraine.  It is important for Ukrainians to be able to make these decisions together after the terrible divisions of the recent months.   So we, I, also extend our strong support for the territorial integrity and unity of the Ukraine

And so we are telling the wedge faction that took over the government, to start putting the show together and, most importantly, to induce the pro-Russian eastern part of the country to go along with the geo-political re-orientation of the country and -- for God's sake -- not to break away and join Russia

This is a country that needs financial assistance from many sources, including  from Russia.  it's not about pulling it away from Russia it's about enabling it to make its own choices and it is obviously not in the interest of Russia for the Ukraine to face economic collapse.  And there's a very difficult economic circumstances there, a very big deficit as you know big financing requirements the debt falling due.  It isn't in the interests of Russia to pull away from that.  And this is the case that we will make to Russia.

And what we're going to tell Russia is this:  you are just as invested in the Ukraine as we want to be (i.e. to the tune of 130 billion dollars).  The Ukraine is broke, and if it goes belly up, you stand to loose as much as anyone.  So we're willing to shore up the dikes, but the price of that -- the price of your not loosing your investment -- is that you've got to hand over the lions share of the country's riches to us.

Napoleon did not call the English "perfidious" without reason.   A more consummately hypocritical country can hardly be imagined.  The English have this inimitable way of making it sound like they are doing you a favor by fucking you up the butt…. and, of course, that  it is the most natural thing in the world.

What secretary Hague has blithely omitted to mention is that the government that was just over thrown was democratically elected in elections which the international community ranked as free and fair.   To be sure the Ukraine is politically divided between East and West, just as that Lighthouse of Democracy  is divided and deadlocked between North and South.  The existence of political division  -- of two broad parties -- does not mean that the country does not have democratic institutions.  So Hague stands in the lobby and intones for the building of democracy  in the Ukraine after western-supported cadres subverted democracy in the Ukraine.

And to this piety, Hague adds, disparaging sniffling about "corruption" by which he can only mean that certain oligarchs have gotten the economic pie sewn up between them.  The problem with this corruption, in Hague's mind,  is that it is not our corruption and so the way to get rid of corruption is to allow our oligarchs to cut up the pie.

And this is the price that the Ukraine will have to pay if it wants a pathetic financial life saver tossed to it.   Hague promises, in all glowy earnestness, to subject the Ukraine to the Greek Cure:  western loans to pay this month's bills in exchange for permanent debt slavery and parcelling out  ("privatizing") the country assets to European and American fat cats and banks.

Note: the official text of Hagues remarks omitted many of his more obliquely candid remarks.  What he actually said on tape can be seen HERE

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hollowed Out "Times" -- The Selling of a Putsch

2014 will go down as the year the New York Times descended to dishing out plain propaganda without so much as a passing effort at journalistic reporting.

In what can only be described as glossy piece of caramelized popcorn, the on-line Times' front page broadcast a glossy propaganda fantasy entitled,

The video opens with the melodic and rich sing song of something resembling Orthodox chant.  Expectant faces are aglow in the amber light of candles.

The masses are cheering

Girls are weeping for joy.

Democracy has arrived.

Hearts are beating ecstatically

"I see people in a new way," she  says, pentacostally.
Earnest twenty somethings, explain that all they want is freedom and to join the EU.

Captives are released!

The same two girls "interviewed" earlier end the video laughing and singing "Love Love Love."

The skill with which this cotton candy was spun is admirable.  The message is simple: the will of the People peaceably assembled has magically brought down a tyrant; democracy has dawned; hope and change are at hand!

The medium is simple: the message is brought to you by young, fresh-faced, good-looking, happy, twenty-something Twitterites -- who could be the boy or girl next door, your own child to embrace, your own boyfriend to kiss your own girl-friend to fuck.  You really identify.

Good News Brought to you by Good Folks.  Cain't get more Amurkan than that.  Whatever is going on in the Ukraine; it's all good. Be happy. America is winning.  Fulfillment is nigh.

But the psuedo-reportage was such a filthy piece of falsehood that the Times' editorial staff and the video's producers fully deserved to be lined up against a wall and shot… or at least sent to a shoe factory in western China.

As bad as the falsehoods was the sheer infantilism fobbed off as information. Peaceful chanting and twitting did not bring down the government. 

For days on end in from December to February, masses of people did assemble to protest in Kiev's main square.  The protests were peaceful and were allowed by the government.  As might be expected, as the protests continued unabated, the government sought to disperse the crowd in the usual manner as occurs everywhere in the world including the Cradle of Freedom. 

But as events dragged on into January, armed, trained "elements" among the protestors began to initiate violent actions of intimidation, beating, shooting and bombing which they themselves frankly described as a "coup" or "revolution" aimed at bringing the downfall of the Government. 

The coup was accomplished when members of the government's parliamentary majority were intimidated and terrorized into absenting themselves and an anti-government "quorum" voted to depose president Yanukovitch.  This is what Obambi and the New York Times call Ukraine's legitimate government.

This was definitely not twitting and chanting. Governments are not brought down by student protests; and this government was brought down by carefully calibrated, escalating violence.

Without ever explaining how or why, the Times' narrative assumes and insinuates that the Yanukovic government was some sort of bad tyranny.  Bad Out. Good In.  is the party line which the Times' faithfully trumpets.  This is not only nonsense it is an outright fabrication. 

The Yanukovitch government was freely elected in elections which no one has claimed were not fair.  At the time, the White House itself stated:  “This peaceful expression of the political will of Ukrainian voters is another positive step in strengthening democracy in Ukraine."

How then does the overthrow of a democratically elected government herald the new dawn of democracy?  Neither the White House nor the Times nor the western mudia bother to explain. 

The reason for this change of heart-cum-memory lapse is simple.  Neo-libs in the West want to co-opt the Ukraine into its so-called co-prosperity sphere.  Neo-cons in the West want to add Ukraine to its NATO military alliance against Russia.

No one disputes that the Ukraine is effectively bankrupt. This was not the work of Yanukovich, but just as much the handiwork of his defeated opponent, Julia Tymoshenko, who was the country's previous president.  The bankrupting of a country takes time.

As a bankrupt, Ukraine needs two things: loans to tide it over and trade agreements to sustain and stimulate its economy.  Russia offered 15 billion dollars in loans.  The West, 900 million.  Russia offered subsidized natural gas and membership in its Eur-Asian "common market".  The EU offered membership in itself the "benefits" of which consisted in "opening up the Ukraine to investment."  In other words, the EU offered Ukraine the "Greek Cure."

It was perhaps a Hobbsian choice and the Ukraine has been roughly divided equally over the matter.  Yanukovich did not run on a pro-Russia platform.  He in fact negotiated with both Russia and the EU.  In the end, he decided that Russia offered the better bad choice.  Europe and the United States went into major sulk mode. Europe was content to sulk.  The Citadel of Democracy and the Beacon of Freedom, was not and decided to stage a putsch.   That's what U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland's "Fuck the EU" was all about.

Putsch is quite the apt term.

Even more disturbing than the video's suppression of the violent nature of the coup was the Times' hypocritical and equally astonishing suppression of who was behind the violence

Neo Nazis.  No "Luv, Luv, Luv" here.

Nor are these nazis a "fringe" of an otherwise mainstream and multi-cultural, smile-on-your-brother majority.  Unlike neo-nazi morons in the United States, the Far Right in Europe is political and organized -- a fact everyone in Europe has known since 1945. 

SVOBODA, Ukraine's Neo Nazi party, is one of the stronger political factions in the Western Ukraine.  It holds four ministries in the "new government" including the Ministry of Defense.

Flashing 14 & 88

The word Nazi is not used lightly or slovenly the way it is in the West and in the United States as a sort term of universal disparagement.    When they say

 They mean it.

The Svoboda party describes itself as "nationalist" but on account of Ukraine's complex and tragic history the word "nationalist" has implications which ring loud and clear in the Ukraine but which apparently do not resonate at all on 42nd Street.

Ukraine is more of a Crossroads than a Country. Although 1/3 of territorial Ukraine is ethnically Russian, the Ukranian nationalists consider Russians to be foreigners. In the past 1000 years the Ukraine has been occupied and ruled by Lithuanian-Poles, Russians and Soviet Communists. Under one banner or another, Ukranian aspirations were suppressed.  What is not disputed is that Jews (which gets encapsulated as "the" Jews) served as administrators and tax collectors for Polish nobles and as Commissars for the Soviets.  The appalling story of Stalin's genocide of the Ukrainian peasantry was carried out by Jewish commissars.  The horrible massacre at Babi Yar during the World War was, from the nationalist point of view, payback.

Nationalist "themes" translates into


In the Ukraine, nationalism and anti-semitism are, at least, kissing' cousins.

This is not to say that all  Ukrainian nationalists are Nazis. There most certainly are other concepts of nationalism among the Ukrainians. But SVOBODA's concept cannot be dismissed as marginal when it's members end up controlling four ministries including defense and when its "street patrols" have taken over public security.

The Ukraine is a beautiful and culturally complex country.  The point of this article is not to take sides in a complex and tragic history. But it is to point out that there are forces in the country which stand for propositions very different from the democracy mantras of the West.

It is contemptible when a well positioned imbecile like Senawhore John McCain holds up hands with the leader of the Svoboda Party.  It is beyond astonishing when a mostly Jewish and pro Zionist paper, which would be among the first and loudest to decry anti-semitism and holocaust denial, ends up white-washing US covert support for and the critical presence of ethnic nationalists in violently overthrowing a government which no one -- not even anyone in the mainstream western press -- denies was fairly and democratically elected last year.  

That the New York Times has been an "information outlet" for the national-capitalist (and zionist) establishment is hardly news.  It represented the "center-of-gravity" of the political-corporate establishment.  Nor could it be said that this status was journalistically unprofessional.  It is one of those insipid and imbecilic canards, accepted as gospel truth in the U.S.A., that newspapers are and ought to be neutral and objective.  Since before the printing press and most certainly thereafter, papers have always been partisan.  What matters is not their bias but their honesty with the facts.  By "honesty" I mean neither falsifying facts nor censoring inconvenient information.  The crux of the matter is treating the reader with respect, as a free man to be convinced rather than as a child to be fooled.

U.S. journalism does not have a good pedigree. It has generally been vulgar, sensationalist, superficial and contemptuous of its readership.  In the wasteland of U.S. journalism, the New York Times almost alone commanded the respect of serious people.  A great part of its honesty was that it was a "paper of record;" i.e., it reported  verbatim almost every boring official pronouncement that occurred in the previous 24 hours.  If you wanted to know what the Archfiend Fidel Castro said to the General Assembly, you could find it in the Times.  This was important because it meant that the "opposing" point of view got published as a matter of course.  To be sure, the Times could not and did not report on everything but it reported on enough, well enough, to be considered "honest."  

All of this changed when A.M. Rosenthal became Executive Editor of the Times in the mid-1970's.  Faced with drooping sales and a hippified country, Rosenthal responded by gentrifying the Times.  Out went the boring speeches, in came Gourment and Travel and Arts & Leisure.   [History of the Times]

Rosenthal prided himself on factual strictness and a code of journalistic ethics.  But as a result of his un-anchoring, the Times gradually became less honest and by progressive degrees nothing more than establishment propaganda.  As of the first Iraq War and throughout the Bosnian disgrace and the Camp David farce-cum-ambush, the Times could have no pretense of "objectivity" or journalistic honesty.  It allowed itself to be reduced to hack for Wall Street, the Pentagon, Free Trade and AIPAC. It's "liberal" veneer was reduced to emotive editorials in favor of fetus flushing, handicap access and saving the Westchester squirrel.  As of the second Iraq War, the  the Times became simply a tonier version of Fox News and the Boston Globe (which it owns).

But with the sudden fall of the Government in the Ukraine, the Times has sunk to a level Goebbels would have recognized and despised.   Olsen's slick and varnished videos launches into pure political advertising without the slightest pretense of being a report and without any effort whatsoever to  acknowledge that the situation in the Ukraine is rife with factionalism of every sort.  It peddles nothing but a political fantasia.  It does not inform, it deludes and it does so intentionally

The Golden Glow the Times did not Show

In fact the Times ought to be ashamed of itself, considering its provenance and affiliations.  The mess in the Ukraine is not likely to end well for anyone.  There is a good chance that the neo-liberals and neo-cons in the West will get what they want: hooking the Ukraine into economic vassalage and utilizing its fair land as military base for NATO.   Who will pay for the property of Western bankers?  The Ukrainians will not get what they want, but only a harsh diet of austerity.  And the Jews?  What will they get in a country run by pro-Western ethnic nationalists?

The Aftermath the Times did not Show

©WCG, 2014