• "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