Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2014

Ukraine: "West" Playing With Fire - Intentions?

The "west" is pushing a anti-democratic collection of right-wingers as a "democratic opposition" against the dully elected government of Ukraine. How can Kerry claim that these forces who fight the majority elected government are in a "fight for democracy"?

There is a great danger here. The street-muscle of the "opposition" is fascist in its core and a quite violent collection of hooligans and militants:

These groups range from right-wing radicals and soccer hooligans to military veterans and mobs of stick-wielding goons. And to the gall of more-established opposition figures, like the world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, they have become the revolution’s most commanding presence. Anyone with a stake in resolving Ukraine’s political crisis — including the diplomats watching fretfully from the E.U. and U.S. — will likely have to reckon with the role of these groups. But they are becoming increasingly hard to control.

By hyping the "opposition", which could not win in elections, the "west" is giving succor to the extreme forces. These forces already pledge to incite a civil war.

This is clearly, as we claimed, a repeat of the strategy that was used to throw Syria into ruins. Under the disguise of "peaceful protests" which, like in the Ukraine never were peaceful, radical forces are incited to fight the state and all its structures.

But what is the purpose his obvious attempt to throw Ukraine into a state of unrest and possibly into a civil war? Did not Syria show that such radical forces will in the end hit back at the "west"? What is there to win but trouble?

Posted by b on February 1, 2014 at 15:05 UTC | Permalink

Comments

West is attacking a democratic elected government thru so called 'peaceful protesters' and now it turns to violent riots with jihadist groups such as the Islamic Tatars, just flied over to Ukraine from Syria courtesy of Turkish airlines.

With such an attitude, West shoots a gunball in its feet because that means that, in West too, protests can attack a democratic elected government. Austerity measures in EU have made the time ripe for this up to violent riots as we see in Greece, coming on to Spain and Italy and now starting in France. As West supports rioters in Ukraine,why should Russsia not support 'peaceful protesters' and riots in West. Lavrov just pointed it out.

France, with Hollande's popularity less than 15%, having affairs like under the old regime while many live in poverty, taking orders from Israel, imposing the gender theory to a population that doesn't want it, adding that children don't belong to parents but to the Republican state, is just ripe for this. Guess the French Spring will be hot! Police is pepperspraying toddlers, young children while many are arrested with their children. You are arrested if you speak against this government or hassled till your life gets a nightmare, pushed to suicide (as there is no death sentence, but they know how to make hell of one's life in order to finish it). See the high suicide rates in France and the high intakes of anti-depression pilss (higher than the USA).

People are fighting their back to the walls to resist the 'slavery' of the system and it will get ugly.

Posted by: Sierrasverdes1 | Feb 1 2014 15:35 utc | 1

"What is there to win but trouble?" Great question b. I can only guess, that maybe in turmoil and destabilization, there are gains to be made economically for the empire, and it's minions.

Posted by: ben | Feb 1 2014 15:36 utc | 2

I think Mr Klitschko is going to be
offered the job of putting down the rioters

Posted by: chris m | Feb 1 2014 15:44 utc | 3

Usurping power and installing puppets by any and all means possible, including the blood of the natives (Libyans, Syrians, Ukrainians, etc) - as much blood as its needed. West never had qualms about violence, civil wars, and even genocide by their "democracy-loving peaceful protesters", so why it would bother them now?

When power is theirs, they'll get rid of useful fools who outlived their usefulness, again - by any means, with army if needed. Sometimes these radicals continue serving the West's interests, hence they are allowed to be in power, i.e. arab monarchies, gangsters in Kosowo, etc.

West's elite doesnt care much about blowback either. It rarely if ever happens, and if it does, it will only affects few ordinary people elite doesnt care about either. On the contrary, such events are very useful to further extend elite's grip (and as excuse to wage more wars) and to limit common people's rights.

Posted by: Harry | Feb 1 2014 15:53 utc | 4

If it is still not apparent to the rest of the world, the US is run by a collection of out-of-control psychopathic Zionist war criminals that have to be treated as such if there is going to be any semblance of peace. Sure, we here can discuss how their actions conform to this or that plan - e.g., the Yinon Plan - etc but taken as a whole and with an large unforgiving eye to the needless murder/maiming/displacement/destruction of millions that the US has been directly responsible for for decades there is in my mind just no sense in even pretending that any rational and humanistic leader/people should countenance much less negotiate/partner with the US and its depraved and sickening representatives as it continues apace on its campaign of terror.

Everyone should reflexively know that The Global War on Terror is very real but in an - oh so amusing I'm sure to TPTB - twist it's not AQ or any of the other chimerical villains that are perpetrating it but the US itself and it's grotesque assortment of hideous war criminals.

With a massive propaganda battery at their disposal to take the "edge" off of the murder and mayhem until the next round begins, there is no hell hole deep enough for these monsters. I know that bevin and others may disagree but when does the world move beyond the realpolitik and start talking about such quaint terms as justice for those millions of people who have had their lives needlessly destroyed by these subhumans?

In an amazing Dorian Gray moment at the SOTU address Peace Laureate Obama looked into the shattered monstrous visage of his own soul in regards to the GWOT and everyone in attendance clapped like the bloodthirsty murderers they are without a thought to the millions of people we've wrecked beyond the point of being stitched back together. Such spectacles should be enough to signal to the world what type of people are leading the United States of America and they should begin to act/plan accordingly.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Feb 1 2014 15:57 utc | 5

There is currently a strong effort being mounted in the official West to demonize the elected government in the Ukraine, just as there was in Syria. There was a story in today's Globe and Mail about a protestor who was allegedly cricified by supporters of the President, but as in Syria no independent confirmation. Still, as things go, it seems to me that those who think that the current elected President can be overthrown by force or that they can win a civil war are dreaming in technicolor. The Ukraine is not like Syria: it borders Russia, which has ample means to intervene in its sphere of interest if necessary. On the other side, it is difficult to see how effective aid for the rebellion can be mounted from Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia.

Posted by: Knut | Feb 1 2014 15:57 utc | 6

we all know zusa don't care 'bout no stinkin' democracy...this is all about russia, which zusa hates...wants a BIG burning bag'o shit on their front doorstep...or "steppe"(?)

Posted by: bfrakes | Feb 1 2014 16:00 utc | 7

The Time Magazine story by Simon Shuster is very similar in tone to a piece from Jan 30 by Eric Draitser (the proprietor of 'StopImperialism.org'), which I have spent most of the morning writing a demolition critique of. Here are my arguments:

You can see what Draitser is doing, I think. It's reminiscent of Stalin's Popular Front Period. There is an incessant drumbeat of warnings about anti-Semitism in the New Right forces that the US and NATO are employing in southern and eastern Europe, coming from this type of Jewish pseudo-Leftist, but in reality it is simply untrue that the US is flirting with anti-Semitism in any real sense, any more than it was during and after WW2. The US was quite capable then and is quite capable now of using forces that pay lip-service to anti-Semitism to confuse their publics, knowing perfectly well that this doesn't imply any real intention to combat Jewish economic power anywhere, and least of all in the FSR. Failure to appreciate this leads to perpetual absurdities, as in this case, where Draitser actually has to say that the US is using anti-Semitism in order to punish regimes that are insufficiently pro-Israel! This takes us right to the heart of WW2 and post-WW2 US policy. PS: you can read a number of reports about Jews joining the 'protests' in Kiev, here and here from December, and here from just 2 days ago. All of them use phony fears of 'anti-Semitism' to obscure the fact that Jews are firmly ensconsed within the 'protests', and none confirm Draitser's false claims of 'Blackshirt violence'.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 1 2014 16:03 utc | 8

The symptoms of 'peaceful protesters' is a sign of a major change in 'democratic' countries'.
When a government is elected with a 51% majority, there are 49% of the population who feel defeated. Before internet, most felt isolated and incapable of expressing their frustrations outside established opposition movements. Therefore an elected government would just ignore them.
Internet changed the whole picture. Social media is able to unite these disparate frustrated citizens, give them a common motivation and push them to manifest themselves in groups.
We have seen that in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Turkey and in Ukraine.
Of course all kind of groups emerge, some with constructive goals, some with destructive goals. Yet they are all considered as 'peaceful protesters' and the whole world sympathize with them , by principle.

It seems that the time is over when democracy was limited to a majority in the ballot box. Leaders have to come up with creative ideas to channel the frustration of the losers that could easily endanger a country social peace by permitting negative elements to trigger hate and violence.

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 1 2014 16:05 utc | 9

JS 5: "In an amazing Dorian Gray moment at the SOTU address Peace Laureate Obama looked into the shattered monstrous visage of his own soul in regards to the GWOT and everyone in attendance clapped like the bloodthirsty murderers they are without a thought to the millions of people we've wrecked beyond the point of being stitched back together. Such spectacles should be enough to signal to the world what type of people are leading the United States of America and they should begin to act/plan accordingly."

Kudos, right on point, thanks for the thought.

Posted by: ben | Feb 1 2014 16:18 utc | 10

With Yanukovych already offering positions in his government to the opposition, and the protester amnesty signed into law along with the repeal on assembly restrictions, it is hard to imagine what more Klitschko et al. can achieve other than the collapse of the Ukrainian state. Is the meeting with Kerry in Munich today meant to formalize an agreement between the opposition and the West guaranteeing -- what? -- money? weapons? sanctions on the Yanukovych government?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Feb 1 2014 16:23 utc | 11

This is getting sick.
Ukraine opposition appeals to West at Munich Security Conference and call elected Ukraine president "dictator" calls for sanctions and thank kerry for help!

http://www.dw.de/ukraine-opposition-appeals-to-west-at-munich-security-conference/a-17402283


b, you still dont know why west want regime change in Ukraine?!

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 1 2014 16:40 utc | 12

@11 Mike Maloney With Yanukovych already offering positions in his government to the opposition, and the protester amnesty signed into law along with the repeal on assembly restrictions, it is hard to imagine what more Klitschko et al. can achieve other than the collapse of the Ukrainian state.

There has been an interesting article on german propaganda site "Spiegel" about that. Cut short it said: Yanukovich offered them leading positions and the ability to associate Ukraine with EU, "if they wanted to". BUT, Spiegel thinks, that's a ruse, because the ukrainian people would blame Klichko et al. for the economic downturn that would (obviously that's an open preditction even by "Spiegel", so you know that it's also about allocating money from the 99 to the 1%) ensue and soon kick them out of their positions again.
So, what it's about is giving pressure to the Ukr. Gov. to turn "west" and also take the blame for the plundering :-).
Taking this as a premise, some of the statements and propaganda start making sense.

Posted by: peter radiator | Feb 1 2014 18:24 utc | 13

And Ukraine joining NATO would be a nice thing for the "west". You can set up any kind of (*of course* only for defense and tecnically restricted to not be able to fly into Russia!) missiles and stuff there.

Posted by: peter radiator | Feb 1 2014 18:28 utc | 14

It's easy to forget that all the hokum from Kerry and the BBC's Ukrainian 'protestors' is supposed to be the prelude to a US-NATO R2P adventure.
But, having no balls whatsoever, Kerry, Obama and the BBC's peaceful (armed) protestors are going to be unceremoniously mopped up by Putin-Ukraine's security apparatus.
This plot is so-o stupid that it doesn't even qualify as a cheap trick. It's just a dopey trick. Imo, it's a direct result of Obama's humiliation, by Russia, on Sept 3, 2013, over the abortive attempt to justify an R2P in Syria.

It's all whine-fests and Full Spectrum Dumb-inence for the Yankees from here on in.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 1 2014 18:32 utc | 15

German president Gauck declared the stabilization in Eastern Europe one core business of the German army of the future. Disgusting.

Posted by: g_h | Feb 1 2014 19:18 utc | 16

Another disgusting picture

mccain, liberman meet with ukraine protestleader.
https://twitter.com/SenJohnMcCain/status/429669448187125760/photo/1

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 1 2014 19:30 utc | 17

RB, why slam Draitser? Israel and the US promote real terror at the same time they condemn it. It's reasonable to assume the same thing for anti-semitism. Israel needs the Diaspora to make aliyah; what better way than to encourage anti-semitism everywhere else, real or imagined.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 1 2014 19:56 utc | 18

@g_h Thanks for that. I found some follow up in the perfect source in which to read about unvarnished militarism: US DoD Magazine, Stars and Stripes:

MUNICH — The Munich Security Conference kicked off Friday with Germany’s president calling out his country for not doing enough to confront global threats, saying 70-year-old guilt over World War II should not be used as a “shield for laziness.”

“Are we doing what we can to stabilize our neighborhood? In the east and in Africa? Are we willing to bear our fair share of the risk?” asked German Federal President Joachim Gauck. “Germany must be ready to do more to guarantee the security others have provided it with for decades.”

“Restraint can thus be taken too far,” he said.

Link to Stars and Stripes

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 1 2014 20:05 utc | 19

The reason for those gesticulation is that the "west" is loosing its way of life and can't find any solution for it. Uber-capitalism is not providing any solution; and the left, the one that hasn't turn into neo-conservatism, is unable to provide any alternative.

Posted by: ATH | Feb 1 2014 20:55 utc | 20

I think it is high time for Putin and his National Security to rethink their strategy with the West.Now he is squeezed by the Sochi winter olympic timeline and the West is taking all chances it can to break the new Russia.Russia had in Syria many possibilities to stop the West but it chose the path of International Law and UN Charter to stop a West gone mad by its declining status.It appears now that this won't work.The West is essentially coward and it mistook Russia principalist attitude for weakness.I am afraid that a new doses of Georgia 2008 needs to be applied and quickly.The West is destabilizing the planet and if not stopped I see a world conflict in the making.I wonder what mr.Pragma thinks about this?I always agree with what he writes.

Posted by: Nobody | Feb 1 2014 21:34 utc | 21

This Stephan Bandera has incredibly glowing wikipedia entry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera

But his life, in the end, appears that he achieved nothing more than being a dupe of the Nazis. Which is precisely what his followers will be today for the West.

Even giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are "patriots" - do these people really think they'll be permitted control of their country? They really should look at the life of their hero to see what their actions will bring. When they hand John McCain and Joe Lieberman the country they claim to love, do they think they can avoid being chewed up and spit out when they are no longer useful?

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 1 2014 22:32 utc | 22

“During the Cold War, in Western Germany, there was a saying that the key to German unity is deposited in Moscow. Something similar can be said about the future of all-European unity, too. The Europeanization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe will only happen once Russia, for one reason or another, will – be made, or decide to – allow it.”

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/01/17/misunderstanding-ukraine-misreading-russia/view-all/

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 1 2014 22:46 utc | 23

And...according to this guy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrey_Illarionov, who is clearly the Russian's Neocon, Moscow is going to pressure Ukraine to the end.

According to Illarionov, Russia’s options are
(1) establishing a baseline scenario control over the entire Ukraine. This would be the most appropriate option;
(2) pro-Kremlin politicians and political scientists see this as the federalization or confederation Ukraine in the context of reunification as a state subservient to Moscow. and
(3) llarionov suggests that if the first two options fail, then control over the Crimea, Luhansk , and possibly part of Sumy region will need to be established under this idea of “reunification” with Moscow over part of the country in the East joining the Russian population with their mother country.

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/01/31/ukraine-doomed-after-the-olympics/

Andrey Illarionov, now anti-Putin and parroting the Western slogans, is seems to playing on failure of the Russian state and to be major contender in the "future" Russia. New Boris Yeltsin!?

As far as what “Intentions” are it is rather rhetorical question. But here is answer, or just fraction of it.

“A Look at Nine Goldman Trades That Lost Libya $1 Billion in One Year”
http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/01/31/a-look-at-nine-goldman-trades-that-lost-libya-1-billion-in-one-year/

The West's favorite is playing with somebody else's money and waging wars with somebody else's flesh.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 1 2014 23:12 utc | 24

@9 Virgile

while i agree with your overview on democracy skating on very thin ice, i don't believe it has ever been all that democratic.. it is a semblance of democracy run by oligarchy's as i see it.. what i believe is happening here is a fight between oligarchy's from the west verses ones from another area.. well, it doesn't hurt to try to make a house in russias backyard too, but i don't know that this will happen smoothly, if at all..i tend to think there are some pissed off bloodthirsty power groups that are determined to take a chink out of putins armor.. it is means using neo nazis and whoever to help the process along, so be it.. i think mccain and any american stooge supporting this is completely bonkers, but then i did before this all started anyway. something else is at work then 51 verses 49% democracy and ideas like that..

Posted by: james | Feb 1 2014 23:14 utc | 25

@15 "It's easy to forget that all the hokum from Kerry and the BBC's Ukrainian 'protestors' is supposed to be the prelude to a US-NATO R2P adventure."

And that's the crazy thing about all this: the chances that NATO will ever be able to mount a "R2P" air campaign against the Ukrainian government is absolutely, positively zero.

I mean, get real: look who is just over the border.

To bomb a country that borders Russia - and to do so for the purpose of bombing that country out from Russia's sphere of influence - is so crazy that not even a crazy person would entertain it.

And if you can't ever hope to get to the end-game (and in the case of R2P!! R2P!! they can't) then what's the point of making the first moves?

Destruction just for the sake of destruction?
Chaos because, well, just because?

That's the thinking of psychopaths.

Posted by: Johnboy | Feb 2 2014 3:20 utc | 26

"Intentions"
How about Thailand? The BBC, Kerry & The Big Girl's Club never had a snow flake's chance in Hell of bullying Yanukovych into 'stepping down' with Vlad taking a keen interest in events - as they unravel. They've also been careful not to put a military threat on the table; not a smart move unless they've decided to give suicide-bombing a whirl.

In Thailand, on the other hand, the "rioters" have scored a propaganda victory by making elections risky and unsafe and smoothing the path to accusations of "lack of democracy". So if there's a regime change looming it'll be in Thailand.
If China doesn't mind...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 2 2014 3:36 utc | 27

Hoarsewhisperer 26

why do protestors stop people from voting, may be they know their man wont stand a chance against yingluck ?

http://news.yahoo.com/thai-protesters-disrupt-early-voting-disputed-election-041524535.html

Posted by: denk | Feb 2 2014 5:06 utc | 28

A mixture of factors of which some of the more important ones are

- If Ukraine fell to the western block Russias the western side line "wall" against it would be complete.
- If Ukraine fell to the western block Russias capital and economic heart would be just some hundred miles away.
- Sevastopol, a still immensily important mil. port, basically the home of the black see fleet, would be in serious trouble.
- There is an old and still very much valid and respected mil. rule that Ukraine is a major part of the heartland. It is said, who controls the heartland can control Eurasia and who controls Eurasia can control the world.

I'm quite certain, though, that the western block - once more - miscalculated.

For one, Ukraine is still far away from being lost. Even if yanukovich would be putsched out tomorrow morning (or really gave up) the western payed terrorists would have just won the first battle of a long war.
And there will be no western power to help them militarily because if that happened, Russia would go military - and quite probably not stop in Ukraine.

Another very important factor is the Olympics. That's why there is such a frenzy and a hurry, that's why the terrorists escalated their war so quickly. They were tight on time. Right now, Russia is very much inclined to hold still and look reasonable, patient, and friendly.
But after Sochi, there will be nothing and nobody to save the Ukrainian terrorists, the european traitors, liars and instigators, and the united ztates of assholes from Russias wrath.

An ignition point will be easily found after all the fires the zamericans and their dogs and whores have lit all over the world.


Ceterum censeo israel americanamque delenda esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 2 2014 7:58 utc | 29

RB, why slam Draitser? Israel and the US promote real terror at the same time they condemn it. It's reasonable to assume the same thing for anti-semitism. Israel needs the Diaspora to make aliyah; what better way than to encourage anti-semitism everywhere else, real or imagined. Posted by: ruralito | Feb 1, 2014 2:56:34 PM | 18
Now that's even more far-fetched than what I'm saying. It's true that way back in the 1950s, the Mossad (with no US involvement whatever, quite the contrary), seems to have engaged in a bombing campaign in Iran to spur aliya from there, but I defy you to find any evidence of any such practice since. No, the point I want to make is that there is a really important disinfo industry based on phony threats by phony Nazis. Jews are not in danger anywhere. Jews are the most protected, most cosseted, most securitized people in the world. If any of these Ukrainian insurgents touched a hair on a Jew's head, there would be ferocious repercussions, highly damaging to all concerned. It will not happen. I know a thing or two about the New Right. Let me tell you, it regards 'the Jews' as its allies against 'the Muslims'. We're not dealing with geopolitical geniuses here, but they do what they're told to do, and to a great extent think what they're told to think. The illusion that even the USA is constantly arousing ferocious anti-Semites everywhere in its geopolitical games, because it just doesn't care about Jews, is tremendously important. It plays a vital role in maintaining the myth that Jews are tiny, vulnerable beings, constantly in need of care & protection.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 9:42 utc | 30

Anon @12
Anon @12
I assume you were referring to this question from b,"But what is the purpose his obvious attempt to throw Ukraine into a state of unrest and possibly into a civil war?" which I took to be completely rhetorical.

But to answer your question is pretty simple, US and West are essentially trying to hit two birds with one stone in Ukraine - establish another neoliberal regime in another European country, and get Russia better surrounded. One of the pieces in the EU accession treaty (that Yanukovich refused to sign) had a NATO enabling clause in it. And of course once the bankers' coup took place in EZ, they established an neoliberal/austerity regime all over Western Europe. Essentially neoliberal orthodoxy is to privatize the state, and every thing else. I listened to a respected economist talk about the neoliberal plan to privatize the climate no less. As I've said before, neoliberalism has become successful in their push to create world-wide fascism, not by military force this time, but by economic/financial force.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2 2014 12:58 utc | 31

Could the reason be to cripple China's future food security?
The following article from South China Morning Post:


Ukraine to become China’s largest farmer
China will plough billions of yuan into farmland in Ukraine that will eventually become its biggest overseas agricultural project.
The move is a significant step in China's recent efforts to encourage domestic companies to farm overseas as China's food demand grows in pace with urbanisation.
Under the 50-year plan, Ukraine will initially provide China with at least 100,000 hectares - an area almost the size of Hong Kong - of high-quality farmland in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, mainly for growing crops and raising pigs.
The produce will be sold to two Chinese state-owned grain conglomerates at preferential prices. The project will eventually expand to three million hectares.
Ding Li, a senior researcher in agriculture at Anbound Consulting in Beijing, said the deal was a big move for China compared with earlier overseas agriculture.
In April 2009, China had slightly over two million hectares of farmland abroad, he said. "So three million hectares would mean a very big project."
The agreement was signed in June between the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and KSG Agro, Ukraine's leading agricultural company, XPCC said in a statement.
XPCC, also known as Bingtuan, is a quasi-military organisation established in Xinjiang in the 1950s to reclaim farmland and consolidate defences against the Soviet Union, whose "granary" at that time was, ironically, the Ukraine.

The statement did not reveal the value of the investment, but the Kyiv Post reported last month that it would be more than US$2.6 billion. The newspaper called it an "unprecedented foreign investment" in Ukraine's agriculture sector.
This would make it China's biggest reported lease or purchase of farmland overseas. The Beidahuang Group, China's largest agribusiness, based in Heilongjiang province, and the Chongqing Grain Group have made similar moves to expand abroad.
The farming project was an important part of China's food security programme and a response to the central government's strategy of outsourcing the production of food to farms overseas, the statement said.
It would also help the XPCC expand, and provide jobs abroad for Chinese labourers and boost their incomes, it said.
China has made substantial agricultural investments elsewhere, notably in South America. Beidahuang acquired 234,000 hectares to grow soya bean and corn in Argentina, while Chongqing Grain paid US$375 million for soya bean plantations in Brazil and US$1.2 billion for land in Argentina to grow soya beans, corn and cotton.
Although China's domestic grain output had grown for 10 straight years, Ding said demand for imported grain had also grown. It imported nearly 14 million tonnes of cereal and cereal flours last year, an increase of more than 150 per cent from 2011.
The trend is making it more difficult to fulfil Beijing's ambition for the country to remain 90 per cent self-sufficient in food production.
"As urbanisation speeds up, consumption has led to greater food demand and domestic grain prices have stayed above global prices," Ding said. "Therefore, China has been importing more and more grain."
A country with well-developed agriculture, Ukraine is one of the world's top 10 wheat exporters.
Professor Tian Zhihong, a specialist in international agricultural trade at China Agricultural University, said Ukraine offered a number of advantages for the XPCC, such as excellent soil and experience in international trade.
The XPCC investment would also help upgrade farm technology in Ukraine, which was still relatively basic, Tian said. Chinese agricultural co-operation with Ukraine started in 2011, when the then vice-premier Zhang Dejiang signed a memorandum to create a model farm in Ukraine.
Last year, the Export-Import Bank of China approved a US$3 billion agricultural loan to the country. A fund for joint construction projects was set up, with contributions of US$600 million expected this year.
XPCC is also investing in Ukraine in other ways. It has signed a memorandum earlier this month with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on infrastructure investments in the peninsula, including an expressway, a government housing project and a bridge across the Strait of Kerch.

<http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1314902/ukraine-become-chinas-largest-overseas-farmer-3m-hectare-deal

Posted by: nakedtothebone | Feb 2 2014 13:23 utc | 32

naked
Oh yes, if a neoliberal regime is introduced to Ukraine, one of the first things it will do is restrict Chinese investment in ag land in Ukraine.

In US, Chinese investment has been restricted in IT, and Congress is looking at the Chinese investment in farm land, meat packers and other assorted industries.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2 2014 13:34 utc | 33

Ukraine is also an important source
of military tech to china.

Posted by: denk | Feb 2 2014 13:51 utc | 34

I listened to a respected economist talk about the neoliberal plan to privatize the climate no less. As I've said before, neoliberalism has become successful in their push to create world-wide fascism, not by military force this time, but by economic/financial force. Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2, 2014 7:58:04 AM | 30
Oh, yes. Way back in the 1980s, an english songwriter, I think it was gary clail, wrote a song called "they're gonna privatise the air."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 13:59 utc | 35

Mr P.,

What exactly would Russia's wrath be? It looks like Russia and China have been reactive, and not able or willing to dish out much in the way of wrath.

Posted by: Ozawa | Feb 2 2014 14:15 utc | 36

Rowan, you were right, Gary Clail, here's the song,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=08ClpJrNdqI

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2 2014 14:47 utc | 37

"The reason for those gesticulation is that the "west" is loosing its way of life and can't find any solution for it. Uber-capitalism is not providing any solution; and the left, the one that hasn't turn into neo-conservatism, is unable to provide any alternative."

In order to cure a disease, one has to first be able to analyze the dynamics of the disease properly.
Left's claim is that it has analyzed the problems with capitalism. The main achievement of the "Left" is its critique of Capitalism.
You obviously don't associate yourself with the left. On the other hand from your comment which I just quoted above, I get the impression that you have formulated an alternative? If so please make a critique of both capitalism (and also a critique of "the left's" critique of capitalism to show where the left has gone wrong in analyzing capitalism) and also present your formulated alternative.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Feb 2 2014 15:25 utc | 38

If so please make a critique of both capitalism (and also a critique of "the left's" critique of capitalism to show where the left has gone wrong in analyzing capitalism) and also present your formulated alternative. Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Feb 2, 2014 10:25:48 AM | 37
I bet you he thinks that 'real islam' would ban usury, without which kapitalizm would be aok.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 15:39 utc | 39

@ 36: Thanks okie, more relevant than ever. If they could, they would:)

Posted by: ben | Feb 2 2014 15:53 utc | 40

"No, the point I want to make is that there is a really important disinfo industry based on phony threats by phony Nazis. "

Rowan, you know very well the biggest victims of the Nazis, by sheer number, were the Soviet people in the Ukraine, in Russia and BeloRussia. With that in mind, these Nazis are not phony, nor are their threats. Most especially if those who took in the Nazis in person, and took over their ideology (with a little burnishing) in the West are trying to install them in and next too the very countries where the grandparents generation died by the tens of millions to prevent a complete genocide or enslavement of the entire Slavic population of Europe. Now: The crimes against the Jews was particularly shocking in its thoroughness and the fact that it was unleashed on a civilian population. But the same goes for the Roma, and for German Communists. So to try and imagine that the only people who might have reason to worry about Nazis would be Jews is quite off the mark.

You seem to want to spin Draister's words into something that isn't there at all - which I certainly invite anyone to read it and see if it comes off as some over-inflated worry for the Jews of the Ukraine and not a focus on the updated fascist threat like Golden Dawn and the anti-Muslim parties of the Netherlands. He focused on problem with the rightists today is that they have moved on to hating immigrants, Muslims, gays, demean women, anti-left/pro-neoliberal in substance, etc. In any case, in some quarters like the far-right in France, the Jews - because of their vicious acts in Palestine - seem to have become, like the Japanese before them, "honorary Aryans" if you will.

I laughingly wonder if his biggest crime, to you, is that he is not Gilad Atzmon.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 2 2014 16:07 utc | 41

@29"...but I defy you to find any evidence of any such practice since"

?!Not for bombing, but google any combination of eg France, anti-semitism, aliyah, you'll get page after page of Djewish blogs and newspapers decrying anti-semitism and the need to escape to Israel.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 2 2014 16:11 utc | 42

the violent elements attacking ukraine and aided by EU and US regimes are not the sort you want to see in power

Posted by: brian | Feb 2 2014 16:12 utc | 43

Guest77, what happened 60 years ago has no bearing on what is happening now. Ruralito, words are no guide to deeds. I cannot convince you guys how much of the world you see is just plain deception.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 16:16 utc | 44

Recently on Democracy Now

AMY GOODMAN: Stephen Cohen, what is your take on what’s happening in Ukraine right now?

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, it’s not what Anton said. Where to begin? Can we begin at the beginning? What’s happening in Ukraine, what’s been unfolding since November in the streets, is probably the single most important international story underway today. It may impact for a very long time the geopolitics of Europe, Russia, American-Russian relations, and a lot more. At the same time, media coverage of this story, particularly in the United States, has been exceedingly misleading, very close to what Anton just told you. I would characterize Anton’s characterization, to be as polite as I can, as half-true. But a half-truth is an untruth.

The realities are, there is no "the Ukraine." All this talk about Ukraine is on the front line of democracy—there are at least two Ukraines. One tilts toward Poland and Lithuania, the West, the European Union; the other toward Russia. This is not my notion. This is what every public opinion poll has told us since this crisis unfolded, that about 40 percent of Ukrainians want to go west, 40 percent want to stay with Russia, and, as usually true in these polls, 20 percent just don’t know or they’re not sure.

Who precipitated this crisis? It was the European Union, in this sense. It gave the Ukrainian government, which, by the way, is a democratically elected government—if you overthrow this government, just like they overthrew Morsi in Egypt, you’re dealing a serious blow to democracy. So if the crowd manages to essentially carry out a coup d’état from the streets, that’s what democracy is not about. But here’s what the European Union did back in November. It told the government of Ukraine, "If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia." Why not? Putin has said, "Why don’t the three of us have an arrangement? We’ll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine." The chancellor of Germany, Merkel, at first thought that was a good idea, but she backed down for various political reasons. So, essentially, Ukraine was given an ultimatum: sign the EU economic agreement or else.

Now, what was that agreement? It would have been an economic catastrophe for Ukraine. I’m not talking about the intellectuals or the people who are well placed, about ordinary Ukrainians. The Ukrainian economy is on the brink of a meltdown. It needed billions of dollars. What did the European Union offer them? The same austerity policies that are ravaging Europe, and nothing more—$600 million. It needed billions and billions.

There’s one other thing. If you read the protocols of the European offer to Ukraine, which has been interpreted in the West as just about civilizational change, escaping Russia, economics, democracy, there is a big clause on military cooperation. In effect, by signing this, Ukraine would have had to abide by NATO’s military policies. What would that mean? That would mean drawing a new Cold War line, which used to be in Berlin, right through the heart of Slavic civilization, on Russia’s borders. So that’s where we’re at to now.

One other point: These right-wing people, whom Anton thinks are not significant, all reports—and I don’t know when he was in Ukraine, maybe it was long ago and things have gone—but the reports that are coming out of Ukraine are the following. One, the moderates—that’s the former heavyweight champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko, and others—have lost control of the street. They’ve asked the people who have been attacking the police with Molotov cocktails, and to vacate the buildings they’ve occupied, to stop. And the street will not stop, partly because—I’d say largely because—the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists. And that extremism has spread to western Ukraine, where these people are occupying government buildings. So, in fact, you have a political civil war underway.

What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I’m talking about this—it’s not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine—Putin quoted this, but it doesn’t make it false. It doesn’t make it false; it’s been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

The first victims of any revolution—I don’t know if this is a revolution, but the first victims of any revolution are the moderates. And the moderates have lost control of what they created, helped by the European Union and the American government back in November. And so, now anything is possible, including two Ukraines.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/30/debate_is_ukraines_opposition_a_democratic

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2 2014 16:51 utc | 45

It is very easy to waste time pointing to the contradictions, double standards and hypocrisy in the "west"'s attitudinising over Kiev.

In reality their objection is almost as much to the Ukrainian government's impotence and limp wristed ineffectuality as it is to its vague alliance with Russia. The US government and its EU puppets do not like to see such weakness: Generalissimo and Field Marshal Sissi is much more to their taste. Him or Pinochet, Suharto or the late lamented Franco and Petain.

Is there no Football Stadium, the White House asks itself, where protestors could be tortured to death and buried under the turf?
Are there no machine guns for the Police to decimate disorderers?
Are there no helicopters to drop barrel bombs- the protestors make a perfect target?
Can they, at the very least, not be "kettled" into back alleys and beaten into a pulp?

These are the questions that Kerry and his like are asking: there is a Darwinian aspect to it all-they want nothing to do with any government that cannot suppress protests with exemplary violence. Were Yankuvitch to surround the square and fill it with poison gas, as did the Queen's great friend the ruler of Bahrain, he would earn the respect of the "west."

The most interesting aspect of what is going on in Kiev is not the transparently false "reasoning" behind the protests- this is an ancient quarrel in which EU membership is merely symbolic- but the fact of the rioting and the level of violence employed. Putting aside the sordid associations of the "leaders", it is instructive to look at the rioters' success, their tactics are worth evaluating in purely military terms.

Would they work on Wall St, if that were occupied again? Can they be adapted to Athens when the EU orders every second Greek to commit suicide to make room for tourists? Would they facilitate the speedy emptying of the stock in the new Shopping Mall in Leeds, when the next Mark Duggan is liquidated for fun?

As b notes that is the real question-what has got into the heads of the "west"'s rulers to make them think that they are invulnerable to popular disturbances?

My guess is that it is an American thing, the USA being the one country whose ruling class has always managed to put down popular risings with such extreme violence that they stay put down. The one country, spared thanks to immigration and racism, the development of a mass socialist movement.
The truth is that so hegemonic has the US ideology become that its allies/satraps in France, Britain, Germany etc have adopted it-the product of American experience and history- as its own. They have consumed the Kool Aid, they think that they are Americans. More to the point they think their countrymen are. They think that they can glorify violent rioting in Kiev without consequences in Barcelona, Glasgow or Lyons.

No doubt they trust the NSA and its Five (Blue) Eyes to provide them with advance warning and the precise location of the troublemakers.

The big question, for Kerry and his creatures-and this is the reason they are escalating their provocations- is when will Putin show his hand. According to their script the army, backed up by Russia, should have goose stepped into Kiev weeks ago. They wanted another variation on Brezhnev's 1968 march on Prague. It was called for in the script.
It was to be the cue for outrage "We cannot deal with these animals!!! They are just like Hitler." To be accompanied by an immediate walk out from talks in Geneva, for example. An Israeli attack on Hezbollah. And so on... we've seen it all before. Boycotting the Sochi Olympics... etc.

Instead Putin is being very mild and conciliatory, tip toeing around the traps as if he'd studied at the Bolshoi. So the US keeps upping the ante.
And the spectacle of the disorderly in Kiev and Lvov attracts more and more viewers.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 2 2014 17:02 utc | 46

You would certainly expect Democracy Now to hit exactly the same notes that I have been criticising. But to return to the bases of reality: in this world, nothing gets anywhere without money. Supposing that the leaders of the ultra-right-wing groups had no control over the street gangs, which is not the case, then very simply the supply of money would be stopped and the gangs would dissipate because their paymasters had vanished. Anyone who still clings to the mythology of the well-funded neo-Nazi network just waiting through the decades for a chance to take control, needs to ask themselves who and where the funders of this supposed network actually are. And they will find that what funders there are know very well which side their own bread is buttered (as the english phrase has it). They know that there is only one side with butter on it, for them, and that is the NATO side. Hence, all this apocalyptic fantasy material will just blow away, like a will-of-the-wisp. If no one is going to pay for it to continue to exist, then it will not continue to exist. From the point of view of one who has grasped these basic facts about the world, it is evident that is Democracy Now and such 'progressive liberals' or whatever they call themselves, who are victims of irrational fears and fantasies. Doubtless the neo-Nazi groupuscules will be gratified to have scared them so much, but nevertheless, their fantasy does not have any basis in reality.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 17:52 utc | 47

"Guest77, what happened 60 years ago has no bearing on what is happening now."

That would seem to be the incredibly short view of history.

The longer view might be that the US would like nothing more than to continue its manifest destiny, pouring west out of Alaska and into Siberia. Not that they'd be so crass as to grant Kamchatka statehood or anything - but the idea that the Russians of all people should sit on that vast expanse of gold, oil, diamonds, timber, minerals and everything else is almost too much for a poor frontiersman's descendant to bear!

If the Ukraine goes to the EU in the zero-sum fashion that the EU is demanding, then we'll be back at 1918 with a German victory. With Russia open to Islamic radicals from the south and a high tech military force a hundred miles from Moscow, then surely the time will be right for some color revolutions in Siberia.

But of course we live in an era of nuclear weapons and a globe that has war seared into its consciousness (well, not in the US, and only partially in the UK) - so the pursuing such fanciful ideas coming from Western "strategic thinkers" means likely nothing more than the end of the world.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 2 2014 18:08 utc | 48

Rowan, I expect that NED is funding all the protest groups in Ukraine, along with USAID. I also expect that DN did not expect Cohen to say what he did. After all, he had been a frequent commentator during the Cold War, generally chastising Russia from the standpoint of a 'liberal' and as the premier historian on Russia, he was influential in many policy forums. I was surprised when he made the statements he did. I'm sure Amy was surprised too. Cohen is now retired, and not in much demand, perhaps it's easier for him to speak freely.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 2 2014 18:20 utc | 49

Galloway has talks Ukraine on the second half of this week's Sputnik (and how the UK bloodily put down protests in Ireland on the first): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ_koVgPKPg

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 2 2014 18:29 utc | 50

@43, "I cannot convince you guys how much of the world you see is just plain deception."

You guys? Could you be more specific? But you CAN convince "us". Just use your words. I may be floundering around in the dark, but I am amenable to a certain explication of cause and effect.

My one path is direct through the bones of the living - T Hughes

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 2 2014 18:32 utc | 51

"What makes Golden Dawn such an insidious threat is the fact that, despite their central ideology of Nazism, their anti-EU, anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many in the economically devastated Greece. As with many fascist movements in the 20th Century, Golden Dawn scapegoats immigrants, Muslim and African primarily, for many of the problems facing Greeks. In dire economic circumstances, such irrational hate becomes appealing; an answer to the question of how to solve society’s problems...."

I don't agree with everything in Draitser's analysis-what actually makes Golden Dawn such a threat is that it can count on the support of the capitalist class whenever needed. Plus, of course, the support, which it probably already gets, of MI5 the CIA and German Intelligence.

But that is just my reading, a mere difference in emphasis.
Rowan's "demolition" tells us more about his monomania/racism than it does about either Draitser or the Ukraine. I hope he snaps out of it before it is too late: there really is an immense difference between root and branch opposition to the fascist zionists who run Israel and their sub-imperialism, on the one hand, and persons of Jewish heritage on the other. Nor does the fact that anti-semitism is married to islamophobia make it any less idiotic.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 2 2014 19:01 utc | 52

@pirouz_2
I have not formulated an alternative and I have never said or implied here that I don't consider myself from "left". But I do consider the IRI as a political force for positive change in the world, which I don't think you or Rowan will agree with. This will in my mind put you 2 much closer to the neo-cons camp that you might think of yourself.
I would also say that I find myself agreeing with some of your analysis about the capitalist system, but I can't say the same thing about Rowan since I've never seen him analyzing events but rather making remarks about them.

Posted by: ATH | Feb 2 2014 19:19 utc | 53

A quick look at the dirty smiles and the shifty eyes of the signers of the papers to dissolve the Soviet Union tell you how we got to today.

Stabbing the Empire: Last Day of Soviet Union
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvoa25IiUEo

"It was clear Yeltsin had just come from a social function..." That's the nicest way to say sloppy drunk I've ever heard, perhaps a little of that famous Russian humor Hoarsewhisperer is so fond of.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 2 2014 19:25 utc | 54

nakedtothebone@31 - i am sure china is watching the ukraine situation very closely and are adopting a more calculated position towards the developments as russia is doing. i can't help but think the support for the overthrow of a democracy by the west is like the actions of a dog that has gone rabid and completely lost control. this is how i view the wests support for upheaval in the ukraine..

okie farmer @44 - thanks for that.. i didn't realize the limited options that were presented to ukraine if they were to join the eu.

bevin @45 - thanks for sharing your overview on this. putin seems to be a much better poker player then kerry could never dream of being.

Posted by: james | Feb 2 2014 19:36 utc | 55

This was in the NYT, on jan 28, and it totally contradicts the now meme that the ukrainian insurgents are anti-semitic thugs. I should say both memes are complete rubbish, this one and the opposite one, but here is an extract. The article is here.

If anyone is promoting hatred it is the government. My friend Josef Zissels, chairman of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, wrote a few days ago that the website of Berkut, the special police force (and a final line of defense for the powers that be) had been “flooded with anti-Semitic materials that allege that the Jews are to blame for organizing at Maidan,” the central square, which has become synonymous with the protests. Mr Zissels wrote: "This is completely absurd, but those who are armed with batons and shields, now facing the protesters, believe this. They are brainwashed into believing that the Maidan is a Jewish project, and thus there is no need to take pity on anyone — you can beat them all."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 2 2014 19:37 utc | 56


Those in the west who are supporting the opposition in the Ukraine try to disturb the ties between Russia and the EU. Since quite some time, the US wants to stop the flow of Russian gas to western Europe. If things get worse in Kiev and Russia is forced to intervene, this goal might be reached. The politicians in the EU who are supporting this Ukrainian folly seem to be under the control of Washington.

With this foolish policy against Ukraine, the western powers will, in the future, find it difficult to motivate Russia to help them in Syria. The Kremlin will be much more reluctant to push the Syrian government to attend conferences or to help to free French (or other western) agents arrested by Government forces in Syria.

Posted by: alpino | Feb 2 2014 21:54 utc | 57

guest@53
I always thought Yeltsin was a West intelligence operative. He certainly got lots of support from US, particularly in media.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 3 2014 0:03 utc | 58

bevin #51 "what actually makes Golden Dawn such a threat is that it can count on the support of the capitalist class whenever needed. Plus, of course, the support, which it probably already gets, of MI5 the CIA and German Intelligence."

I understand that this fits into a certain rhetorical Feindbild, but is there any evidence for it? In fact we see lots of evidence that the establishment "Left" (Tsipras/SYRIZA) is heavily supported by NATO élites as it works tirelessly with the neoliberal right against the working class in Greece, among whom GD has increased credibility because of bipartisan government efforts to ban it and free speech across the board.

Takis Fotopoulos provides thoughtful analysis of the real situation in Greece for anyone who wants to go beyond mainstream media clichés.

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/index.htm

see in particular "5. The disorienting role of the 'Left'" at

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/index.htm

and this: "In Greece, for instance, a so-called "anti-racist" bill is now being passed through Parliament, which effectively bans freedom of thought (not action!). This bill means, for example, that if somebody supported the national liberation struggle of the Syrian Baathist leadership against the TE and the criminals, pretending to be rebels, who have destroyed this country, s/he might end up in jail for supporting war crimes against humanity."

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/vol9/vol9_no1-2_takis_Fascism_or_the_Bankruptcy_of_the_Left.html

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 3 2014 1:27 utc | 59

@57 He certainly was a crass pig. A CNN anchor in the linked show has the gall to attempt to call him the "George Washington" of modern Russia. He has a far easier claim on being her Jefferson Davis. I think there is no doubt that if anyone is to go down in history as the "Father" of this incarnation of Russia, it will be Vladimir Putin, without a doubt. Yeltsin was, and will likely always remain roundly reviled as a drunken miscreant who destroyed his country - as he was.

All I recall, and confirmed by continuing interest in the subject, is that Yeltsin immersed his country into depression and disaster and snuffed out Russian democracy in its cradle, all seemingly at the behest of the elements in the US that would, eventually, do the same to our country here. I don't know enough of the history to know if he was an actual agent, but he could hardly have done more to destroy Russia if he had been.

Its only a wikipedia entry, but it gives a good enough run down of his crowning achievement: the 1993 Constitutional Crisis. And, just as bevin suggests in @45, he certainly earned the respect of the West with his authoritarian bloodletting. It was the perfect example of neoliberalism in action: the looting of an economy, making a mockery of democracy, and leaving the streets soaked in the blood of all those opposed to the plan - all to fawning media applause, of course.

Despite the urging of petty fools to remove him, Lenin certainly deserves his tomb overlooking Red Square. And I would suggest that Yeltsin deserves his: forever stuck under what looks like nothing so much as a crumpled up Russian flag thrown on the ground - which is, for all intents and purposes - what he accomplished with his "rule".

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 3 2014 2:13 utc | 60

"snuffed out Russian democracy in its cradle"

On a re-read, this could better read "ripped up the Russian Constitution to much Western praise"

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 3 2014 2:18 utc | 61

ANNE APPLEBAUM, PROFESSIONAL MOURNER
By John Dolan


The crimes of history are optional. We mix, match and discard according to taste and convenience. It’s useful for Applebaum’s Tory backers to remember Stalin’s crimes because they can still use them to bash anyone who might want to beef up the National Health system with higher taxes. “Today an extra 1% VAT on my Jag convertible, tomorrow Kolyma!” is a very familiar war cry from these crusaders for human rights.

http://exiledonline.com/anne-applebaum-professional-mourner/

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 3 2014 2:42 utc | 62

Cu thanks for the links. Takis agrees with me on several important points, but I liked this one especially.
excerpt:
-----------------
Fascism or the Bankruptcy of the Left?

The anti-EU movement spreads all over Europe...apart from Ukraine*

TAKIS FOTOPOULOS

The occupying troops that are now destroying and plundering Greece (or Portugal, Spain and Italy) and its weakest social strata (with the full cooperation of a small, local privileged elite which controls the media, the political parties, the "Left" intelligentsia etc.) are not a regular army in uniform and with lethal weapons of physical violence at their disposal, but an economic army in suits, possessing equally lethal instruments of economic violence, as well as the means to justify it.

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/vol9/vol9_no1-2_takis_Fascism_or_the_Bankruptcy_of_the_Left.html#_ednref5

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 3 2014 3:43 utc | 63

Here's an even more poignant piece.

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/vol9/vol9_no1-2_takis_Globalization_End_of_the_Left_Right_Divide_Part_I.html

Globalization and the End of the Left-Right Divide (Part I)*

TAKIS FOTOPOULOS

A new political phenomenon, which characterizes the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization and the parliamentary junta, is the effective abolition of the old political divide – established formally during the French Revolution – between Right and Left. On the Right, were all those political forces that supported the continuation and reproduction of the "establishment", once represented by the monarchy and later by bourgeois parliamentary "democracy" and the capitalist market economy, while on the Left were those who advocated the overthrow of the establishment in the above sense, ranging from anti-monarchists to Marxists, anarchists, antisystemic ecologists (unlike today's washed-out Greens) etc. By definition, then, the Right supported "law and order" and whatever that implied in terms of inequality, hierarchy and the privileges of the advantaged social strata, while the Left essentially fought for the overthrow of the “status quo” and ― to varying degrees ― for the equal distribution of political, economic and social power.

The main arena in which the struggle between Left and Right was taking place was the nation-state, even if the Left – particularly the Marxist (but also the libertarian) Left – was traditionally internationalist, until it adopted in practice the strategy of "socialism in one country" because of the objective conditions it faced, although in theory it remained internationalist. However, it is precisely this arena that is being eliminated by the current NWO, which is literally "pulling the rug" from under the traditional Left-Right divide. The consequences are the seismic changes that we see today across the whole political spectrum.

As regards the Left, an undeniable symptom of this phenomenon is the political bankruptcy of the traditional Left, both in the narrow sense of its electoral percentages, and, most importantly, in the broader sense of its traditional conception as the subversive mass movement that mainly attracted the popular strata, and not the privileged "Leftists" of the bourgeoisie who seek minor reforms through the degenerate "Left", as is the case now. In other words, even though this “Left” continues to survive politically, this does not change the fact that it has been fully integrated into the NWO, as its demands are anything but subversive. On the other hand, the part of it which belongs to the communist Left theoretically makes subversive demands, which however remain theoretical, since they are not accompanied by a transitional programme and subversive political action. And this is true of any party or organization today that defines itself as Left, communist, anarchist, "Green", etc, if it does not challenge – both in theory and in practice – the NWO itself, i.e. globalization (which can only be neoliberal within the system of a capitalist market economy) and the main international institutions implementing the neoliberal policies, such as the EU, preferring instead to wait for revolution before demanding withdrawal from such institutions and imposing economic self-reliance. That is why this entire "Left" can no longer attract the popular strata – who are the main victims of globalization – on a mass scale.

But seismic changes can also be seen on the Right, as evidenced by the fact that the traditional conservative parties of today have only survived thanks to the social strata which have clearly benefited from globalization and which therefore sustain them, while they have been losing support from the popular strata who were embourgeoised during the period of social democracy but are now getting poorer because of the mass unemployment and poverty that globalization brings! Thus, these increasingly conservative popular strata that are being crushed by globalization are now leaving the established Right but are not crossing over to the degenerate "Left" which has been fully integrated into the NWO either. Crucially, these popular strata are not joining the communist, or the pseudo-libertarian Left forces, who are supposedly fighting for self-management but who “fail” to see the strangulation of the popular strata through globalization, the EU etc going on right under their noses!

It is these popular strata which are currently shifting en masse towards nationalist parties such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP), to the point that even the most authoritative newspaper of the economic elite, the Financial Times, has emphasized that a wind of Euroscepticism, going as far as to raise the demand for withdrawal from the EU, is sweeping across Europe[1] (15.10.2013). Contrary to the malicious propaganda of the transnational elite, which enjoys the support of the entire degenerate Left, this does not mean that the millions of Europeans who are turning against the EU and, indirectly, against globalization itself, have suddenly become Nazis, as though we were living in the 1930s. National socialism and social democracy itself are impossible today, as both flourished during the era of the nation-state which, under globalization. is dead and buried. Nor does it mean that the fact that as much as 30 per cent of the new parliament, following next year’s Euro-elections, will comprise eurosceptics, have suddenly become racists. As the FT report stresses, the exptected massive influx of Eurosceptics in the next European Parliament, which even ardent European federalists now concede, will simply mean that the nationalist parties ‘are capitalising on the economic misery and high levels of unemployment that are plaguing the continent’.[2] It is indeed characteristic that the more these parties get rid of racist or extremist right-wing elements in their politics, the more their percentages rise, as the meteoric rise of Le Pen in France showed lately.

At this crucial historical juncture that will determine whether we shall all become subservient to neoliberal globalization and the transnational elite, it is imperative that we create a Popular Front in each country which will include all the victims of globalization among the popular strata, regardless of their current political affiliations. In Greece, in particular, where the popular strata are facing economic disaster, what is needed urgently is not an "antifascist" Front, as proposed by the parties of the parliamentary junta, supported also by the degenerate “Left” (such as SYRIZA, whose leader A. Tsipras is a candidate for the post of the president of the European Commission!) which would unite aggressors and victims. An ‘antifascist’ front would simply disorient the masses and make them incapable of facing the real fascism being imposed on them by the political and economic elites, which constitute the transnational and local elites. Their criminal policies have already led to almost a third of the active population and over 60 percent of the young being unemployed, to Greek disposable income being almost halved and to a huge rise in poverty with thousands of people having committed suicide since the “crisis” began three years ago. Instead, what is needed is a Popular Front that could attract the vast majority of the people who would fight for immediate unilateral withdrawal from the EU – which is managed by the European part of the transnational elite – as well as for economic self-reliance, thus breaking with globalization.

This would allow also a genuine, new form of internationalism to be built from below, while creating the preconditions necessary for the people to decide, democratically, what kind of socio-economic system they would like in order to achieve an authentic form of popular power.

* This is an edited version of an article that was first published (in Greek) in the Athens daily Sunday’s Eleftherotypia, on 20/10/2013

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 3 2014 4:08 utc | 64

And this is an outline of Takis' book.
Subjugating the Middle East: Integration into the New World Order - Vol. 2, Engineered Insurrections

This book is part of a two-volume work seeking to demystify the nature and causes of the Arab 'revolutions' (the 'Arab Spring'). It is shown that the aim of the transnational elite, which informally administers globalization, has always been the same in all these 'revolutions', including the attempted color revolution in Iran in 2009. That aim has been to secure the full integration of all Arab regimes and Iran into the New World Order (NWO). This Order was established following the collapse of the Soviet block and the parallel universalization through neoliberal globalization of the internationalized market economy and its political complement, representative 'democracy'.
Globalization is not only economic. It is also political. First, because as nation-states lose their economic sovereignty they wither away, and, second, because globalization implies a compatible type of political structure that facilitates it. As representative 'democracy' has proven much more effective than the usual authoritarian regimes in imposing the huge concentration of economic power, incomes and wealth that globalization brings, a Muslim Brotherhood-based 'democratization' has been selected by the elites local and foreign to achieve the Arab world s full integration into the NWO.

Finally, globalization also has an ideological dimension that justifies the need for the drastic restriction of national sovereignty, under the pretext of protecting human rights and the implied new doctrine of 'Responsibility to Protect'.

However, an important element of the Arab Spring is that, although the aim of the transnational elite has been the same everywhere, they have targeted the various countries by different means, which are variations of the Western-instigated color 'revolutions' in Eastern Europe.

Broadly, we may distinguish between two main forms of integration into the NWO:

First, integration through a form of fake democratization (volume 1). This refers to the client regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, in which the transnational elite provided the trigger for the uprisings that took place which were 'waiting to happen' as well as the very efficient internet infrastructures to back them up. Furthermore, it was the same elite that helped 'guide' these uprisings through NGOs and other controlled organizations, so that these 'revolutions' would not in any way threaten their aims. These were to replace local political elites with personnel who would be in a better position, through their 'democratic' credentials, to achieve the full integration of these countries into the NWO. At the same time, they would cooperate in creating the preconditions for the pre-planned armed insurrections in Libya and Syria.

Second, integration through engineered insurrections (volume 2). These were launched against the non-client regimes in Libya and Syria and were, in fact, pre-planned armed insurrections masquerading as popular uprisings. The campaigns to overthrow these governments depended critically on foreign fighters, comprising NATO special forces, various mercenaries, usually funded by Gulf regimes, and Al Qaida jihadis keen to eliminate secular Arab regimes. In both Libya and Syria, the engineered armed insurrections were to be complemented by Western military intervention for regime change. Another reason making the demystification of the Arab Spring particularly important, is that its nature has been completely distorted by an unprecedented manipulation of world public opinion. Not only was the 'silent majority' in Western 'democracies' controlled through the official media, as usual, but also the 'activist minorities' were harnessed through the alternative (social) media. Last but not least, the international liberal 'Left' actually supported the campaigns for regime change by endorsing the so-called 'revolutionaries' participating in the Arab Spring.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 3 2014 4:31 utc | 65

there really is an immense difference between root and branch opposition to the fascist zionists who run Israel and their sub-imperialism, on the one hand, and persons of Jewish heritage on the other. Nor does the fact that anti-semitism is married to islamophobia make it any less idiotic. Posted by: bevin | Feb 2, 2014 2:01:12 PM | 51
Bevin, I know what you mean. I appreciate your efforts to hang on to concrete human values in the middle of this whirlpool of illusion. But nevertheless, I maintain that the entire 'Jews in peril' routine is just a game they play, and they play it well, very convincingly, all of them, because they've been playing it for - what - how many hundred years? for whatever empire is posing as their protector. It's an act of deliberately stupifying complexity. As if you were watching a magician with a rabbit and a hat, performing onstage for you. But not only can the magician and the rabbit impersonate each other, they can also, both of them, impersonate the hat.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 3 2014 7:17 utc | 66

yes, okie farmer, as you cite: "Contrary to the malicious propaganda of the transnational elite, which enjoys the support of the entire degenerate Left, this does not mean that the millions of Europeans who are turning against the EU and, indirectly, against globalization itself, have suddenly become Nazis, as though we were living in the 1930s. National socialism and social democracy itself are impossible today, as both flourished during the era of the nation-state which, under globalization. is dead and buried. Nor does it mean that the fact that as much as 30 per cent of the new parliament, following next year’s Euro-elections, will comprise eurosceptics, have suddenly become racists."

all this "antifascist" talk directed at populist movements as though they (however misguided) constituted the real danger is malicious, self-serving, and deeply dishonest--not sure, as RB implies re. Draitser & Chussodovsky, that all who engage in this are disinfo agents, but they are as much out of sync with the times as those who dream of Mussolini/Metaxa, and they are deceiving at least themselves, presumably to gain some spurious sense of worth

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 3 2014 9:04 utc | 67

re #53: the way that the Soviet Union was simply dissolved without addressing the problems the dissolution would cause was a major tragedy and is still causing problems. For starters, it left millions of ethnic Russians stranded outside their country. Their position went from that of a privileged minority to that of an unwanted, mistrusted one, sometimes shut out of citizenship due to language restrictions (as in the Baltic states).

It allowed petty tyrants and dictators to gain power in Belarus and in Central Asia. And it created complete chaos for trade and industrial/economic infrastructure.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Feb 3 2014 12:14 utc | 68

It allowed petty tyrants and dictators to gain power in Belarus and in Central Asia.

I don't know about Belarus, but in Central Asia the Russians didn't play a role in bringing the dictators to power, as far as I know, and I've been going there since 1993. Rather the dictators have been pushing the Russians out. Indeed nearly everywhere the numbers of colonial Russians have declined drastically since independence.

Posted by: Alexno | Feb 3 2014 12:46 utc | 69

The political, military concept is cold war "Gladio", if a country falls to "Communism/the Russian Empire/out of hegemony" leave pockets of resistance/terrorism behind, making sure political and economic integration will fail. If you cannot win at least you can try to cause maximum damage to your enemy.
Presumably these Gladio type of contacts are still maintained throughout Eastern Europe and Germany - I wish Germans were more inquisitive with their government on that.
Ukrainians have to wonder if it is truly patriotic or in their interest to get caught up in this kind of strategy. A position at the frontline between the Russian Empire and European expansion should work for their interest if they do not let themselves get played.
Economically, Germany would love to integrate with Eastern Europe and Russia, the large number of educated young people, the market, knowing full well that Eastern European/Russian industries are not competitive at the same time gaining access to reliable gas and resources.
The issue - simply put - is this

Competitiveness, climate change and security of supply were all important for Europe, he explained, but were treated differently by Russia in its role as a natural gas supplier. Europe, he said, wanted energy to be governed by supply and demand and access to pipelines was seen as a “rent sharing” agreement.

“It's also a discussion on pricing and, of course, on the type of contracts,” he said.

Showing demand and supply between the EU and Russia, he said that exporters emphasized their resources as a part of national sovereignty, energy as a “common good” and energy infrastructure as a national development imperative.

Germany is at least two faced about this. I would suppose, the interest of Germany's industry is not so much to integrate into an US free trade competitive market as to an East European uncompetitive market with lots of chances to do energy deals. Historically Germany has always expanded to Eastern Europe and Russia.

For some reason, this year Germany commemorated the "Liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Union" including the victim that were "Polish, Sinti and Roma or brought to Auschwitz for other reasons", plus the starvation of the siege of Leningrad.

In addition to Gauck's remarks in Munich.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 3 2014 15:27 utc | 70

I don’t think the situation is as clear-cut as b makes out in the top post, of course it is short, one has to go to the essence. I agree with the West-bashing, overall, absolutely.

Virgile at 9 mentions that many ‘groups’ (paraphrasing) in the Ukraine are dissatisfied, imho their beefs can be considered valid, if they can find no expression in the present political arrangement, some kind of social disturbance(s) may or did occur, V mentions the internet, etc.

- Syria 3 years ago is an ex. if very different.. (Opposition there was evident and rumbling for a long time - Damascus decl. 2005 and more - and then the drought which killed the countryside..)

The manifestations of opposition may be ‘recuperated’ immediately, without comprehension by the original opponents, by:

a) radical troublemakers of any stripe, non-political/religious, mostly young men (will fight security services, police, army)

b) figures (or tight tiny circles) who see an opportunity for power, fame, fortune, who try to play a leading role and often succeed because the oppo is not organized and often has very low-level demands, such as to be heard, get a seat at the table, lower bread prices, respect Unions, prevent predatory rents, free political prisoners, etc., citizen-peaceful-type-revolt..which everyone has been trained in!

c) infiltrated foreign elements on the ground obeying other masters, foreign interference from outside the country with threats, crackdowns, sanctions, blame, tongue in cheek ‘negotiations’, to promote their mostly financial, commercial, corporate interests.

Makes a heady stew.

What is there to win but trouble? - b.

Nothing much (see Iraq today, though a few made out like bandits), but the play-book is now an institution, that is the way things go, and everyone follows along, the pundits, the UN, the world leaders, the NGOs, the opponents in Ukraine, the local bloggers, ‘leftist’ Stars, etc. etc.

Call it: Revolution by twitter, the end of the so-called democratic model, the rise of a new world order, the gasps of a failing Empire, the end of Nation states, the ultimate fight between Russia and America, the oppression of ordinary ppl, the rise of Corporations who increasingly control land, resources, ppl - all have some truth.

So everyone - everyone! who is in the game scrambles for a seat at the increasingly narrow, restricted, table.

How to prevail, dominate, is up in the air.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 3 2014 17:47 utc | 71

"...this "antifascist" talk directed at populist movements as though they (however misguided) constituted the real danger is malicious, self-serving, and deeply dishonest--
Cu Chulainn@67

You are absolutely right.You are right too about the fact that Draitser et al are merely unsophisticated analysts, hidebound by the ideology against which they struggle, and on no question more than that of populism. To view them otherwise and attribute ulterior motives and treachery to what is no more than shallow thinking and routine-ism is unrealistic and self defeating. In politics too the perfect and pure is the enemy of good: so long as capitalism's enemies fight among themselves, the ruling class has nothing to worry about.

This fear of the masses and suspicion of any popular movements not directed by politically correct vanguards is endemic on the "left." We see it in some cases in the fear of religious currents in popular movements. Given that atheism is almost inconceivable in many communities this insistence on prefacing any political action by demonstrating that God doesn't exist and all priests are crooks tends to put a damper on things.

The problem is that intellectuals are reluctant to recognise that neither literacy nor philosophical study is necessary for peasants and poor people to work out that their pockets are being picked and that the property that they lack was criminally taken from them or their ancestors.

Anyone who believes that, in order to get to grips with the causes of the current crises, it is necessary first to recruit, indoctrinate and organise cadres of teachers to go among the people and instruct them in economics and philosophy and build an hierarchically organised party to mobilise forces against the state, must be pessimistic to the point of cynicism and committed to time lines of struggle such that it would be fifty-fifty whether the species did not disappear before the capitalist class.

We constantly use these "left/right" terms thinking very little of their origins. In eurocentric terms this is not wholly unreasonable, but in most of the world, which has not and cannot, happily, "develop" in the way that the imperial metropolitan areas (Europe and north America) did, the politics of the 1790s in France are worse than irrelevant, they are misleading.

Western political theories assume that the peasantry and rural life are obsolescent and, hence, barely worth talking about let alone studying. This is nonsense: an urbanised, industrialised world is impossible and very undesirable. The truth is that an anti-capitalist strategy involves expanding the peasant sector, throwing resources into horticulture and reversing the tide of immiseration and confiscation which washed so many hundreds of millions out of the countryside into city slums.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 3 2014 19:22 utc | 72

No, sorry. The author seems more than a bit of a crank, making a call for a "popular front" while calling the most genuinely popular party in Greece - Syriza - "degenerate tools of transnational elite".

First off, how can he speak of Syriza as having "no popular base" when they lead over all other parties in the Greek opinion polls? And how can he blanket call Syriza a "tool of the transnational elite" knowing that the party itself has many groups with differing opinions inside of it? Knowing that the "transnational elite" itself has gone out of their way to prevent any referendum that might bring them more power? Then he wants to use some factoid about Tsipras to call them part of a "parliamentary junta"? Total bullshit. The fact is Syriza is one excellent example of a genuine left party that has swept away degenerate left party, not an example of a degenerate party. This is something to look forward too across Europe, not to suddenly act as if it is same old thing.

Second, when people talk about "anti-fascist" for the most part they aren't discussing UKIP and New Democracy parties - they're talking masked thugs such as the EDL and Golden Dawn. Obviously the two are very, very different. The author seems to not quite understand what people mean by anti-fascist - meaning against the cops beating immigrants and protestors on the street - which isn't surprising for someone who can't write the word left with out a preceding it with "degenerate".

There is no doubt that the crisis is pushing all sorts to rebellion, and there should be some common cause made. But there still is an important gulf in values in many of these countries that still revolve around a left/right paradigm wether people like it or not - and if you think "left" and "right" still doesn't apply greatly, especially in places like South America and South Asia, you're fooling yourself a bit.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 4 2014 2:38 utc | 73

As for Draitser: having listened to a couple of his podcasts and cringed at his lousy looking site, I cannot understand for the life of me how he has landed so many speaking gigs on PressTV and RT.

I could nominate five commenters on this site alone who have more prescient analysis.

The only thing I can figure out - he has that magic quality vital to a television and radio personality: he can speak endlessly on things he knows little to nothing about, all while sounding as if he does.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 4 2014 2:48 utc | 74

guest, I more agree with you than not about Syriza, with one caveat, Tspris is playing a cautious game knowing that the only escape for Greece will be an exit from the EZ which will also lead to an exit from EU. Meanwhile a majority of Greeks don't want a Grexit. The hard truth is they can't recover in any way while they're in the EZ, and yet their highest wish is to remain in it. Tspris knows that. I think he manages to come to power, he will force Germany to "force" Greece out of the EZ. There is a blog authored by Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek economist where he recently said:

"No. Greece must never give Berlin the excuse to argue that Greece wanted out. That way, they will blame Greece for the breakup. No, let Berlin violate the spirit and the letter of the Treaties by unlawfully pushing a member-state out. Especially if Greece’s proposals are rational and pro-European (e.g. the Modest Proposal), Berlin will think twice before behaving like a villain in public. Where I agree with you is that Greece must lose no more time. It must provoke this confrontation ASAP. So that either the Eurozone is fixed speedily or it is disbanded speedily – by Germany’s hand."

He has an unofficial relationship with Syriza, advisor/counsel to Tspris, or something. But I'm hoping that if/when Tspris come to power he will do all he can to destroy the EZ. I live in France and many of my neighbors are anti-EZ, and anti-EU - of course, I'm extremely anti-EZ. Marine LaPin has a pretty good chance coming to power here if Sarkozy if stays out the presidential fray.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 4 2014 7:30 utc | 75

hello guest77

in calling for a Popular Front T. Fotopoulos is alluding to the political movement of the same name in 1930s France; the word "popular" in Greek (laiko) resonates with "populist" or French "classes populaires", not with "popularity". It is true that SYRIZA currently enjoys the greatest popularity in Greece, but its base is not the popular classes but the Bohème-bourgeois (bobo) left. You are right that there are genuine popular tendencies within SYRIZA (Glezos for example) but the party is dominated by Tsipras (from whom Varoufakis has also broken, I understand); the popular classes as such are more dominant in the Greek communist party (KKE) and GD.

I hope Tsipras is as you believe him to be; you could only call Fotopoulos' mention of his EU candidacy a factoid if you are innocent of TF's voluminous writings on the subject. It is a highly pertinent fact given that the past leader of forerunner Synaspismos, the Tsipras of her day 20 years ago, is arch-eurocrat Maria Damanaki. This candidacy fits with Tsipras concessions to EU/US elites (on numerous US visits) whom the popular part of his constituency understand as the heart of the problem. sadly okiefarmer is, I believe, mistaken that a Tsipras government would lead Greece out of the EU, he has already made it clear that his goal is to keep Greece in the EU against all odds

As Michael Hudson reminds us, it is the job of a politician to sell out his constituency.

As for "antifascists," the street gangs in France known as "antifas"(apparently enjoying some government protection) are a good illustration:

http://www.egaliteetreconciliation.fr/Courrier-des-lecteurs-22662.html

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 4 2014 11:41 utc | 76

Cu, I'm open minded I may be mistaken about Tsipras, and I knew that Varoufakis has distanced himself somewhat from him, however if he comes to power, he will have few alternatives to Grexit if he is sincere about saving Greece. Greece is a basket case and getting worse by the day, despite Samaras claiming a current account surplus of 100m euros for 2013. I also had high hopes for Hollande, too - only to be disappointed in the extreme. As you said, "it is the job of a politician to sell out his constituency."

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 4 2014 13:39 utc | 77

Greece has to repudiate its debt.
It is as simple as that. The process will be complex-much of the debt is, in legal terms, "odious" and the technicalities involved in auditing, scheduling payments etc will be convoluted but this is a question of the Greek people saying "Can't pay- won't pay."
And half of Europe following on.

Whether Syriza is suggesting this policy I am unsure. I doubt it. But it can only succeed if it has public support, which, in turn, will require public campaigning on the issue.

The truth is that there is no way of finessing the reality which is that Greece is in the hands of usurers who bribed successive governments to borrow from them and on their terms.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 5 2014 1:14 utc | 78

bevin, you're correct about repudiating debt. Tsipras is working in a political climate were a sizable majority of Greeks want to stay with the Euro. Tricky for a politician who may(or not)know that Greece's debt is unpayable. Varoufakis is also of the opinion that there is a way of Greece staying with the Euro - essentially that debt restructuring is possible if Greece's political leadership would man-up and confront the Troika that Greece will, either, repudiate debt, or, issue a parallel currency, or threaten Grexit. All of those options are problematic, because ND, with the help of the socialists, passed a law over a year ago that gave power to ALL Greek bondholders to have not only priority on clamming from the Greek govt, but a legal framework to make those claims.

It's a big mess, and perhaps, on their present course will eventually be "kicked out" of the EZ. That comment of Varoufakis above, may be acknowledging that.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 5 2014 5:39 utc | 79

It seems to me that there is a coordinated Russian propaganda campaign going on now, modelled somewhat on Stalin's Popular Front campaigns of the 1930s. The idea is to rally all "progressive forces" against "fascism", but the selection of who to defend and who not is rather arbitrary. For instance, there is a strange article in Counterpunch by someone who seems to me to be a Russian agent of influence, defending among others the Shinawatras in Thailand, saying they are wonderful progressives being attacked by thugs (the exact inverse of what Tony Cartalucci has been saying for the last few years). It also defends Morsi. It lists a whole series of rulers to defend, and I suppose any of us would pause at some point and disagree with at least one of them. So my question would be, can any Russia-watchers actually confirm that all these rulers it wants to defend are indeed Russian clients to any known extent, starting with the Shinawatras in Thailand, who we all thought were US clients:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/03/west-manufactures-opposition-movements/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 5 2014 9:18 utc | 80

"...For instance, there is a strange article in Counterpunch by someone who seems to me to be a Russian agent of influence, defending among others the Shinawatras in Thailand, saying they are wonderful progressives being attacked by thugs (the exact inverse of what Tony Cartalucci has been saying for the last few years)...."

Andre Vltchek is not so much "defending" the Shinawatras and Morsi as pointing out the nature of the Imperialist inspired campaigns against them. The rule, unless one wishes to be complicit with imperialism, has to be that the people of Egypt or Thailand or Ukraine or Syria should not be subject to regime change at the hands of the Empire or its clients.

It is sectarianism to insist that Morsi and Assad, for example, conform to either "western" standards of political behaviour or those of our own.
As to "defending" Morsi against the campaign currently being waged against him-accusing him of escaping from Mubarak's jail and of murder- I am happy to do that.

Vltchek's articles are uniformly interesting: he has a peculiar style but he is on the right side. If he is a Russian agent I am very reassured about the nature of the state employing him.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 5 2014 16:30 utc | 81

But Cartalucci, who has been writing very detailed polemics against the Shinawatras for years, would certainly reject any claim that the anti-Shinawatra forces are composed of US-recruited rent-a-mobs. He regards the Shinawatras as the US stooges in place. He and Vltchek can't both be right. In fact, such is the level of detail and partisanship in each of them, that one or the other must be lying through his teeth. If you're not familiar with Cartalucci, you can see the whole stretch of his articles, going back as I said for years, here:
http://altthainews.blogspot.co.uk/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 5 2014 18:47 utc | 82

"It seems to me that there is a coordinated Russian propaganda campaign going on now, modelled somewhat on Stalin's Popular Front campaigns of the 1930s..."

Surely there is no evidence at all of this?
The Pop Front campaigns were based upon the reality that the mass Socialist and Communist parties of the era had common roots in the Second International. The split was not much more than twelve years old.
The current situation is that there are no pro-Russian parties in the world, there is no equivalent to the Comintern and no media inclined to the Russian point of view outside of the internet.
As to class based politics those of Putin seem very similar to those of the imperialist powers-no appeal is being made from a Socialist Motherland, merely diplomatic manoeuvring.
Finally there is no evidence, beyond Vltchek's article, at least so far as I know, that Russia backs Shinawatra or Morsi. Not least because Morsi very much opposed Russian interests in Syria.
Vltchek seems to me to be just an unreconstructed Soviet Communist who regards Putin and his mob as very pale imitations of the regime that, for all its faults, supported the north in Korea, Cuba, Angola and named a University after Patrice Lumumba.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 5 2014 19:21 utc | 83

I can't argue, you likely know far more about the subject that I.

But I do wonder how you can write off 30% of the Greek population as "Bohème-bourgeois (bobo) left".

I do indeed understand that "the popular classes" has nothing to do with popularity in the high school sense. And though I obviously don't have your grasp of etymology, I would assume that it means the working classes - can we assume that at the absolute base minimum this accounts for half of the Greek population? With that in mind I would point out though that the Communists, in polls I have found, show 6% support. So unless "popular class" means "supports the Communist Party" then I think we're going to have to find the rest of that at least 44% someplace, and that place is probably, to a large degree, in Syriza.

But I'll leave that to you and the social scientists.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 6 2014 2:53 utc | 84

Well, I don't know what happened to my reply to bevin's 81 & 82. If it was in the spam bin, Bernhard should have rescued it by now. What I said was this: let's concentrate on the Shinawatras, because Vltchek is saying they are the goodies and the 'protestors' against them are western rentamobs, while Tony Cartalucci has been saying the exact reverse for the last couple of years, namely that the Shinawatras are western stooges and the 'protestors' are plucky liberationists. Both sides are writing in sufficient detail and clarity that I think I can infer that this is not just a matter of subjective points of view. One or the other of them is systematically lying through his teeth. I suspect that it is Vltchek who is lying through his teeth, but I'm willing to be persuaded that it's really Cartalucci, or maybe both of them, or neither. But Cartalucci is here and please check him out, because he seems pretty genuine to me:
http://altthainews.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 6 2014 11:56 utc | 85

Rowan I think the difference between Shinawatra and the royalists is like that between Blair and Major: there are small political differences, most of them merely stylistic.
No doubt Siniawatra is a western stooge-or auditioning for the role. And the Royal/Military axis most certainly are.
I don't think that Vltchuk said anything different; just that chaos was being sponsored in Thailand by the imperialists. Why? Because it is part of an international wave of faux revolutions, designed to pave the way for authoritarian rule.
In Egypt it has yielded the fascist Sisi. In Thailand the "west" cares very little whether Shinawatra or the "Democrats" win: the important thing is that a dictatorship be established, under the nominal authority of the King, and the populace shut out.

I very much value Cartalluci thoughts, and I find Vltchuk invaluable particularly as an observer of Indonesia.
I would be interested to learn what our regular correspondent in Thailand has to say but it may not be wise to say too much publicly.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 6 2014 15:37 utc | 86

hi again guest77 (comment 84 above)
"I do wonder how you can write off 30% of the Greek population as "Bohème-bourgeois (bobo) left"."

my comment was: "its base is not the popular classes but the Bohème-bourgeois (bobo) left."

SYRIZA, like any successful political movement, has appealed to people beyond its base

KKE has a hard time appealing to voters outside of its traditional client/activist base that goes back to the Cold War; as Fotopoulos observes they seem to be stuck in a Marxist utopianism that relatively few voters see as addressing their immediate problems. This is compounded by the 30 year travail de sape of the more media savvy Trotskyite/bobo Synaspismos/SYRIZA. I don't know of another European country with an old guard communist party such as KKE, maybe some more informed commentators do. This doesn't take away from the fact that KKE's leadership has articulated consistent and intelligent anti-EU criticism over 30 years that have largely been vindicated.

the fact that most Greeks of the popular classes feel disenfranchised accounts for their being split among KKE, SYRIZA, and GD

Lenin, whom I am not necessarily a fan of, observed that morality consists in the solidarity of the working class--the whole tendency of the bobo Left (which is really the whole of what passes for the Left in the West) since 1968 has been to destroy this solidarity

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 6 2014 15:57 utc | 87

bevin, what this amounts to is saying , OK, maybe the Shinawatras are indeed western stooges, and the mobs trying to unseat them are also western stooges, and this is not nonsensical, because half the time with colour revolutions the US is trying to unseat someone who has been their resident stooge for the last 20 years, presumably because the US is just plain bored with them. But I don't consider this adequate as an explanation. I am not prepared to agree that the US knocks over its own ninepins because it is bored. There must be substantive reasons why the old stooge is no longer reliable, in other words, no longer an obedient stooge. So the onus is on Vltchek to bring some evidence that the Shinawatras have incurred US displeasure in some specific way, have become a nuisance. What Vltchek claims is that the Shinwatras have in fact been doing almost Chavezian things, opposing austerity, improving social services, all kinds of good deeds, and Cartalucci would flatly deny all this and say that on the contrary, the Shinawatras are unreconstructed Washington Consensus robots and have never done a thing for the people of Thailand except rob them blind. So which is it?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 6 2014 18:12 utc | 88

Vltchek is endearingly optimistic. He greatly exaggerates the Shinawatra achievement. But it is hardly necessary: the Military/Royal axis is appallingly feudal-they send their kids to Public schools for fucks sake- so the villagers find it marvellous just to be treated as human beings rather than light weight draught animals.
But I'm not arguing that Washington is knocking anyone over for fun: there is a Darwinian aspect to it "May the most efficient dictator win."
But the real enemy is anything resembling democracy and there the US knows what it gets from the old firm and is watching attentively as its rivals are driven from the simple corruption of machine politics-distributing money to headmen- to integrating themselves with the old system.
It's like watching a two party consensus system, of the sort favoured by and prevalent throughout the "west", evolve in real time.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 6 2014 23:15 utc | 89

Well here's another one, by a certain David Marx, saying almost exactly the same as Vltchek:
http://rt.com/op-edge/thailand-ongoing-political-crisis-364/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Feb 7 2014 7:46 utc | 90

Thanks for the link Rowan @90.
One thing that we have not heard anything about in the MSM is the social policy being pursued by the Ukrainian government?
If it included free Medical care and land redistribution I'd be surprised-not by the character of the "opposition" forces, but by their numbers.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 7 2014 20:06 utc | 91

ATH (#53)

A belated appology: I never saw your message #53 so I never got back to you.

"But I do consider the IRI as a political force for positive change in the world, which I don't think you or Rowan will agree with."

Well in case you are wondering about my opinion, IMO, there is no such thing as a unitary "IRI" with a life which started from 1979. IMO, up until 2013 we had 2 IRI, the IRI of before Mr. Khomeini's death and the IRI of after his death. From 2013 and the blatant disrespect of Iranian population by the elimination of presidential candidates who even by IRI's standards were all within the system just so that a specific sect would win the elections, IRI entered a third phase (IRI-3). And the 3rd phase of IRI, I am sorry to say is closer to its first phase rather than its second.
As for IRI being a political force for a positive change in the world, I should say that I am inclined to agree with you, but one has to look deeper than the surface rather than just looking at the "appearence" of the things. IRI's anti-US position -as it can be seen from its history- is NOT the result of a principled anti-imperialist position dictated by the interests of the vast majority of the population. IRI's positions are dictated NOT by the interests of the people but by the interests of the rulling elite. So IRI's 'apparent' anti-US position is the result of US' anti-IRI position. If US tomorrow changes its position vis-a-vis Iran and makes a deal with it (and by making a deal I mean a 'real deal' not a deception to bring the current regime down), IRI will over-night become a pro-US reactionary force worse than Saudi Arabia, selling the interests of its own people as well all people who are being crushed under imperialisms boots.

"I have not formulated an alternative and I have never said or implied here that I don't consider myself from "left"."

I must say that I am very much surprised. I must have misunderstood you. But you have to remember that IRI in particular and political islam in general do claim to be an alternative. Remember how Mr. Ahmadinejad kept saying that Iran is NOT a capitalist country and obviously not a socialist one either (anyone with even the most basic of knowledge would laugh at his claims because right after it he would show the 'rising Tehran stock exchange' as a sign of Iran's 'economic health'...LOL), and besides Islam is supposed to be a solution to all of humanities problems for all times.
So does this mean that you are not a political islamist?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Feb 13 2014 4:27 utc | 92

ATH (#53)

A belated appology: I never saw your message #53 so I never got back to you.

"But I do consider the IRI as a political force for positive change in the world, which I don't think you or Rowan will agree with."

Well in case you are wondering about my opinion, IMO, there is no such thing as a unitary "IRI" with a life which started from 1979. IMO, up until 2013 we had 2 IRI, the IRI of before Mr. Khomeini's death and the IRI of after his death. From 2013 and the blatant disrespect of Iranian population by the elimination of presidential candidates who even by IRI's standards were all within the system just so that a specific sect would win the elections, IRI entered a third phase (IRI-3). And the 3rd phase of IRI, I am sorry to say is closer to its first phase rather than its second.
As for IRI being a political force for a positive change in the world, I should say that I am inclined to agree with you, but one has to look deeper than the surface rather than just looking at the "appearence" of the things. IRI's anti-US position -as it can be seen from its history- is NOT the result of a principled anti-imperialist position dictated by the interests of the vast majority of the population. IRI's positions are dictated NOT by the interests of the people but by the interests of the rulling elite. So IRI's 'apparent' anti-US position is the result of US' anti-IRI position. If US tomorrow changes its position vis-a-vis Iran and makes a deal with it (and by making a deal I mean a 'real deal' not a deception to bring the current regime down), IRI will over-night become a pro-US reactionary force worse than Saudi Arabia, selling the interests of its own people as well all people who are being crushed under imperialisms boots.

"I have not formulated an alternative and I have never said or implied here that I don't consider myself from "left"."

I must say that I am very much surprised. I must have misunderstood you. But you have to remember that IRI in particular and political islam in general do claim to be an alternative. Remember how Mr. Ahmadinejad kept saying that Iran is NOT a capitalist country and obviously not a socialist one either (anyone with even the most basic of knowledge would laugh at his claims because right after it he would show the 'rising Tehran stock exchange' as a sign of Iran's 'economic health'...LOL), and besides Islam is supposed to be a solution to all of humanities problems for all times.
So does this mean that you are not a political islamist?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Feb 13 2014 4:30 utc | 93

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