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  Until now two things are obviously true about the mess that has become Ukraine: 1) both sides of the issue are issuing tonnes of propaganda that can't be trusted, and 2) the conflict is pitting Ukrainians against Ukrainians.
  Given those two facts, why did we do this today?

 The Ukrainian government will hold a $1 billion U.S.-backed bond sale before a presidential election scheduled for May 25, Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said...
  “A lead manager is already working on it,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll get the U.S.-backed money before the election.”
 Why are we backing a bond sale by a completely broke and corrupt Ukrainian government, and putting the American taxpayer on the hook?
   This is just the latest of a long string of examples.

 We have CIA and FBI agents currently advising the Ukrainian government.

 Citing unnamed German security sources, Bild am Sonntag said the CIA and FBI agents were helping Kiev end the rebellion in the east of Ukraine and set up a functioning security structure.
The CIA and FBI agents aren't on the front lines, but American Blackwater mercenaries are. This is a country that is so completely broke, if the IMF didn't give them a huge loan they would have gone bankrupt. Yet they can someone manage to get together enough cash to buy very expensive mercs? What is going on here?

   To give this a little more perspective, the IMF recently warned Ukraine about consequences on their loan terms if the Donetsk region slips away.

  And then today, the U.N. is asking why one of their helicopters is operating in the disputed Donetsk region.

 I'm not going to go over the various accusations about the current Ukrainian government being nazi sympathizers, because the degree of truth in that accusation is debatable.

  Instead I'm going to focus on the fact that we are getting into a situation with no clear exit if things turn from bad to worse. More importantly, the American people don't want to get involved.
     Republicans have accused Obama of being weak on Russia because of the Ukraine crisis, but the fact is that Americans don't want to get involved in Ukraine by an overwhelming margin.

 But 62% of those polled said they were opposed to sending arms or other military aid to Ukraine, more than twice the 30% who backed providing defense help to Ukrainians trying to hold their country together.
Granted, the morons are still more likely to support war over Ukraine. They just need to be told where it is.

   

  The corporate media has been feeding us war, war, and more war for decades now, but Americans are finally tuning it out.
 Significantly, when reporting the results of the poll, the Wall Street Journal, an influential news organ closely associated with America’s establishment, described the results of the poll as being indicative of “an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines.”
 This matches a November poll saying much the same thing.
For the first time in surveys dating back nearly 40 years, a majority (53%) says the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago.
 If the American people don't support belligerent chest-beating and saber-rattling, what foreign policies will Republican presidential candidates run on?
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Comment Preferences

  •  I have thought that the US would eventually (16+ / 0-)

    go the way of its poor old decrepit mother the UK to the retirement home for worn out empires.

  •  Because when all you have is a (20+ / 0-)

    trillion dollar hammer everywhere starts looking like a nail.

    An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin

    by martinjedlicka on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:26:10 PM PDT

  •  Theres two reasons why..... (17+ / 0-)

    1) The US has a stubbornly difficult time resisting diving head-first into ANY conflict--especially if there's a hint of fossil fuels involved.

    2) The US finds it almost impossible to resist getting involved in ANY conflict that Russia might be involved in because we still have way too many people in this country who are fighting the Cold War.

    •  And we have too many elected "leaders"... (8+ / 0-)

      ... who have been bought and paid for by corporations, big banks, and Casino Wall Street, and who are too fucking stupid to stay out of messes that are NONE of our business and/or their "supporters" are too stupid to see how they are being manipulated into "helping" somewhere in the world in exchange for those bloody fossil fuels instead of getting corporations to do more R&D to come up with economical and efficient alternative energy sources.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:17:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US is not getting involved, it's been involved (22+ / 0-)

    for quite some time.

    Think back to the failed "color revolution" of 2004.
    With the re-run (the Maidan movement) Vicky got her Yats in as prime minister.
    The interim government was recognized by us as legitimate with obscene haste.
    Thereafter in rapid succession Ukraine was visited by McCain, Brennan of the CIA, VP Biden.
    The eastern-Ukrainian "terrorists" are being fought by right-wing, western-Ukrainian "freedom fighters" with the help of Akademi (=Blackwater) mercs - paid by whom?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:46:57 PM PDT

    •  Lepanto has it right! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, CIndyCasella, fran1, protectspice

      US corporations need an ever expanding military budget and the Ukraine will do, since Putin  stalled them in Syria. I hope that truth will out in this American conceved  spectacle.

      I for one would love to see a foreign policy based on peace rather than profits. I would like to see a leader in the White House, not a Tom for MIC, wouldn"t you?

      Putin is outwitting our hapless pols at every turn, I wish him well. Unlike the US, he'd rather avoid war.

      So would I.

      If ever I become entirely respectable I shall be quite sure that I have outlived myself- EV Debs

      by EdinGA on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Russia has been saying (10+ / 0-)

      that this was all being directed by the US.
        Now Russia is being run by a corrupt mafia, so I had no intention of believing them.

        And then the United States goes and does this sh*t, as if to say "We don't care if we prove Russia has been telling the truth."

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:00:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Irony is that Russia doesn't want (10+ / 0-)

        …anything to do with Ukraine. They don't want to annex East Ukraine. Ukraine is just a liability to them.

        Crimea makes perfect sense. It'a the home of the Russian navy and their gateway to the sea. Krushev, in a fit of Alzheimer's annexed it to Ukraine in the late 1950s. The largely Russian island felt terribly betrayed. The Russians don't want a NATO attack base built there. D'oh.

        The US has a mental disorder over the Cold War. We are still having a "war" with Cuba, which got us kicked out of the Organization of the Americas (North and South). We are too crazy to participate.

        •  Just wait and see (0+ / 0-)

          how Russia jumps on annexing whatever parts of eastern Ukraine become available.  We've heard that lie before about Crimea.

          You're of course asserting legitimacy and purposefulness of a Russian fleet and naval base without any warrants.  The actual way it works is that Crimea is a Russian colonization in a hostile environment.  Why to assume a priori legitimacy of the colonization is unclear (aren't you Leftist?)   Maybe Russians were promised by God that as a snowed in woodland Slavic people they were entitled to a Mediterranean style resort area.  it would just be nice to have documentation.

    •  Neocons create messes to invove U.S. in wars of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, arendt

      their choice and their making.  

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The only thing I can think of geopolitically is... (11+ / 0-)

    ...that the ultimate destination is Russia itself.

    The one thing that I keep seeing on the map is that Russia is still the largest country in the world and it has massive fossil fuel reserves.

    As global warming kicks in, Siberia could become strategic in the food supply chain for China and India.

    The mercenaries are already there,  they are usually the first to arrive.

    The one thing that is holding up the plans is that it seems a majority of Russians support Putin however disgusting his policies are.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:48:03 PM PDT

    •  geopolitically Ukraine is to Russia (10+ / 0-)

      as Syria is to Iran

      they're both steps towards the ultimate goal of transnational corporate control of the energy resources of Russia and Iran respectively

      in both cases we don't give a fek about the character of the side we choose to support, (be they neo-Nazis in Ukraine or Al Qaeda cannibals in Syria) we just label them "freedom fighters", as long as they're useful to us (thereafter we usually relabel them "terrorists" and bomb and drone the shit out of them)

      We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

      by Lepanto on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US is (12+ / 0-)

    causing the mess in Ukraine; it's not mere involvement.

    The world belongs to us.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:03:07 PM PDT

  •  We have an interest in (0+ / 0-)

    keeping Ukraine independent of Russia.

  •  I think we should put aside our cynicism (11+ / 0-)

    Congratulations are in order!

    Hunter Biden, the youngest son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been appointed as head of legal affairs at Ukraine's largest private gas producer, Burisma.

    It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

    by chuckvw on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:52:07 PM PDT

  •  More info on what we're doing according (7+ / 0-)

    to John Pilger:

    http://johnpilger.com/...

  •  Ukraine was Obama's experiment with (5+ / 0-)

    Empire on the cheap.

    Knowing that the US could not afford to engage in another major military confrontation after over a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the Ukraine has little strategic value to the US but a lot to Russia, the Obama administration experimented with soft power approaches to global power contests by engaging civil society to destabilize the pro-Russian Ukrainian government and replacing it with a pro-US one.  

    Putin proved to be a better politician and general in responding to it than the Obama administration expected, but the fact of the matter is that Russia is playing catch-up here, having to deal with a suddenly hostile, well armed and well-trained power just a few hundred kilometers from its capital city, while the US has nothing to lose at all in the confrontation.  The whole crisis is notable most of all for its ruthlessness with regard to the well-being of Ukrainians, who find themselves playing the part of pawns at ground zero of a great power confrontation.  But the US really has little to fear here since at worst Ukraine just goes back to being the pro-Russian country it was at the beginning of 2013.  And Putin, as well, seems to have found a way to make lemonade out of the lemon that President Obama handed him.  

    The bigger question is this, regarding the future of US "imperialism" abroad, a role the US has played worldwide for over 70 years, ever since essentially conquering the planet by winning WWII:  Can all of the things we have come to enjoy out of globalization due to US political dominance of world continue if the US decides to recede from that vocation going forward, given that no one appears capable or willing to try to take its place?  For example, will the internet cease to be global in scope and become regional instead?  Will global migration stop and government sponsored crimes, such as genocide and slavery, increase?  Will commerce, travel, and communications cease to be global and instead become a mostly regional phenomenon?  Will global governance institutions such as the UN and the WTO cede ground to regional institutions, such as existed in the 19th century? And will all of this be worse, or better, for most people in the world?

  •  Good article @ McClatchy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, protectspice

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

    Bild am Sonntag, a tabloid-like newspaper that occasionally breaks major stories on the German government, is reporting that German intelligence has told Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office that it had unconfirmed reports that 400 Americans appear to be aiding the interim Ukrainian government in its fight against pro-Russian separatists. According to Bild, the German intelligence agency cited U.S. intelligence officials as its source.

    ...

    Russia has been widely accused of funding, supporting and supplying officers to the pro-Russia separatists in the Donetsk Oblast, or region, of eastern Ukraine. To be able to show that the United States, even in the form of mercenaries and not official military personnel, are active on behalf of Kiev would to many further justify Russian actions.

    ...

    “Nothing would rock the credibility of Europeans and Americans more than a confirmation of the news that American mercenaries are working for the Ukrainian government. For Moscow this would be a priceless propaganda victory where the West would appear morally naked. As naked as Moscow is now.”

    Apologies for the lengthy comment, but I think the article and your diary mesh well.

    If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    by LieparDestin on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:49:00 AM PDT

  •  All the usual conspiracy theories (0+ / 0-)

    and retrograde misanalyses and Industrial Age [i]idèes fixes[/i] have been asserted, I see.  How dreary.

    I don't see what's wrong with giving the Ukrainian government a loan guarantee.  If there were sincerity to the diary, at a minimum you wouldn't want a failed state.  Corruption of the present government isn't demonstrated either, just a Russian propaganda claim.   Frankly $1 billion is peanuts these days in state budgets, only good whining about for bullshit reasons.  My average sized U.S. state (6.5 million people) has an annual state budget of $28 billion.  

    More interesting is the question of where the conflict is headed.

    Just to begin with the dispute is about ever less territory.  Western/northern Ukraine were taken off the map/table for all practical purposes on February 20/21.  Crimea went off the map/table for all practical purposes on March 25 or so.  Southern and eastern Ukraine are arenas of conflict for control until at least the elections on May 25.  

    It's my personal assessment that events since March 25, whatever their legitimacy or incivility or absurdity or atrocity, have mobilized local populations sufficiently and probably decided the fate of subregions of southern/eastern Ukraine.  It seems Odessa will end up with Kiev, Kharkov/Luhansk/Donyetsk and the rural country between them (e.g. Slovyansk) obviously with Moscow.  Probably Mariupol also with the latter, though it's less clear.  The losing sides are trying hard to argue, limit, or reverse the local tipping against them in these districts.  But it looks futile and hopefully will entail a minimum of further violence.

    I'm not finding significant news from the the central-southern region containing Nikolayev, Kherson, and Djnepropetrovsk.  There were pro-Russian uprising attempts in these cities earlier but they are now either semi-safely secured for Kiev or to be vigorously disputed one more time in the weeks to come.  

    In summary, the map of territories under viable dispute has shrunken, probably more than media on both sides report at present.  Conflict time is likely also shrinking- May 25-26 could well be the point in time when no cities or regions of importance remain under viable dispute.  That leaves Kiev and Moscow to grudgingly make the facts on the ground official and final.

    So I don't see the point of fussing about a lack of some exit strategy.  From what thing entered upon isn't clear anyway.   The present drama queening and Russian propaganda pushes notwithstanding, the Ukraine dispute is plausibly winding down.  And none of the many, oh so ponderous allegations or facts or seemingly ominous, if not nefarious, events tabulated in the diary matter much.

    I don't see the polling cited as meaning what the diary proposes.  The rest of the world has become stronger, healthier, wealthier during the past ten years (largely with U.S./EU blessings and deliberate intentions in the mid/early 1990s), so to say that the U.S. is relatively less of a power just says that American citizens understand the global power reality.  The second polling could well be interpreted as American citizens seeing the rest of the world as less of a violent mess and menace to themselves than ten years ago, which is a rational stance to take.  

    Sometime this summer we'll stand before the fact of a partitioned Ukraine.  Russia- a deeply corrupt petrostate run by monied oligarchs and their corporations, but nonetheless championed by the international Left- will probably absorb a share of the population and economic problems and liabilities of Ukraine.  But there will still be a Ukraine, run from Kiev, with a large rural population living close to subsistence level that will need help.  With Russia unlikely to give any, someone has to step up.

    •  A total load of cr*p (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice

      I specifically stayed away from anything resembling konspiracy theories and sites that could be accused of being such. Everything I've posted here is a fact and without question.

        Therefore your response is not just dishonest but insulting. I don't even have to read past your first sentence because you've already proven you don't want to have an honest debate.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:07:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Monsanto Cargill Chevron (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    Also Hunter and Devon needed some walking around money.

    Hunter and DevonArcher? Named by Thackeray? Trollope? Bertie Wooster?

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