Monday, March 3, 2014

Russia invades Ukraine? Well I'll be!

The three stooges
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired *

The conservatives and the neo-cons are having a field day in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, the former Soviet territory that it handed over to the Ukraine in 1954. McCain Palin and Romney are weighing in as it is an opportunity to bash Obama for the weak president he is.  “By the way, a couple of my favorites: ‘Tell Vladimir that I’ll be more flexible when I’m re-elected.’ Tell Vladimir I’ll be more flexible when I’m re-elected?” McCain told an audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference (the Zionist lobbying group) in Washington today. He went on to remind people that, “This is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength anymore,”

Someone said today that we are lucky Cheney and the imbecile Bush aren’t still around, who knows what they would do.  But there’s nothing prophetic about predicting a Russian use of force in this instance. Neither Palin nor Romney (McCain at least did some time), one whose vision of Russia is through a telescope across the Berring Straits while the other accepts that the world is only 6000 year’s old, can claim their insight is due to astute political analysis either.

I have a GED that I got in my 20’s when I arrived in the US and it was obvious to me that there was no way Russia was going to allow a very unpredictable and motley crew that included fascists and western backed mercenaries, threaten a crucial neighbor across the border and an area that is overwhelmingly populated by ethnic Russians at that.

The US ruling class has slaughtered a few million people and made a few million more refugees in the aftermath of the attacks on September 11th 2001 with the Iraqi’s and Afghani’s being the worst hit despite having nothing to do with it.  Obama presently violates the sovereignty of Pakistan and Afghanistan regularly with its drone attacks killing innocent people in the process. The Ukraine is of such strategic importance to Russia, bordering that country as well, that it was obvious to anyone that pays attention that if things were not resolved and Russia’s interests and Black Sea fleet threatened there’d be an invasion.

Grenada, a tiny Island in the Caribbean was invaded by US capitalism simply because it chose a different path than its huge neighbor, a path that, like Cuba’s, didn’t follow the game plan.  Nicaragua’s harbor was blockaded against international law and that country’s economy devastated because a liberal government chose to depose one of the US’s favorite dictators, a family that controlled some 40% of Nicaragua’s economy.

The problem is that our mass media is so controlled and censored Americans know very little about the world outside our borders. Before it embarked on the murderous assault on the Iraqi people a poll revealed that some 75% of us couldn’t point to Iraq on a map.  There is a long-standing joke here that we learn about countries after the Pentagon bombs them.  CNN will have little interactive maps with Wolf Blitzer walking around telling us there’s this group here, that group there.  Most of us think that Muslims and Jews have warred for centuries which is not the case.  It was Christian Europe that persecuted Jews relentlessly eventually slaughtering some 6 million of them.  In the Arab/Muslim world, they were a minority and I’m sure suffered discrimination as minorities of all types often do, but this idea that these two groups have always slaughtered each other is false and used to justify Israel’s policies.

I have not the knowledge of the Ukraine situation to comment with such detail as Stephen Morgan’s two excellent pieces this week have but I think these developments will weaken to a degree the NATO/US link. Stephen Morgan’s blog yesterday gave some statistics on the EU’s imports from Russia, particularly in the crucial area of energy.  The threats of sanctions coming out of Washington can be met with some devastating sanctions from the Russians I am sure; this is not a one sided situation.

In my view this invasion weakens US imperialism all round and is a bit of a humiliating snub by Putin after being warned by both Kerry and Obama not to interfere as western governments never ever interfere in the affairs of other nations do they. Surely, the Chinese will relish it.  The US has surrounded that country with bases, it is attempting to build another base in Northern Queensland which is all about containing China, and many Australians, particularly in Northern Queensland are not to keen on that fearing it will drag them in to the US’s catastrophic War on Terror.

My feeling is that cooler heads will prevail within the US ruling class. The US military is extended and patience is wearing thin at home.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not popular and only tolerated in my opinion because the brunt of them is borne by a small minority of American families.  The neo-cons, Tea Baggers and twits like Palin and Romney might well drag the US in to another conflict to save the honor of the nation if they could but I am not convinced the US bourgeois will allow this.  If they did, I am sure it would increase protectionist feeling at home, “What do we care about Ukraine?” will be the response, especially as workers have seen living standards and public services savaged over the last period.

No, one doesn’t have to be a genius to have predicted the US would invade Ukraine to defend the interests of Putin and Russian capitalism.

* In the original blog, I mistakenly said that *Russia" handed Crimea over to the Ukraine when it was the former Soviet Union.

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