Saturday, March 15, 2014

THE ROVING EYE Crimea and Western 'values' By Pepe Escobar

Crimea and Western 'values'
By Pepe Escobar

Every sane sentient being knows that Ukraine's "unity" is not worth a new hot or warm war. Or even the current Western-peddled Cold War-style hysteria. Especially when Russia, once again, fights fascism - as embodied by some of the key players now in power in Kiev, and the US and EU's response is to relentlessly demonize Russia.

Crimea - historically, culturally, sentimentally - is Russian, conquered by Catherine the Great from the Ottomans in 1783. Sevastopol was founded by Catherine. If a swing band would play
a version of I Left My Heart in Sevastopol, all hearts involved would be Russian.

Yet those eminent Western practitioners of state idolatry have ruled that the population of Crimea has no right to conduct a referendum to decide its future - be it rejoining Russia or remaining in Ukraine with a huge degree of autonomy, according to the 1992 constitution. The eminences could not possibly admit that does not suit their geopolitical power play.

Thus the current Mass; a ritualistic, hysterical invoking in unison of "international law" (Obama), (distorted) history and even morality (in the US's case, considering the historical record, a positively dreadful joke).

No question the original inhabitants of Crimea are the Tatars - whose rights will be fully protected in a new Crimea. They had not achieved their self-determination for the same reason Native Americans also did not.

Yet much more alarming in the whole case is how the West once again conveniently, selectively manipulates the arbitrary carving of colonized lands - the key reason of ongoing, intractable geopolitical disasters.

South Sudan's independence was obsessively fought for by Washington - helped by Hollywood clones of the Clooney variety. The pretext was to correct an arbitrary colonial carving. So that applies to Sudan, but it does not apply to Crimea.

Thomas Jefferson's "insurgents" had the right to rebel against the British, but Crimeans cannot rebel against what most view as an illegal, fascist-laden, putschist regime in Kiev. [1]

And that is superimposed on an arbitrary colonial carving; Ukrainian-born former premier Nikita Khrushchev, then at the head of the USSR, gave Crimea away to Ukraine, in the name of Soviet solidarity, without a Crimean referendum.

Washington - via a NATO war - dismantled the former Yugoslavia in the name of the "right of nations". While Crimea is not allowed a peaceful referendum, Kosovo - essentially a drug mafia scam - had the right to be "liberated". It would be so complicated to explain to public opinion that was essential for the maintenance of Camp Bondsteel - the largest military base outside of the US. The Empire of Bases trumps any "right of nations".

The arbitrary carving of the Pakistani tribal areas via the Durand Line - yet another imperial British masterpiece - is the key reason for Pakistan and Afghanistan being eternally at odds. But that suits the Empire - even at the risk of miserably losing a war (NATO in Afghanistan), because that keeps it "involved" in the crucial intersection of Central and South Asia, close to both China and Russia.

These few examples - Iraq in itself would be worth zillions of bytes - show there are no "international law" or universal values. Only when the Empire says so.

Flying blindly into the night
Obama's foreign policy could now be interpreted as the geopolitical equivalent of the doomed Malaysia Airlines Boeing, flying blindly into the deep Asian night before a fatal plunge (into the Indian Ocean?) - taking with it a load of unsuspected costumers.

The New Great (Threat) Game in Eurasia proceeds with its infernal logic. Russia should be sanctioned because it's not behaving like a true democracy - those that are allowed to bomb Iraq and Libya and support weaponized jihadis in Syria, always for a good, uplifting reason.

Would the Khaganate of Nulands gang in Washington have the balls to force Obama to sanction "communist China" because they illegally occupy Tibet and Xinjiang, without the consent of their original Tibetan and Uighur inhabitants, which will never be offered even the dream of a referendum?

Obama said, "We completely reject a referendum patched together in a few weeks with Russian military personnel basically taking over Crimea." What he could not say is that the new supplicant puppet - interim prime minister "Yats" - has already kneeled before the Emperor; his "foundation" has been supported by the usual suspects (including the NED, the State Department and NATO ) [2]; and that "teams from the Treasury and Justice departments and the FBI" have been to Kiev to "to unravel the kleptocracy of Yanukovych's deposed government", as the proverbial "officials" put it to US corporate media - leading to furious, unconfirmed rumors that all Ukrainian gold deposits may have already been shipped to the US, in what would be a regal repayment for the US$5 billion or so (copyright Victoria "F**k the EU" Nuland) Washington has spent to advance regime change.

Once again; this is always about NATO encroaching on Ukraine and the regime changers trying some ruse to deprive Russia from its naval base in Sevastopol. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is already on a charm offensiveplugging "treaty obligations with our NATO allies", under the (false) premise that Moscow is about to invade Ukraine (which is not even part of NATO - yet).

And this is also about Pipelineistan [3]; not accidentally, Crimean Supreme Council speaker Vladimir Konstantinov already stated that Crimea wants Gazprom to develop the peninsula's oil and natural gas deposits, and not US Big Oil.

In the threat game, Russia's Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev already announced "symmetrical" sanctions if the EU proceeds with their own. That aspiring Metternich, John Kerry, issued a deadline to Moscow.

It takes China to behave sensibly. Shi Mingde, the Chinese ambassador in Berlin, said that, "sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences … We don't see any point in sanctions." As much as non-brainwashed world public opinion don't see any point in the West's moral lessons.

1. Kiev Snipers Shooting From Bldg Controlled By Maidan Forces – Ex-Ukraine Security Chief, RT, March 13, 2014.
2. See here. 3. Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry, The Guardian, March 6, 2014.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at