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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

THE ROVING EYE The new Great (Threat) Game in Eurasia By Pepe Escobar

The new Great (Threat) Game in Eurasia
By Pepe Escobar

In Ukraine, the West supported an unconstitutional putsch against an elected government perpetrated, among others, by fascist/neo-nazi storm troopers (Svoboda, Right Sector) instrumentalized by US intelligence. After a Russian counterpunch, US President Barack Obama proclaimed that any referendum in Crimea would "violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law."

This is just the latest instance in the serial rape of "international law". The rap sheet is humongous, including; NATO bombing Serbia for 78 days in 1999 to allow Kosovo to secede; the 2003 US invasion and subsequent trillion-dollar occupation and civil war creation in Iraq; NATO/AFRICOM bombing Libya in 2011 invoking R2P ("responsibility to protect") as a cover to provoking regime change; US investment in the secession of oil-wealthy South Sudan, so China has to deal with an extra geopolitical headache; and US investment in perennial civil war in Syria.

Yet Moscow still (foolishly?) believes international law should be respected - presenting to the UN Security Council classified information on all Western intel/psy-ops moves leading to the coup in Kiev, including "training" provided by Poland and Lithuania, not to mention Turkish intelligence involvement in setting up a second coup in Crimea. Russian diplomats called for an unbiased international investigation. That will never happen; Washington's narrative would be completely debunked. Thus a US veto at the UN.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also called for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to objectively investigate those snipers shooting everyone on sight in Kiev, as revealed by Estonia's foreign minister to EU foreign policy supremo Catherine "I love Yats" Ashton. According to Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, "a completely different picture would be drawn compared to what is being depicted by American media and, unfortunately, by some American and European politicians." Needless to say, there will be no investigation.

Hi, I'm your good neo-nazi
Everyone remembers the "good Taliban", with which the US could negotiate in Afghanistan. Then came the "good al-Qaeda", jihadis the US could support in Syria. Now come the "good neo-nazis", with which the West can do business in Kiev. Soon there will be "the good jihadis supporting neo-nazis", who may be deployed to advance US/NATO and anti-Russian designs in Crimea and beyond. After all, Obama mentor Dr Zbigniew "The Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski is the godfather of good jihadis, fully weaponized to fight the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

As facts on the ground go, neo-nazis are definitely back as good guys.

For the first time since the end of World War II, fascists and neo-nazis are at the helm of a European nation (although Ukraine most of all should be characterized as the key swing nation in Eurasia). Few in the West seem to have noticed it.

The cast of characters include Ukrainian interim defense minister and former student at the Pentagon Ihor Tenyukh; deputy prime minister for economic affairs and Svoboda ideologue Oleksandr Sych; agro-oligarch minister of agriculture Ihor Svaika (Monsanto, after all, needs a chief enforcer); National Security Council chief and Maidan commander of Right Sector neo-nazis Andry Parubiy; and deputy National Security Council chief Dmytro Yarosh, the founder Right Sector. Not to mention Svoboda leader Oleh Tyanhybok, a close pal of John McCain and Victoria "F**k the EU" Nuland, and active proponent of an Ukraine free from the "Muscovite-Jewish mafia."

As the Kremlin refuses to deal with this bunch and the upcoming March 16 referendum in Crimea is practically a done deal, Team "Yats" is fully legitimized, with honors, by Team Obama, leader included, in Washington. To quote Lenin, what is to be done? A close reading of President Putin's moves would suggest an answer: nothing. As in just waiting, while outsourcing the immediate future of a spectacularly bankrupt Ukraine to the EU. The EU is impotent to rescue even the Club Med countries. Inevitably, sooner or later, threat of sanctions or not, it will come crawling back to Moscow seeking "concessions", so Russia may also foot the bill.

Meanwhile, in Pipelineistan …
Meanwhile, the New Great (Threat) Game in Eurasia advances unabated. Moscow would willingly compromise on a neutral Ukraine - even with neo-nazis in power in Kiev. But an Ukraine attached to NATO is an absolute red line. By the way, NATO is "monitoring" Ukraine with AWACS deployed in Polish and Romanian airspace.

So as the much lauded "reset" between the Kremlin and the Obama administration is for all practical purposes six feet under (with no Hollywood-style second coming in the cards), what's left is the dangerous threat game. Deployed not only by the Empire, but also by the minions.

That monster collection of Magritte-style faceless bureaucrats at the European Commission (EU), following on the non-stop threat of EU sanctions, has decided to delay a decision on whether Gazprom may sell more gas through the OPAL pipeline in Germany, and also delay negotiations on the legal status of South Stream, the pipeline under the Black Sea which should become operational in 2015.

As if the EU had any feasible Plan B to escape its dependency on Russian gas (not to mention eschew the very profitable financial game played between key European capitals and Moscow). What are they do, import gas on Qatar Airways flights? Buy LNG from the US - something that will not be feasible in years to come? The fact is the minute a gas war is on, if it ever comes down to it, the EU will be under immense pressure by a host of member-nations to keep (and even extend) its Russian gas fix - with or without "our (neo-nazi) bastards" in power in Kiev. Brussels knows it. And most of all, Vlad the Hammer knows it.

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

The Brzezinski plan for the "Finlandization" of Ukraine and Balkanization of Russia

The Brzezinski plan for the "Finlandization" of Ukraine and Balkanization of Russia

It would not be entirely correct to refer to former Carter administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski as a "neo-con." Brzezinski, a nationalist Polish-American Catholic has earned successive rebukes from the hard core neo-cons for his perceived "anti-Israel" bias. However, when it comes to Russia, there is little difference between the rabidly anti-Russian Brzezinski, who sees Eurasia as a massive chess board, and his erstwhile neo-con colleagues of the "AIPAC persuasion."

Brzezinski has offered both the Obama administration and the coup leaders in Kiev advice on how to limit Russian influence in Ukraine while punishing Moscow for its move to take control of majority-Russian Crimea from Ukraine. One of the reasons why President Obama's academic records from Columbia University have been sealed is a strong belief that Obama participated in Brzezinski's high-level Soviet policy graduate-level classes before the future president joined Business International Corporation, a CIA front that sent journalists and economists under cover to eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to collect intelligence.

Brzezinski's 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, sees Eurasia as a natural expansion zone for American influence. Brzezinski is a promoter of Halfrod Mackinder's "Heartland" theory, which postulates that any country that controls the Eurasian landmass, controls the world.

Mackinder wrote in 1919, "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island controls the world." Mackinder's theory was at the heart of the desire of the Third Reich, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union to dominate the Heartland. Brzezinski and the more Zionist-leaning neo-cons have adopted the Heartland theory as key to the plan to have the United States dominate the world in the 21st century. However, there have been a number of stumbling blocks, including Ukraine's former close ties with Russia, the embryonic "Eurasian Union" of Russia and the central Asian "stans," and the Shnghahi Cooperation Organization "counter-NATO" alliance of the Russian Federation and People's Republic of China.

With the fall of Ukraine to a group of pro-Western technocrats, trained and funded by Brzezinski's old friend George Soros, who are allied with neo-Nazis and Ukrainian right-wing nationalists, Brzezinski and his fellow travelers see a golden opportunity to march on Moscow. Brzezinski sees Western control of Ukraine as key to eventual Western control of Russia.

Brzezinski has referred to the Ukrainian junta that seized power in a coup, the "new Ukrainian democracy." Ukraine today is no more a democracy than Georgia was after a coup placed Mikheil Saakashvili, a Brzezinski and Soros acolyte, in the presidential palace in Tbilisi. Georgia immediately began threatening the autonomy of pro-Russian Abkhazians and South Ossetians, prompting Russia to deploy protective forces to the two Georgian autonomous republics. Russia's similar deployment of troops to protect the Russian majority in the Crimean autonomous republic of Ukraine is a further carrying out of the Putin Doctrine, which calls for Russia to protect ethnic Russians and other pro-Russian ethnic groups like the Abkhaz and South Ossetians in Russia's "Near Abroad" from the machinations of Western-installed nationalist and anti-Russian regimes.

Not coincidentally, the same day the coup leaders took over power in Kiev, February 22, the Financial Times, which is owned by the Pearson Group, the same company that controls The Economist Group, which absorbed Obama's old Business International Corporation employer in 1986, ran a Brzezinski article titled "Russia Needs to be Offered a ‘Finland Option’ for Ukraine." In the article, Brzezinski says that Ukraine must be absorbed into the European Union as quickly as possible and that Putin's idea of a Eurasian Union must be deterred at all levels, including economically and politically.

Although Brzezinski wants to assuage Russia by calling for the "Finlandization" of Ukraine, in other words, no NATO membership for Ukraine but no division of Ukraine and "mutual respect" between Moscow and Kiev, it is well known that the Finland model no longer applies in Europe. Today, Finland is, for all practical purposes, a de facto member of NATO, with its forces constantly participating in NATO exercises. In addition, it is well known to Brzezinski that during the Cold War, Finnish intelligence covertly cooperated with both the CIA and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

What Brzezinski actually sees for eastern Europe is not "Finlandization" of Ukraine but "Balkanization" of Russia, similar to what NATO accomplished when it divided Yugoslavia into seven separate republics, including one that never had any basis for independence, Kosovo. Crimea, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia have more legal grounds for independence than does Kosovo, an Albanian region of Serbia, governed by mafiosi smugglers and carved out by NATO to ensure a continued military presence for the U.S. and its allies in the Balkans.

Some members of the Ukrainian coup government, including the newSecretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy, have made common cause with Chechen and other Islamist guerrillas inside Russia. Their goals are the same of those of Brzezinski: the eventual carving up of the Russian Federation into a more easily manageable group of smaller states controlled by the European Union and NATO.

The Brzezinski-neocon plan: A "Balkanized" Russia consisting of as many as 80 mini-states.

The early plans for the then-Soviet Union can be seen in a propaganda pamphlet discovered in the CIA's archives from 1968. The pamphlet, produced by Hungarian anti-Soviet emigres in New York, states what CIA-supported eastern Europe nationalists, the fathers of the neo-Nazis now controlling part of the Ukraniian government, had in store for what was described as the Soviet "Paradise of the Workers":

"The very existence of the Soviet Union started in 1462 by the Grand Ducky of Muskovy. Czarist Russia expansion by territories of the peoples in European part of the Euro-Asian continent is: 1492-1505: Samoyeds, Nentsis-Samoyeds, Komi-Zyrians, Permiaks, Kereliansl 1505-1682: Edmurts, Tartars, Bashkirs, Mordovians, Uralian Cossacks, Kalmucks, Cossacks on the Don, Cossacks on the Terek, Little Russians, Ukrainians; 1682-1725: Estonians; 1725-1796: Latvians, Lithuanians, White Russians; 1796-1825: Karachays, Ossentins, Kabardinians, Daghesti, Armenians, Azerbaidzhani, Cherkessi, Abhazi, Rumanians, Bessarabians, Poles, Fins [sic]; 1825-1881: Georgians.

The Soviet Union followed the imperialism of the Czarist Russia. 1920-1921: Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan; 1939-1945: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; after 1945 with more or less results: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and the Eastern part of Germany.

In Asia: 1462-1584: Mari, Chuvashi, Udmurts, Manis-Voguls, Nentsis-Samoyeds, Ostyak-Khantys; 1584-1689: Evenkis-Tungus, Yakuts, Khakassis, Tuvinians, Buryats-Mongols, Yukagirs, Chukchis-Luravetianys, Koryaks, Nymylanys, Kamchadatics; 1689-1796: Oyrots, Altasi, Khalkas; 1796-1914: Kara-Kalpaks, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Tadshiks, Kirghisi, Kurds. After 1945: Kurils Islands and Sakhalin."

The Hungarian expatriate monograph states: "Some names appear twice, since those peoples lived in European as well as Asian territory. Also, because some of them were liberated then subjugated again." As evidence that the new leadership in Ukraine is in lockstep with the ilk who penned the aforementioned tract are statements from the new chief of the Ukrainian Security Service, Valentin Nalivaychenko, that refer to his neo-Nazi followers' plans to "liberate" historical Ukrainian lands in the Kuban region , which lies east of the Sea of Azov in the Russian motherland.

File:Kuban River.png
Ukraine's neo-Nazi government leaders want Ukraine to seize and annex Russia's Kuban region.

It is interesting that the CIA, in promoting certain Hungarian exile groups, was giving assistance to other beliefs from right-wing eastern European emigres, including hatred for the Kennedy family. The authors of the above monograph, published on September 1, 1968, three months after Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, criticized the "glorification" of the "Kennedy clan." Today Caroline Kennedy serves as Obama's ambassador to Tokyo, representing a State Department that has made common cause with the sons and grandsons of those who took pleasure in the assassinations of her father and uncle.