Ukraine. Yesterday we concluded a piece mentioning some painful reforms approaching from Ukraine’s European flank. Well, never come between a black man and his chicken bones or a banker and his debt service.
It now seems the EUS will be giving their fractious Ukrainian stepchildren a bit of fiscal tough love. You say you have your hands full at the moment with a restive Russian population? A highly aggrieved nuclear neighbor? Monthly pensions that wouldn’t cover a diplomat’s shoe-shine? Fuck you, pay us.
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor. http://www.kommersant.ua/doc/2424454 It is Greece all over again.
The corrupt Western media describes loans as “aid.” However, the 11 billion euros that the EU is offering Kiev is not aid. It is a loan. Moreover, it comes with many strings, including Kiev’s acceptance of an IMF austerity plan.
The austerity plan will cut social services, funds for education, layoff government workers, devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, thus electricity, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by Western corporations.
The jury is still deep in sequestration over just who is playing whom. But the Ukrainians are certain underdogs. One has to fervently hope they were not so naive as to believe the corrupt governments of the West were actually for them rather than against Russia. If they do not internalize this, the pillaging of the latter from the days of the besotted Boris Yeltsin will simply be a blueprint, rather than an object lesson. And the Ukrainian nationalists will have accomplished no more than switching alien rulers from benign to malign. In the process, their people will be further impoverished, their natural resources strip mined, and their culture enriched by diversity introduced in mass. Today’s decisions are for their children’s future. They should be quite circumspect before leaping when the West yells “fetch!”
So how will this unfold from here? Certain trajectories now seem unavoidable, with others disturbingly possible. But before we speculate on those, ponder this ethno-linguistic map:
It is difficult to argue why Crimea should not be incorporated into Russia where it existed for generations previously. Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern provinces could then be negotiated in good-faith with a nod to Russia’s manifest interest in their disposition.
Good-faith negotiation…now that’s levity. Here’s the real shape of things. The EUS is going to give nothing and seek to take everything. They would put missiles aimed at Moscow in St. Petersburg if possible. This creates gravity pulling two nuclear powers inexorably into the same orbit: Russia and China. One is struggling to hold its outer gates against the Western battering ram while the other is feeling increasingly virile as a challenger to the global hegemon. They are not only becoming useful to one another, but necessary as opposing strategic flanks. Washington’s ceaseless thrashing about has almost certainly generated overtures between Moscow and Beijing.
And though I would still wager heavily today on the EUS and a remilitarized Japan against a Sino-Russian alliance, the presence of so many ICBMs is a sobering prospect. And what if a couple of tactical versions put the US Seventh Fleet at anchor on the ocean’s floor? Would Washington vaporize Shanghai over the loss of a military formation? What then becomes of San Francisco? Only the dead have seen the end of war; and this sort of global posturing has the possibility to offer that vision to millions more.
In musing on this, I think of how many times my sunny disposition has soured on the prospect of becoming a despised minority in the country built by our fathers. While many liberal teeth have been gnashed at the ghoulish possibility of somewhere a white child being born into a white family and being raised within a proud white community. And finally, how many climate changing brows have furrowed imagining a hellscape world .7 degrees hotter.
If nuclear geopolitical forces continue to align in this most infelicitous manner…we may have all worried over nothing.