Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Ukraine: Who Is Pushing for a Generalized War?"

2014-11-25 by Dominique Ferré for "Informations Ouvrières (Labor News)", the weekly newspaper of the Independent Workers Party (POI) of France.
Who is pushing for a generalized war in Ukraine? This is how Foreign Affairs magazine (September-October 2014) put it: “According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. . . . But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit. . . . Imagine the American outrage if China built an impressive military alliance and tried to include Canada and Mexico.”
These lines were not written by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary; they were written by a very influential U.S. foreign policy magazine. [1]
But this is not all. The government majority in the Rada [Ukraine’s Parliament] – whose majority represents less than one in three Ukrainian voters -- has just announced its intention to modify the national legislation before the end of the year in order "to annul the non-aligned status of Ukraine "and" relaunch the nation’s policies with the aim of joining NATO."
Recent weeks have witnessed an alarming acceleration of the war in a country whose eastern industrial region of Donbass [the districts of Donetsk and Lugansk] have been ravaged by the "anti-terrorist operation" of the Ukrainian government against the “separatist” forces. This operation has left more than 4,000 dead and, at a minimum, 800,000 refugees, some fleeing to Ukraine, the others to Russia (2).
As winter arrives, Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced by decree the complete halt to any and all public funding by the Ukrainian State in these devastated areas of the Donbass region. This will mean a halt to all State funding for salaries, pensions, family allowances and benefits to veterans and invalids, and an end of operations of all public services and the evacuation of their staff. The measure took effect on November 21.
Poroshenko -- supported by the United States and the European Union and promoted by them as the guarantor of "democracy" and "European values" in Ukraine -- explained on November 14 in Odessa the goals of what he himself called a "financial blockade" of the Donbass region:
"We will have jobs, they won’t,” Poroshenko stated. “We will have pensions, they won’t. We will have benefits for retirees and children, they won’t. Our kids will go to schools and daycare centers, their kids will sit in the basements because they can’t do anything. And that’s precisely how we will win this war.”
This call for civil war and for literally starving millions of people in the industrial region of Donbass is actually intended to terrorize the entire population of Ukraine
This is because behind the war on the Donbass and the "patriotic" calls for national unity against Russia, the policy of "reforms" dictated by the IMF and the World Bank is moving forward. According to a document published by the Samopomych Party, which is part of the pro-government parliamentary majority, the parliament is slated to vote on a plan between now and 2015-2016 that will privatize all remaining State-owned coal mines and will shut down the Ougol’ Ukrainy ("Coal of Ukraine") State enterprise.
This is exactly what Qimiao Fan, the representative of the World Bank for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, demanded in early October, and not just for the coal mines: “The priority for Ukraine is not the adoption of new laws, but the liquidation of all the old Soviet legislation,” he said.
This war of total destruction requires fomenting the permanent dislocation in the east of Europe, and has witnessed the governments of the United States and its subsidiaries – Hollande in France, Cameron in Britain, Merkel in Germany, etc. – getting all fired up and demanding the tightening of "sanctions" against Russia. These are "sanctions" that first and foremost have serious consequences for the people; this is always the case. The prices of basic foodstuffs have already soared.
According to official figures from Rosstat: the price of buckwheat flour increased by 27% in the first half of November! That of sugar increased by 19%, and sausages by 16%. . . . In the space of ten months, the exchange rate of 40 rubles for one euro has gone up to 50 rubles and 60 rubles today.
U.S. sanctions are, however, far from garnering the unanimous support among European capitalists, who are themselves starting to feel the consequences. As a columnist for the French financial daily Les Echos writes: "The economic sanctions against Moscow are indeed forcing financial assets to flee to the point that the central bank is being discouraged from supporting the ruble. But these policies of economic retaliation may not last forever because they are doing a disservice to everyone. . . . The last meeting of the G20 in Australia provides an indication in this regard. It was the ‘Anglo-Saxons’ (USA, Canada, Australia, UK) who showed themselves to be the most virulent [in support of sanctions]. But given that they are situated far away, or are on the remote margins of our continent, none of them may one day become a battlefield.”

(1) The media has been having a field day with the growing tensions with Russia, and the sudden departure from the G-20 meeting by Putin. For its part, the Foreign Affairs article, asks: "Imagine the American outrage if China built an impressive military alliance and tried to include Canada and Mexico.”

(2) Our correspondents report the start of a destabilization campaign in Moldova, a former Soviet republic that neighbors Ukraine, where Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians and a Turkish-speaking minority, the Gagauz, all live together. As the November 30 election approaches, the ruling coalition ("Alliance for European Integration") has launched a wave of arrests targeting, among others, Ukrainian activists seeking refugee in Moldova and representatives of the population of the autonomous region of Gagauzia, which approved a referendum in opposition to the Association Agreement with the European Union.

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