The lies are always a maddening part of it. But let’s not forget about the political and military defeats, and the tragedies visited on other places and people by US interventions.
The biggest regime change disaster that’s too politically incorrect to discuss
by Eric Jackson
Fuck the EU!
then US State Department coordinator for Europe
now with the neocon Center for a New American Security
blowing off objections to the Ukraine coup then in the works
Well, yeah. The lies are always annoying, and those who tell them should be run out of public life forever. Now we see convicted liar Elliott Abrams in charge of ginning up “regime change” in Venezuela and that appointment ought to be one more count in articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.
But let’s step back from the partisan and “safe” takes on regime change operations and recognize how central the 2014 US-promoted coup in Kiev is to today’s US politics. Let’s take a sober look at what a disaster it has been.
Yeah, yeah. It’s a betrayal for a Democrat to say these things because it happened on Obama’s shift. Maybe it’s even a sellout to Putin, as some will surely allege. But understand the Russian predicament. Understand the US predicament. Understand the Ukrainian predicament.
Is the truth to be told? In the chain of events set off by US-promoted “regime change,” Ukraine has lost much of its territory and and much of its population. How much is hard to determine.
Certainly the government in Kiev lost Crimea, a known geographical quantity which had more than three million people at the time. But some of those folks fled to what’s left of Ukraine, while other ethnic Russians fled from Ukraine to a Crimea newly and democratically annexed to Russia.
In the Donbass region, the secessionist warfare and population movements are not over. There, it was difficult to describe who was ethnic Russian and who was ethnic Ukrainian in the first place, with an awful lot of people with Ukrainian surnames who speak Russian as their first language, for example.
The census figures for the Ukrainian population are down, and were going down before the coup due to a low birth rate and increased death rate in the wake of the former Soviet Union’s collapse. But millions of citizens were lost in the breakup of what was Ukraine before the coup. When a huge minority – upwards of 40 percent – of the country was ethnic Russian and the coup was specifically anti-Russian, what could anyone expect?
But the regime change wonks believe in magic wands, which are waved in some situation room in Washington and produce neat and desired results in far corners of the world. That it never ends up that way is of course, blamed on the ignorant savages who live in these places.
The 2014 Ukrainian coup deeply affected two sleazy mobbed-up politicians.
One was Vladimir Putin, who rose to power in Russia on the shoulders of the “oligarchs” – glorified mobsters whose fortunes derive from the looting, or politely described as “privatization” – of the public assets of the former Soviet Union. He could not stay on as leader of Russia without taking a hard line about the coup in Kiev. He also needed to politically cover his ass by showing up the Americans after that.
Imagine the Chinese People’s Liberation Army setting up a base in Mexico, within sight of the US border, and he possibilities of political survival for the American politician who gets blamed for letting that happen and you begin to see Putin’s dilemma.
The other was Donald Trump, then and now and for a long time before deeply engaged in business relations – if the truth is to be told, money laundering transactions – with the Russian or otherwise former Soviet oligarchs who are Putin’s power base. Many parts of that story are being doled out in paragraphs of Mr. Mueller’s indictments and we have not heard the whole story. The Trump Ocean Club in Panama was largely marketed to Russian oligarchs, in part via mafia lawyers with US or Canadian passports.
Increasingly corrupt, increasingly plutocratic US politics gave Trump the opportunity he needed — and foreign interlopers, not just the Russians, to play the Trump card to put their man in the White House. It’s a malady that has been brewing through Republican and Democratic administrations alike for decades.
(By the way, do you want to look at the opioids epidemic and increasing death rates in many areas of the United States? THOSE are chillingly like what happened to Russia and the other former Soviet republics in the wake of that empire’s dissolution.)
A Russian leader talking and acting tough as a matter of survival in his post? Is it that hard to understand? Isn’t a cornered Donald Trump playing many similar cards?
But pity the poor Ukraine — all of the people there, whether loyal to Moscow or to Kiev.