Michael Hudson on the Ukraine on TRNN; Stephen Cohen on Democracy Now
Disclaimer: The next ten people here may know ten times more than I about what’s going on in the Ukraine, including the history and geopolitics and realpolitik at play during the past couple months. I’ve been working on a piece about a new Clinton FOIA document dump, something I used to know a bit about. That said, I believe that this interview I found via Naked Capitalism, ‘Ukraine: Is Obama Channeling Cheney?’ while not a bedtime story, might be quite timely to hear, given the pace at which events and propaganda are unfolding. I’d like to know what you all think/believe/see.
Yves kindly provided a link to the transcript if you’d rather read than watch.
There were a lot of great comments on Hudon’s interview, as always, but I’d like to feature a few. First:
TarheelDem April 18, 2014 at 10:28 am
Obama is channeling Victoria Nuland, her Kagan husband and in-laws, Ambassador Pyatt, and John Brennan. Guess why the Senate’s Report on CIA Torture is so important in domestic politics relative to foreign policy? You have to go into the politics that allowed Victoria Nuland to become Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State to understand who exactly from the the Democratic Party side Obama is channeling. Obama doesn’t form his own foreign policy vision; it seems to be a consensus vision of people he thinks are experts and who have their own political power bases already in DC. Nothing shows more the community organizer side of him than the way he manages his community of foreign policy experts and world leaders with regard to identifying goals, strategies and supervising implementation. The impact of Obama is in the immediate reconciling of differences among those folks and pronouncing the President’s decision of the moment. And the Churchillian determination not to preside over the decline of the American empire.
Seemingly in a somewhat bemused answer (or not), as perhaps was my bolded portion of THD’s:
Michael Hudson April 18, 2014 at 11:15 am
The job of a Community Organizer is to make fortunes for real estate investors gentrifying. That is what Obama did in Chicago (See Yves’ reprint of Bob Fitch’s study some years ago), and that is just what he’s doing in Ukraine. Cargill is angling for land rights, and other investors are anticipating a really, really cheap labor force as Ukraine’s currency plummets. Obama is simply working with his backers, asking them what they want him to do. His job is to deliver his constituency.
And while I’m not a big fan of his, this is a pithy take on Obama:
Dan Kervick April 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm
It seems to me that a key background factor is that Obama is an extremely weak figure heading a failed administration and poised to lead his party into another mid-term shellacking at the hands of the most crackpot and unserious opposition a halfway competent politician could ask for. It’s amazing. Now he has gotten his manhood invested in another head-to-head standoff with the tough guy Putin, after Putin already humiliated him last year over Syria, and has no idea how to climb down without looking like Putin’s abject bitc*.
Given that I’m not quite as sanguine over the fact that the ‘Ukrainan Military’ (whatever it consists of, reports and speculations vary) refused to fire on comrades (even though I loved it), nor convinced that the ‘Deal in Geneva’ will stem the tide, and that Hudson had mentioned Cargill, these are extra bits you may find of interest:
- ‘Corporate Interests Behind Ukraine Putsch’ by JP Sottile, in which he digs into the Deep State ‘winning hearts and minds’ investments Big Ag has made in Ukraine over the past couple decades, especially Cargill and Monsanto (non-GMO seeds), and why. It’s fascinating, and quite compelling.
- ‘The Business of America Is Giving Countries Like Ukraine the Business’ by JP Sottile for Buzzflash at Truthout, in which he references Condi’s Chevron and their Ukraine “$10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement; Monsanto’s strategy vis a vis the EU, and ‘soft Imperialism’.
- “We Are Not Beginning a New Cold War, We are Well into It” by Stephen Cohen on Russia-Ukraine Crisis: by Democracy Now! / April 18th, 2014; I haven’t watched, but his earlier interview on DN was very good, as are his many writings on the subject.
Video embedded on Edit; it’s very good:
Added: Quite a few of the FDL commentariat have been linking to posts at Vineyard of the Saker; this is the last post before his Pashka (Orthodox Easter) post and rest:
‘So this is the Russian end-goal: to unseat the USA from its role as a world hegemon. And that goal implies a much longer, bigger and more sustained effort that just force the freaks in Kiev to the negotiating table. Among other things, this goal implies that Russia must:
1) Force the Europeans to fully realize the outrageous price they are paying for being the obedient and silent vassals of the USA and slowly drive a wedge between the USA and Europe.
2) Force the USA to admit that it does not have the military might to punish or, even less so, “regime change” anybody they don’t like.
3) Encourage China and other Asian powers to openly stand with Russia in demanding that international law be adhered to by the West.
4) Gradually replace the dollar with other currencies in international trade and thereby slow down the financing of the US debts by the rest of the planet.
5) Create the conditions for Latin America and Africa to be able to make choices about its future and replace the current monopoly enjoyed by the West in setting the terms of North-South relations.
6) Present another civilizational model which openly reject the current Western paradigm of a society run by small and arrogant minorities.
7) Challenge the current liberal and capitalist economic order embodied in the Washington Consensus and replace it by a model of social and international solidarity (call it “21 century socialism” if you want).
All of the above can be summed up in one word: re-sovereignization.’
to be cross-posted at Café-Babylon.net