Next Cold War Roundup 4/7/16
Ukraine president Poroshenko may have been the primary target of the #PanamaPapers. Pentagon announces it may open more new US bases i Iraq or reopen old ones. US Pacific Commander wants to get more aggressive with China as the White House told officers to tone down the public rhetoric. Syrian government says ISIS used chemical weapons on the Syrian army. CIA planted explosives in a school bus for a training exercise and left them there.
#PanamaPapers Clear the Way for Technocratic Government in Ukraine and Vulture Capitalism
_ Ukraine’s president Poroshenko, after last week’s devastating New York Times editorial calling Ukraine a “corrupt swamp,” now is dealing with #PanamaPapers revelations that while his army was surrounded and about to be massacred in Ilovaisk in the summer of 2014, Poroshenko was setting up vehicles to offshore his wealth and avoid millions in Ukraine taxes. The United States has been openly pressuring Ukraine to set up a technocratic government, with the American Natalie Jaresco who is currently serving as finance minister moving into a leading role as prime minister, and other ministers hand-picked by the US. Now it’s clear that Poroshenko will be forced out too.
_ Mikheil Saakashvili has expressed a desire to be Ukraine’s president. Saakashvili, a well known ally of the war party in the US, was installed as the governor of Odessa and has taken on the persona of the anti-corruption czar. The infamous oligarch “gas princess” and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, is also in the running, even though she was caught on tape post-Maidan coup recommending some violent solutions for the troublesome eastern part of the country and Russia, involving machine guns and nukes. She also paints herself as a hero of anti-corruption now.
_ Ukraine appears to be moving into Phase 2 of the American Maidan coup, where a new set of technocrats will wrest control of the country’s assets from the selected oligarchs who were left in place, and prepare the scene for “foreign investment” now that the country is politically weakened, in economic ruin, and primed for some version vulture capitalism, gangster capitalism or “Catastroika” or “Grand Bargain” or “shock therapy” in the name of economic reform. The military component of Phase 2 remains to be seen.
_ Poroshenko and the priming of Ukraine for vulture capitalists to swoop in for the kill, may have been the primary goal of the #PanamaPapers apparent scam though no doubt, many other useful political purposes can be made of it. The Poroshenko revelations in the #PanamaPapers came just a days before the Dutch referendum vote on a free trade deal with Ukraine, which was summarily rejected.
Dutch Referendum on Ukraine
_ The Netherlands referendum on whether to ratify a free trade deal between the EU and Ukraine was rejected, with 61% voting no. The other 27 EU nations have already ratified the agreement. The Dutch government has to decide whether to defy the will of their people and ratify it so that the EU can enact it.
_ Poroshenko said that Ukraine will continue moving toward the EU despite the referendum.
More Bases in Iraq
_ Pentagon says there may be more US bases opening in Iraq. Rear Adm. Andrew Lewis: “As Iraqi forces progress toward isolating Mosul, there may be a situation in which there is another base that is opened or reopened from years past that would be used in the same manner, as a fire-support base.”
Hawks and Doves on the South China Sea
_ Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, has been “waging a persistent campaign in public and in private” for a “more confrontational approach to counter and reverse China’s strategic gains in the South China Sea.” Two anonymous defense officials National Security Adviser Susan Rice issued a memo from a March 18 National Security Council meeting requesting that officers “avoid public comments on China’s recent actions in the South China Sea” in the run up to Pres. Obama’s Nuclear Summit. The Navy Times article and its source refer to the memo a “gag order” and a “dictum” and say it has had a “chilling effect” within the Pentagon. Hawks want to act more aggressively and the White House wants to work on diplomacy, nuclear and trade agreements and maintain a level of cooperation with China. And despite claims of the admin. being adverse to risk, naval activity in the region has been escalated and deals for basing made with the Philippines.
ISIS Chemical Weapons
_ ISIS used mustard gas on Syrian troops at a military airport in Deir Ezzour, according to Syrian state media.
New Silk Road
_ American think tank CSIS did a “practical assessment” on China’s New Silk Road project: “President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” Initiative“
_ Syrian expert Joshua Landis says on Twitter “Nusra thrives when it can piggy-back on FSA rebel factions. When militias neutralized by cease-fire, Nusra paralyzed,” from an article by Sam Heller “Separating Nusra Front from Syria’s rebels is easier said than done.”
Sultan Erdogan’s Propaganda Campaign in Washington
_ Turkish president Erdogan’s motorcade in Washington:
Sultan Erdoğan's motorcade in Washington.
He has the worst advisors on Earth ? pic.twitter.com/i9x4S4sVh7
— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) April 3, 2016
CIA Left Explosives in Virginia School Bus
_ CIA accidentally left C-4 explosives in a special needs school bus in Virginia and never noticed it was missing. Kids were transported in the bus for two days and would have been there longer but for a maintenance mechanic who removed it. What was the CIA doing in a Virginia school bus? Why is a foreign intelligence gathering agency working with local law enforcement? The claim is that it was part of a training exercise. There are not enough law enforcement and Homeland Security organizations in this country? Post-9/11 American schools have numerous, sometimes ridiculous security procedures, rules and discipline for students, etc. But they let the rogue CIA agency operate in schools and school buses with live explosives, with no accountability. Loudoun county officials “determined that there was no crime involved.”