16 May 2014

Your Ukraine Update

We now have some on the ground media reports that make it very likely that US security consultants (mercenaries) are on the ground in the Ukraine:
The leaks may have more truth in them than I had assumed. Paris Match, a well regarded weekly French magazine, investigated the recent incidents in Krasnoarmeysk in east Ukraine where some para-military gang disrupted the vote on more autonomy for the region by killing two supporters of the federalists. It finds photographic evidence that the gang was led by functionary from the fascists paramilitary Right Sektor:
These images show Andrey Denisenko, one of the Pravy Sektor chiefs, among a group of mysterious gunmen that attacked a voting station Sunday in the small town of Krasnoarmeysk, some 60 kilometres from the separatist « capital », Donetsk. After occupying the local town hall for several hours, the militiamen shot down point blank one local civilian, and killed two other unarmed protesters.
These Pravy Sektor thugs were hired for the "special battalion Denjpr" of the newly created "National Guard" and are paid by oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

But there is an even bigger scoop in this story.

Jerome Sessini, an experienced war photographer for Magnum who has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, was in Krasnoarmeysk and made some very interesting observations:
Several witness also said they heard some of the gunmen speaking with strong western Ukraine accents. They also noticed that some of the gunmen appeared to come from the Caucasus area, possibly mercenaries from Chechnya. Other gunmen never spoke a word and seemed foreign to the region. French war photographer Jerome Sessini spent about an hour face to face with the gunmen before they opened fire. « I found that their general attitude and their very precise techniques gave off the impression that they were American mercenaries, or people trained by American mercenaries » said Sessini. « I can’t guarantee this for sure, but I’d give it a 95 per cent, » added the photographer, who frequently interacted with various U.S. security contractors during his years covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A long time ago, when I took part in martial arts competitions, I could tell which dojo my opponents had learned at just by watching their warming up rituals. Someone who's longtime profession is to observe, identify and document people at war should surely be able to categorize special forces he interacted with along the "schooling" and attitude those have.
Also you have to read this essay by Michael Hudson on the underlying motivations for US and EU adventurism in the Ukraine, where asserts the program of destabilization and austerity (austerity being the EU/IMF deal that Yanukovich rejected):
Finance in today’s world has become war by non-military means. Its object is the same as that of military conquest: appropriation of land and basic infrastructure, and the rents that can be extracted as tribute. In today’s world this is taken mainly in the form of debt service and privatization. That is how neoliberalism works, subduing economies by indebting their governments and using unpayably high debts as a lever to pry away the public domain at distress prices. It is what today’s New Cold War is all about. Backed by the IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) as knee-breakers in what has become in effect a financial extension of NATO, the aim is for U.S. and allied investors to appropriate the plums that kleptocrats have taken from the public domain of Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet economies in these countries, as well as whatever assets remain.
He then a suggestion of how to fix this:
The cure for a rent-seeking oligarchy is to tax away rent seeking and de-privatize public monopolies. What Ukraine’s kleptocrats have taken (and what foreign investors seek to extract) can be recovered by promoting classical progressive policies taxing land and natural resources, regulating monopolies and providing public infrastructure investment, including a public option for banking and other basic services. That is what drove the U.S. and Western European industrial takeoffs, after all.
When reading Hudson's essay, I realized something:  the role of international finance as a hostile colonizing is not just limited to the former Soviet Union, or 3rd nations.

When we look at Wall Street, and the City of London, they aren't just business interests who are f%$#ing up our economy.   They are an occupying colonial power all over the world, which while far less mellifluous than Matt Taibbi's term, "Vampire Squid," is a better description.

One only needs to look at things like Timken's Wall Street driven spin off of its steel business (which will eliminate a core competency in its bearing business) to see how the policies of deindustrialization and looting are being applied here.

Wall Street is not just a corrupt and corrupting part of our economy, it is an invading colonial force.


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