Ukraine & The Perfect Recipe For War In Three Acts
Act One: The Yankee Bullies & Their NATO Grift: How the U.S. uses NATO, the IMF, and color revolutions to maintain its hegemony, control global resources, and reduce countries to client states.
The Delian League kept its frail allies safe and freed cities along the Aegean from the devil of their time: the brutal, Persian tyrant Xerxes. At least that’s what a Golden Age Athenian would tell you. But underneath every two-dimensional, rosy-cheeked story of Good triumphing over evil reeks the foul stench of hegemony and insatiable greed.
Over time, Athens reduced its members to subservient client states and forced them to pay higher and higher taxes called “phoros.” They used the money to enlarge their fleets, beautify their city, and exert control over their members. Some cities, like Carystus, didn’t want to join the “alliance.” So Athens bullied them into membership. When Persia was no longer a threat, Naxos and Thasos tried to secede. Athens toppled their fortifications, seized their land, and installed settlements called “cleruchies.” Most likely, they filled them with criminals, crazies, and degenerates. These dregs supplied the military muscle and cudgeled Naxos and Thasos into submission.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has a familiar stench. During the Cold War, it posed as a powerful alliance against the ominous USSR. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, what was its purpose? The devil was banished. The gig was up. Or was it?
Things looked promising. Michael Gorbachev proposed the “Common European Home.” His successor, Boris Yeltsin, vocally wanted to join the European Union (EU). The picture was clear. Russia was trying to integrate into the rest of Europe.
Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush promoted the Peace Dividend — a campaign to move NATO funds away from arms and towards social programs and infrastructures.
U.S. Secretary of State James Baker quelled Gorbachev’s anxiety about NATO expansion when he promised, “Not one inch eastward.” England, West Germany, and France echoed similar assurances. NATO has argued that this applied only to East Germany and expansion beyond that was never discussed. But that only strengthens the point: why would it be? The enemy was gone.
Alas, peace isn’t profitable for the industrial-military complex. A new lobby group cropped up called the “U.S. Committee on NATO.” Bruce Jackson, a Lockheed Martin and Lehman Brothers exec, spearheaded the group. He lobbied the Senate to get huge swaths of the Eastern bloc into NATO. And that’s just the beginning of the grift. He enlisted Norman Augustin, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, to consult on what military hardware these countries needed to be “NATO compliant.” Augustin determined that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic needed Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets and Romania needed an $82 million Lockheed Martin radar system.
How did these very poor countries pay for all this gear? Through grants, discount loans, and free leases. Whether the United States loaned them money or gifted them arms had the same effect. It made these countries more dependent on the U.S. and made the arms industry filthy rich.
But the arms industry paints only part of the picture. When a hegemon takes control of a state, it takes control of its resources. Under the guise of “promoting democracy,” the U.S. uses NATO as an intervention force to topple governments, install puppet leaders, and reduce countries to subservient vassal states.
During the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, NATO never invoked article 5. Nor did all its members join. In fact, France’s opposition prompted the cafeterias inside the House of Representatives to rename french fries “freedom fries.”
But you know who sent troops? All the countries waiting to get NATO membership. All helping ‘Merica under the paper-thin pretext of promoting democracy and stopping Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Motives and intentions are complex. But no hagiography of Bush and his administration can wipe away their real crown jewel. Iraq kicked out the petrogarchs in 1973. But once the U.S. occupied the country, all the usual suspects were back in business: Exon, Chevron, and the 39% U.S.-owned BP.
The U.S. has another tool up its sleeve for taking control of a country and depleting it of its resources: The International Monetary Fund (IMF). While the IMF managing director is always a European, the United States has more than double the voting shares of any other country. They can veto any decision and block any country from getting a loan.
When a country needs an IMF loan but doesn’t have an economic system compatible with the U.S., the IMF requires “shock therapy.” They send in consultants or shock therapists to assess what types of economic restructuring the country needs to qualify. This covers the gamut from cutting social programs and increasing taxes to privatizing industries and resources.
The end goal is to transform a country into a mini-me version of the United States and Franken-stitch economic structures that make it easy for the U.S. to get its money-grubbing tentacles into that country. While Dr. Shock Therapy Jeffrey Sachs lauds success cases like Poland, there are dozens of failures.
For example, take Chile. When democratically-elected Salvador Allende nationalized industries like copper and telecommunications, it incensed a number of U.S. corporations. One of those corporations owned a major phone company there and two others controlled 80% of the copper. So Uncle Sam took care of their problem. Through a CIA-backed coup, the U.S. ousted Allende and installed a military junta led by Augusto Pinochet. He took IMF loans and, under the aegis of a team of Chicago-trained economists, implemented the necessary shock therapy. He cut wages in half, slashed social subsidies, and eliminated trade barriers. But most importantly, he auctioned off industries and resources, like water, to transnational corporations for pennies on the dollar. Unemployment grew to 30% and inflation ballooned to 341%.
What happens when a country doesn’t want to join NATO, become a member of the EU, or serve U.S. interests? The case of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych is quite telling. He wanted to join the EU. The EU gave him the first step to membership: an association agreement. But the fine print changed his mind. One, the EU demanded absolute loyalty and prohibited Ukraine from joining the Russian-led customs union. Two, membership came at a hefty price tag and Yanukovych would have to get an IMF loan. The IMF required shock therapy. The austerity measures would cripple Ukraine: slash wages and pensions, up the retirement age, and increase gas tariffs by 56%. Russia offered him a no-strings-attached loan. It didn’t require Ukraine to join the Russian customs union. Nor did it prohibit EU membership. Yanukovych went with Russia and put EU membership on hold. Moreover, Yanukovych was against joining NATO — a sentiment shared by the majority of Ukrainians. He’d pay a steep price for his resistance.
Just like the Delian League, the United States does not tolerate “resistant” countries — countries that won’t join its alliances nor serve its interests. It has a special way of dealing with them: regime change. One of its sneakiest and most effective regime-change strategies is color revolutions. The CIA used to do the dirty work until the Church Committee caught it red-handed. Now it’s done by U.S. embassies and non-government organizations (NGOs), like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Republican Institute (IRI). They train activists, conjure up catchy branding, carry out market research, and conduct polling. Based on their data, they give out grants to news media, educators, political parties, activists, influencers, and dissident movements under the guise of “promoting democracy.” Their goal is to astroturf a revolution. One that looks grassroots and feels organic but is manufactured. The revolution is engineered to pump people’s bellies full of hate for their leaders, get them to protest, and make them demand a new government — a government conveniently friendly to U.S. interests.
All effective propaganda campaigns have a grain of truth. The line between people's genuine ire and manufactured anger by the U.S. government is quite murky. However, the U.S. played a significant role in Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution, Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, and the Kyrgyz Republic’s 2005 Tulip Revolution. In each case, the resistant government was replaced with the opposition party the U.S. chose in advance. Yanukovych would suffer the same fate.
In 2013, half of Ukraine wanted to be part of the EU. When Viktor Yanukovych reneged on EU membership, it genuinely angered some Ukrainians. As we will see, the United States opportunistically took advantage of this to push its own agenda.
The Euromaidan erupted when Mustafa Nayyem, a charismatic journalist, made a Facebook post that challenged angry Ukrainians to come down to Freedom Square in Kyiv and protest. He also promoted Euromaidan through his web-based media channel, Hromadske. It attracts an impressive 9 million views a month and played a huge role in getting people to protest and informing them about the “facts on the ground.” Oh, one more thing: It’s funded by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
In a leaked phone call, the Undersecretary of European Relations Victoria Nuland told U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, in a thick Peter Griffin voice, “Yats is our guy.” We just need an “atta boy” from Biden and “get the deets to stick.”
She’s referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk. As we’ll see, they’d install him as the new leader of Ukraine not by holding democratic elections. Nor by listening to the will of the people. But by brute force. The muscle behind that force is of utmost importance.
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