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Why Ukraine Matters to Americans

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End point for the new Cold War
End point for the new Cold War
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On one level, Ukraine shouldn't matter at all. The Obama administration and Congress have absolutely no business at all interfering in the internal politics and government of Ukraine. They have no business providing aid to civil society groups to promote democracy. They have no reason to take actions that directly provoke Russia by creating a virulently anti Russian, extremist state right on Russia's border.

Our rulers should be laser focused on critical issues like a dead economy, zombie banks, and climate changes that threaten the continuation of anything approaching normal life on earth. They're not even close. Instead, this administration and many in the past waste our precious time and resources playing Monopoly with nation states and the entirety of their populations. Ask the Libyans and Syrians if you doubt this.

Ukraine is a sovereign nation, once a part of Russia. When our rulers interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, it represents pure hypocrisy. The United States wouldn't tolerate foreign interference in its internal affairs intended to destabilize a sitting government and replace it with one more controlled by the interfering foreign power. In addition, the U.S. constantly preaches against this sort of interference by other nations.

Despite the extreme aversion to being subject to this type of destabilizing interference, the U.S. foreign policy apparatus provided $5.0 billion to pro-Western, Ukraine factions over a number of years. The purpose was and remains regime change from a neutral or slightly pro Russian government to a state led by extremists and oligarchs. When the violent demonstrations of February created the opportunity, the U.S. selected the new leaders who were promptly installed as part of the violent coup.

The destabilization of Ukraine and installation of an anti Russian regime violates a more significant standard of rational behavior. Actions supporting the destabilization of Ukraine threaten world peace by raising the prospect of a war between the United States and Russia.

Economic efforts by the U.S. represent an attack on the Russian economy and government. In support of efforts to retain the ruling Ukraine coup-installed junta, the administration and Congress have issued harsh trade sanctions against Russia and coerced our European puppets to participate. This threatens $300 billion of trade between Russia and Europe. It also damages the Russian economy.

In addition to direct sanctions, U.S. protectorate, Saudi Arabia, undermined the price of oil by over producing in the last few weeks. This is a grave threat to Russian oil sales, bedrock of the Russian economy and government. The sanctions and oil price efforts caused the Russian currency to drop like a rock. All three of these efforts represent economic warfare.

The U.S. -- European Union created crisis in Ukraine is now the excuse for providing lethal weapons to Ukraine's faltering military and a strategy to encircle Russia with hostile military bases. This goes beyond economic warfare and threatens real war. As President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State, James Baker helped negotiate the critical process of Soviet withdrawal from Germany. The implied promise was that the U.S. would not extend Nato beyond East Germany. There's some controversy about the exact promise but it is clear Mikael Gorbachev and the USSR negotiators understood that this promise was in place.

Successive U.S. presidents have broken that promise but none has dared destabilize Ukraine. Ukraine is to Russia as Cuba was to the U.S. in the 1960s. We nearly had a nuclear war over the placement of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. What in the name of sanity are our rulers doing repeating a similar provocation in Ukraine? Have they forgotten the reason that the U.S. and Russia failed to fight directly over the entirety of the Cold War: mutually assured destruction (MAD).

The notion of victory in a nuclear war is pure fiction. Regardless of the relative damage to people and infrastructure, a full-scale nuclear war would make the living envy the dead. Hence, for decades, leaders on both sides went to extraordinary lengths to avoid anything that might lead to a confrontation. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the exception and the great lesson. When the outcome might be a nuclear war, reckless foreign policy actions are simply not worth risking your entire country and the future of life on this planet. Our rulers are apparently ignorant of this history or reckless to the point of gross negligence.

cold war illustration, Quick magazine
cold war illustration, Quick magazine
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The Real Importance of Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine and U.S. participation is vitally important to us in a critical way, however. U.S. policy in Ukraine is a paradigm for the doomed policies of the past that threaten our future.

  • Pick a foreign target.
  • Assume the right to interfere and achieve a policy goal no matter how outrageous. The outrage usually involves toppling a government that has somehow offended the U.S. power elite.
  • Send in the democracy corps of non-government organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (funded by Congress) to agitate the population and create an excuse for U.S. involvement.
  • Stage a false-flag operation to build support for intervention while denying any intent to intervene.
  • Start a civil war and stage a coup, not necessarily in that order.
  • Destroy the nation's economy and infrastructure.

Then, swoop down and get bargain based prices for resources and something much more valuable: one more dramatic excuse for increased defense spending.

Everything works together for the benefit of the very, very few at the expense of everybody else. This must stop.

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